"I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they're either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live."— Frank Bruni

Monday, August 01, 2011

paper calendars

G just sent a Times article to me about paper calendars and how they measure up to electronic options. First, I'd like to profess my deep appreciation for the Times for having stories like these. They cover life in all aspects, tell stories about people that everyone should hear and otherwise wouldn't know about, and have fun stories that appeal to my interests. Second, I'd like to say thanks to G for sending this to me: you know me so well.

Ok - so why all the love for this article? Because I am attached to certain things that others consider passé, such as my Sony Ericsson W810i phone, the word "'moded," my MySpace account (just kidding), print books (as opposed to e-books), CDs if I had the room for them, and my At-A-Glance DayMinder, model SK-48 (I'm currently sporting a green-covered one).

I've used planners (or as Pamela Paul notes, what industry calls personal organizers) since middle school. My middle school gave out Trapper Keeper-sized planners every year with the distribution of our textbooks. I can't recall what kind I used throughout high school, but I'm pretty sure I used them - oh wait, I think I used cute Japanese ones. Then in college, my love affair and fascination with NYC began and I started using NYC Public Library student planners. Or was that grad school? I can't remember...but since graduating, I've always relied on my trusty, compact DayMinder to keep my life fairly in order.

I love its generous notes space for each day, the useful conversion tables and area codes list, as well as it's area codes map in the back cover. I utilize the plastic cover-s flap-overs as pockets for business cards, event tickets, and tons of dried up post-its. I also like to clip business cards to the page of a day when I know I'll need it (e.g. my doctor's card when I have a MD appt). I also clip a paperclip to the current day, allowing for easy and fast flipping to the right page.

I've tried switching to Google calendar, but it just hasn't worked out, in that I'm not able to reference it when away from a computer (I don't own a smartphone - Sony Ericsson W810i phone, remember?). It also doesn't allow me to look back years from now to see what exactly I did on a particular day (smartphones didn't exist when I was in middle school, high school, college or grad school). And these pockets and post-its! Where else would I be able to store important business cards, tickets, potential names for my unborn/yet-to-be-adopted children, my work computer log-on information with the number to the IT guy, and my list of to-do restaurants - all in one place??? Not to mention the excitement I feel when I get to shop for a new planner every January. It's my version of back-to-school shopping.

Since this age of the I-whatever (be it -Phone, -Pod or -Pad - do they still make I-Macs?) started, I've always been skeptical of the consolidation of devices that do so many different things and the switch to electronically doing and/or storing of everything. What if you lost your IPhone? You apparently lose your life. You lose your MP3 player, you lose your phone, you lose your portable entertainment, you lose your notebook, your banking device, your calculator ....etc etc ... and yes, your personal organizer. True, our supply of paper is not infinite, but instead of switching everything over to the electronic world, we should prioritize what should and shouldn't be done on paper. Medical records- yes. Thank you cards - no. Bills - yes. Depositing checks - as cool as it may be, I would rather not.

I love my planner. I love how I can easily open it to my paper-clipped page for this week and see that on August 5th, I have 'happy hour?' written down...just like I did back in '05.

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