Jan 11 2010
As much as we humans have worked to put as many aspects of our lives onto the Internet as we possibly can, there are still some things we like to keep in the real world. Many people still prefer to do their banking in person rather than online, even though you can do almost everything online that a human bank teller can. Others still prefer to rent movies from mom-and-pop movie rental stores rather than through cheaper Internet services. And there’s a large portion of the population, myself included, who prefer the tactile sensation of reading a real book over reading an e-book.
For reasons I can’t quite explain, I still write important dates and events I need to remember down on a paper calendar rather than use one of literally thousands of available digital calendar/day-planner programs out there. I could use the Google calendar program that very neatly integrates with my Gmail, which I check continuously throughout the day, but I don’t. I like being able to see my whole month planned out with just a quick glance at the calendar hanging on my fridge. I know for a fact that quite a few of my friends – people who, like me, are connected at the hip to their Twitter accounts – do the same thing.
Well, now those people (like me) who enjoy the feel of a paper calendar can integrate their online life back into their real one with a custom calendar from Personera. Personera allows users to design and order printed calendars personalized with their Facebook content. Personera will scour Facebook for uploaded or tagged pictures and will fill in friends’ birthdays and other special events. Then, for $24.95 (discount coupons available if you know where to look), they’ll ship the calendar to your door, for free, anywhere in the world.
You can sign into Personera using Facebook Connect and, once you’re in, you’ll see how easy and fun they make creating your calendar. The interface is slick without being intimidating and intuitive enough for anyone to figure out.
There are quite a few calendar customization options available: you choose the theme, the special events, holidays and birthdays you want included, and what pictures you’d like to see and where you want to see them. You can dedicate certain months to special people by only including their pictures on that month’s page. You can even, if you wanted to take the time, put season-appropriate pictures on certain months (pictures of friends and family going skiing in December, pictures of you at the beach in July, etc.). Alternately, you can just let Personera fill in the calendar with pictures and events for you. In short, you can make the calendar look just how you want it to look.
Personera’s aim is to make the offline world as personalized and relevant as the online one. The result is a great gift idea for yourself, your friends, or perhaps for people who aren’t on Facebook regularly like your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older friends. (Just make sure you omit that picture of you doing body-shots at Senõr Frog’s. You know the one.) You can buy vouchers for other people to make their own calendars, and even request a voucher from Mom or Dad by entering their email address in the appropriate area.
If you’re wondering about the calendar quality, well, don’t. It’s top-notch. The printing is crisp and the pictures come out photo-quality. It’s a professionally-made calendar; it’s just got all of your photos and important dates in there.
Many times when reviewing a product or service, I see online businesses that start out with a great idea but lose something in the execution. When a good idea has to go through several rounds of criticism and approvals, the end result occasionally lacks the spirit and freshness of the original idea. Not so with Personera. The idea is original, the execution is flawless, and they don’t skimp on quality one bit. What’s more, I was given a heads-up by a Personera founder that the company will be branching out into other personalized products soon.
As a gift idea for yourself or for family and friends who are hooked on the web but still use a paper calendar, you can’t go wrong with a custom calendar from Personera.