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