Saturday, March 24th, 2018
With bookings already coming in for the summer of 2019 I had to think about getting a 2019 calendar. Online and computer diaries are great, but I do like to keep a written paper version too. The trouble is, nothing really works the way I want it to. I’ve tried various formats of desk diaries and calendars, and all of them have annoying shortcomings. I’ve searched in vain in shops and online for what I want, but even so-called “hotel reservation diaries” tick none of the right boxes for my B&B. For a start, I don’t have 30 rooms, and could use all that wasted space for other things. But the main problem is that not a single diary creator has ever stopped to think about what a hotel bookings calendar needs to do — and that is, to let you book slots that span nights, not days. And the thing that most distinguishes a night from a day, apart from the lack of sunlight, is that a night occupies two numerical dates, not just one. Most bookings start late on one day and end early on another day. A hostess wants to know that on, say, Wednesday June 6th, she will be serving six breakfasts in the morning, and she will then be welcoming three couples in the late afternoon, some or all of which will occupy the same beds that different people slept in that same morning. A reservation slot needs to straddle a dateline, and it needs to be absolutely clear on any given day of the month, how many breakfasts to cater for in the morning and how many sets of bed linen to change during the day. So I ended up designing my own calendar, where I can see at a glance how my day is going to pan out. The small green corner boxes give me a head count for breakfast place-settings, and the small red boxes along the top of the next row of reservations slots give me an idea of how many beds I’ll need to change or make up during the day. Once I’ve printed out some sheets, all I have to do is to write the date numbers by hand and fill in the month (or, as here, print out sheets with the name of the month on them). The best thing is not to have to find stockists of a calendar for next year before we’re even reached the end of this year’s month of March.