Trends in the Calendar Business: How Workplace Shifts Are Changing the Way We Schedule

How to you keep track of your business meetings, conference calls, personal appointments, and family obligations?

Many of us grew up and entered the working world with day planners in hand and calendars on the wall. The monthly ritual of flipping back the calendar page on the first day of the month is oddly satisfying, and there’s something to be said for having a constant visual reminder of your daily events. However, modern technology has introduced us a wide variety of electronic calendars and smartphone apps that have taken scheduling to a much more complex level.

As we prepare to turn the page to a new month, we became curious about how much of an impact mobile calendars are having on the traditional calendar industry. What types of calendars appeal to the modern professional, and which calendar features are most valuable in our changing work environment?

To learn more about these recent trends, we connected with our partner and calendar expert, House of Doolittle. This sustainably minded company provides eco-friendly calendars, desk pads, and appointment books for the modern world. In doing so, HOD’s national sales manager, John Pattinson, has noticed some significant shifts in the industry that we think are worth sharing.

Shrinking Cubicle Offices  

Due to economic constraints and minimalistic approaches to modern office design, cubicle spaces appear to be shrinking. As a result, there is not as much wall space or desk space available for displaying personal calendars at work. As a response to this trend, Pattinson says that House of Doolittle has seen an increase in the demand for small wall calendars, desk pads, and free-floating styles, such as tent calendars. “We have noticed a trend to smaller compact desk pads and wall calendars printed with four-color designs and scenes,” he shared.

A Growing Mobile Workforce

An increasing number of companies are embracing the mobile workforce trend and allowing their employees to work remotely. Remote workers who perform most of their duties at a home office tend to use calendars in the same way they did in a traditional office environment. Meanwhile, digital nomads who make frequent use of co-working spaces or who travel as they work are more likely to use digital calendars on laptops and smartphones.

Calendars for Notetaking

In talking with customers, we have found that many people have a tendency to jot down quick notes on a desk pad as they chat on the phone or read emails. Having a desk calendar is a quick and easy way to always have a notepad at your fingertips. It’s also a nice place to doodle as you wait for an endless conference call to wrap up or sit on hold listening to that dreadful elevator music.

AT-A-GLANCE Desk Pad Calendar

Calendars as Personalized Décor

One really interesting trend in calendars is that many people are using them today as a form of decoration. With so many interesting calendar themes available, it’s easy to express your personality or share your interests with co-workers by proudly displaying a decorative calendar that appeals to you. As far as office décor is concerned, it doesn’t get much easier or affordable than hanging a calendar!

Calendars as Vacation Schedulers

But it’s important to note that office calendars aren’t all work and no play. In fact, full-year wall calendars, especially the laminated versions, have been extremely popular in office settings. Small offices in particular, such as physician offices and law offices, have really adopted this type of calendar as vacation schedulers.

Unlike a computer screen, these types of calendars allow you to see the full year all at once, simplifying the process of scheduling multiple employees. And with a laminated surface, making changes is as easy as wiping your words away with a damp cloth.

Busy mom

A Step Back from Technology

It may surprise some of you to learn that the popularity of smartphones and mobile apps have actually had a very small impact on the traditional calendar industry. As we can personally attest to, it’s often much faster to glance up at a calendar on the wall or on a desk rather than fiddling with a stubborn software program to search for dates.

Despite the most impressive efforts of app developers, it’s still easier to find dates and appointments in a monthly or weekly planner. Of course, the larger numbers and text are easier to read for the older generation, compared to the small screen of a smartphone. But the Millennial generation is embracing a rediscovered love for calendars too. There’s a strong movement to disconnect from technology when possible for the sake of our health and streamlined efficiency. And with a paper version, you don’t have to worry about your battery dying or accessing a digital calendar on the same phone you’re talking on!

“Fortunately for those of us the make calendars for a living, the old tried-and-true paper calendar business is still very strong,” said Pattinson. We wish our partner, House of Doolittle, many more years of continued success, to build upon the legacy it began in 1919 and has been adapting with the times ever since.

When Compared Apples-to-Apples, OnTimeSupplies Has the Sweetest Deals

Today we bring you a true story about a call that our CEO, Miles Young, recently had with one of our valued school customers. If you’ve ever struggled to redeem order reward points or wondered why product prices vary from one company to the next, perhaps you can relate!

I recently received a call from a school administrator who had a corporate account with Office Depot and regularly used its website to order school supplies. She was just moments away from clicking the “checkout” button on Office Depot’s website, but an issue with redeeming the school’s reward points stopped her. You see, one of the reasons that customers keep coming back to retailers like Office Depot is that it feels rewarding to accumulate points that can be redeemed for free gifts, or “chachkies.” However, those chachkies aren’t always something that you really want or need, and the process of actually getting them can take up more time and energy than they’re actually worth.

But I digress. Back to my phone call with the school administrator!

The reason that she called OnTimeSupplies in the first place was because she was looking for a product that she couldn’t find on Office Depot’s website and stumbled onto our site in her search. You can imagine her surprise when she discovered that many of the items on her shopping list were priced significantly lower on OnTimeSupplies when compared to the Office Depot prices. Naturally, she was interested in learning more about our pricing model and how we can offer such competitive rates.

To get started, I asked her to send me a copy of her shopping list so that I could provide her with an “apples-to-apples” quick quote before settling on her standard Office Depot purchase. While we were chatting, I explained to her that OnTimeSupplies has been transforming the way the office supply industry works over 12 years, and that our motto is “Your Time Matters.”

This means that you don’t have to waste your time keeping track of reward points or coupons just to get a good deal or collect a chachkie to collect dust in your office. We offer our very best pricing right off the bat to our customers because we value your time and understand what it means to work within a budget. I also explained to the administrator how OnTimeSupplies utilizes over 35 locations nationwide to keep shipping prices down, how our dedicated employees work remotely to reduce overhead costs, and how our innovative software helps us manage our business with maximum efficiency. All of these components of our unique business model help us afford to offer top-notch customer service with rock-bottom prices.

Not only that, but we deliver in 24-48 business hours, offer over 40,000 products, and have live U.S.-based customer support. We’re here when you need us, but we aren’t going to waste your time by calling to solicit additional business either. Our service speaks for itself, and our customers choose to work with us because of the awesome buying experience we provide.

After sharing a bit about how OnTimeSupplies works, the school administrator emailed me her shopping list, and I turned around an apples-to-apples quote in about 10 minutes. I couldn’t have been more happy to help this customer save at least $314.02 on a single order. I’ve uploaded a sample page of the comparison sheet here so you can see for yourself! Needless to say, the administrator was thrilled to save this much money, and the savings allowed her to buy a lot more for her school than a $29 blender she didn’t need.

I hope that this true story provides you with a real-world example of the value that OnTimeSupplies can provide to your school or business – every order, every day. If you’re curious to see how our pricing compares to your current retailer’s on the items you buy the most, send us your shopping list for a free apples-to-apples quote today!

Save on your discount school supply order with bulk pricing at

Best Filing System: Smead® Manila End Tab Folders SMD24110 on a shelf.


If you are setting up a new filing system, or frustrated with your current system, consider setting up an open shelf filing system. The biggest benefit: file shelves take up a lot less space than traditional file cabinets — like half as much space.  If you’ve got a lot of files and only a little space, open file shelves and end tab file folders are the way to go. Continue reading

6 Organizing Tips Using Universal Classification Folders UNV10301


What is more frustrating then trying to hunt down a stray form or document in a massive filing system? Luckily, this common problem has a simple solution — keep related documents in one place. Unversal® Bright Colored Pressboard Classification Folders UNV10301, you can sort and store related documents and paperwork in one folder. That way, your paperwork is easy to organize and easy to find. Office Ink shows you how to use one classification folder — instead of a ton of regular file folders — to plan an event, track household expenses, organize business financials, sort project documents and more. Continue reading

4 Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy at Work.


Be honest. Is it harder to resist the lure of Facebook in the afternoon? You know — that 3 o’clock hour, when quitting time seems so close, yet so far away. Well, you’re not alone. We get most of our visits to the  On Time Supplies Facebook page after lunch. And Fast Company shared a poll that found most people mentally check out of work at 2:55 p.m.:

The respondents said that 2:55 p.m. was the low point of the day’s output: Most folks said they were either checking social media or planning for their evening.

Of course, “but boss, everybody’s lazy in the afternoon” is going to fly if you get caught zoning out on the job. Try these productivity tips before you end up on everyone’s you-know-what list.

4 Natural Energy Boosts You Can Do at Work.

  1. Have a proper lunch: get away from your desk and give yourself a proper break, instead of scarfing down a sandwich in front of your computer. Taking the time to naturally boost  your physical and mental energy with real food and a real break is essential to preventing burnout.
  2. Carve out a little nap time: they don’t call it the power nap for nothing. Study after study shows that a 20 minute nap will help you stay sharp and alert through your work day. 
  3. Take mini breaks: instead of slogging through hours and hours of work only to crash in the afternoon, break your day into 90 minute chunks, and reward yourself with mini breaks.
  4. Get up and move: those mini-breaks are the perfect opportunity to get up, stretch your legs and get the blood flowing. Most experts don’t recommend sitting for more than two hours a stretch anyway. Revive your flagging energy levels and minimize the health risks associated with sedentary job with a quick walk around the office or up and down the stairs.

How do you stay alert, focused and productive after lunch? Share your energy boosting advice in the comments.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Fast Company

Tips for working from home from the On Time Supplies telecommuters.


I have to tell you, working from home is pretty sweet. Not having to start my day with a grueling commute is truly a blessing. Not that working from home doesn’t have its challenges. You have to work a little harder to stay motivated, productive and connected with your colleagues. The staff at On Time Supplies are old hands at this. We all work from home every day, and most of us have been at it for years. I’ve rounded up some of our best tips for working from home successfully. Continue reading

Video: 4 ways to increase productivity

You’ve heard of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Well, Tony Schwartz, CEO of consulting firm The Energy Project is adding four more to the list. In a video for Harvard Business Review, Schwartz shares his advice on how to increase productivity.
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