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Paper Calendar

I might teach my clients how to use an electronic calendar, but I’ve learned never to suggest — for fear of sparking panic — that they replace their paper ones.

True, you can’t scribble in the margins of the electronic calendar or hang it in the kitchen, but it is always with you, it syncs among your devices, it backs up, and it easily displays day, week, month, and year views. All good stuff. (Yes, a pocket-size calendar might always be with you too, in your purse … along with your phone.)

Fortunately, you do not have to replace your beloved paper calendar. You can keep both paper and electronic calendars, making double entries, until you decide which works best for you. Or, you can print a hard copy of your electronic calendar. It will act as a paper back up, you can print it as often as practical, and you can scribble in the margins.

Maybe the New Year is the time to try it?

Scary Error Message

A client called me recently to say she got an error message when she tried to send an email.

“What does the error message say?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. I didn’t read it. (It said that the email contained an invalid email address and could not be sent.)

I’ve done the same thing when an unexpected message pops up: panic.

My advice (to all of us): Read the message first; we can always panic later. Many error messages look scarier than they are.

Another client was trying to update a software program and thought he was doing something wrong; the “update” button was greyed out. When he clicked it anyway, he got an error message that looked so intimidating he cancelled the update.

The scary-looking error message told him he needed to check the “Accept the Terms and Conditions” box before the program would update.

So my message — which I am glad you are reading — is to put your fear of an error message aside, take a deep breath, and read what it says. You might find that it is relatively benign and even gives you the answer you need to move past it.