Calendars – Paper or Electronic?

In one of my whirlwind attempts to eliminate clutter, my collection of annual pocket calendars came into my sights.  I save them like diaries, recording my daily appointments – some mundane, some eventful with editorial notes – and they sit quietly in a drawer, silently keeping the vigil of the past – to be discovered every now and then, and reread with nostalgia.  But my collection mysteriously stopped a year ago.  Had I committed everything to memory, trusting my scattered brain to alert me to places I needed to be?  Unlikely.  The gap in history started the day my iPhone took over with electronic finesse.

Pamela Paul addresses the paper calendar in her article A Paper Calendar? Hey, It’s 2011  – when she left hers at her office, and felt lost for direction – not possible if she had converted to “iPhone, Google Calendar, Outlook or any number of other electronic personal-information management systems” that can be shared, synced, updated – deleted.

Not everyone has gone over to the technology trackers.  The editor of the Paris Review still uses the New Yorker’s desk diary to note appointments, and I have a colleague who looks forward to his every year, with the daily cartoons on each page  – a good way to keep work bearable and home separate; he never syncs.  The family’s dentist appointments and softball games are scrawled on the free bank calendar on his home refrigerator – somehow, he makes all his commitments.

While efficient, the iPhone calendar does not invite those pre or post comments I made that sealed an event’s place in history.  Thankfully, only a little time has been lost – maybe I can make it up – back to recording my memories in a little appointment book while I can still remember.  I saw the 2012 weekly planners on sale today, and the calendar starts now in August, 2011.

What do you use – plastic or paper?

Related Post: Anne Tyler and Appointments

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6 thoughts on “Calendars – Paper or Electronic?

  1. Kate

    I am a paper person. I have a palm, but I always forget to charge it. I do use my ical, in particular for work-related items, but my wall calendar is where it’s all written down. I’ve tried to go electronic, but somehow I just always end up back at a calendar. I don’t do a small planner, just one wall calendar where everything gets written down.

    1. RFW Post author

      I know what you mean about forgetting to charge the phone – sometimes I am charging it in the car. I have 3 chargers at strategic places.

  2. Jeanie

    I use my Google calendar, which is available to me on all my electronic devises, bur I also have a large wipe-off wall calendar in my home office, which enables me to just glance at it to see what’s coming up in the week ahead.

  3. SilverSeason

    Both. I kept a paper pocket calendar for years. As a free-lance person I knew that without a calendar I might as well not get out of bed in the morning because I wouldn’t know where to go. I lived in fear of losing this paper record.

    About 5 years ago I converted to Yahoo calendar. There are many which are good but this one works for me because I also use Yahoo email. I can access it from anywhere. I always print out the current month and the month to come and carry them in my purse for convenience. If I add or change something I write it on the paper and once a week or so I update in the computer and reprint. How often depends on the activity level. At the end of each month I print a clean copy and put it in a binder. I now have a reference which goes back for years so if the interrogator asks, “And where were yo on the evening of January 27?” I can probably answer with assurance.

    1. RFW Post author

      I have a friend who prints out her computer-based calendar daily – the best of both, i guess. I might forget to print it out 🙂

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