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