Swedish inventor, TV host, and robotics enthusiast Simone Giertz realized that she was terrible at keeping up with her own commitments, so she invented the Every Day Calendar to better organize her life.
It’s a deceptively simple concept: nothing more than a circuit board, 365 LED diodes, a wooden box that serves as a frame, and some memory. Arranged as a calendar in which the names of the month sit horizontally at the top of the box and each month heads a column of days represented by numbered hexagons, the Every Day Calendar doesn’t let you track appointments, set alarms, or arrange meetings like other digital calendars. Instead, it just allows you to track one single task every day.
It could be doing a set of sit-ups. Or meditating for 10 minutes. Or practicing an instrument. Or calling your mom and telling her that you love her. Just one single thing that you want to get done each day to accomplish a larger goal, like being more mindful or healthy.
Every morning when you see the new day unlit it’s like a nagging question: Are you going to do the task or not? And each day, when you accomplish the daily task, you touch the corresponding hexagon and it will glow yellow thanks to the LED behind it. The day is actually a capacitative touch area, a translucent hexagon glazed in gold that is part of the circuit board that forms the display of the calendar. When you put your finger on the hexagon, this will close the circuit and the corresponding LED will light under it.
The objective is, of course, to have every single light on at the end of the year. It’s a clever UX move, subtly pushing you to keep turning on those lights. Every day, you will get a little reward by seeing the light go on, knowing that you are little bit closer to your overall goal.
At the end, the Every Day Calendar is just a very basic form of positive reinforcement, the behavioral process that gives your brain a satisfaction boost, reinforcing a certain action. Like Giertz says, it’s like giving yourself a “gold star” for keeping up with your little daily promise.
The Every Day Calendar is on Kickstarter and has already raised $412,875, way past the initial $35,000 target. Or you can download the schematics for free and build it yourself.