Not 24 hours after families started receiving our annual youth calendar in the mail did I start hearing about problems with it. In one particularly glaring oversight, I scheduled a summer mission trip to begin before school is out. Face, meet palm.
There are technical missteps that lead to mistakes like this, and those are easily fixed (be sure and consult the school district calendar). But my anxiety over calendar errors is symptomatic of a faulty understanding of what a calendar is and is useful for.
A calendar is never a finished product.
So the next time I do an annual calendar for youth, I’m going to release it in phases, beginning with a public beta. That first one will be watermarked. It will carry a note that it is provisional and unfinished. Only after that one’s been out there for several weeks will it become “The” calendar, and even then . . .
A calendar is always in beta, isn’t it? Opportunities present themselves sometimes weeks, not months, out from their dates. Busy people need to plan ahead, and the calendar needs to help them by getting the big dates right and leaving them alone. But there should also be some room for development in the calendar, even after its published.