The solution for those like me who forget to bring butter to room temperature an hour ahead of a meal is a butter keeper.
Essentially, it is a container that holds the equivalent of one stick of butter that is flipped upside down into a small jar of water. The jar is light-proof and the water* keeps air from spoiling the butter. Butter stored this way on the counter can last a week or two and is always ready and easy to spread.
There are many brands with slight variation in size, but a lot of it comes down to personal choice in appearance. We chose this one ($7.69) from Norpro and are very happy with it, but a friend really likes hers from King Arthur Flour ($14.99).
Keep real butter around and enjoy it on your timing by using a butter keeper.
*Replace the water every other day.