Calendar Wars: Electronic Vs. Paper

A fun article in this past weekend’s New York Times: Calendar Wars Pit Electronics Against Paper.

A few quotes from paper fans:

“I’ve got an iPad, an iPod, I’m on Twitter and Facebook and I’m talking on my BlackBerry now,” said Nelson George, a cultural critic, filmmaker and producer, in a phone interview. “But that’s enough. I’m an old-school paper calendar person.”

Mr. George uses a datebook that fits in his back pocket. “People make comments about it,” he said. “They show me their little technology. But then they sit there tapping on their device, and by the time they’ve gone through all the log-ins and downloading, I’ve already flipped the page.”

Elizabeth Beier, executive editor at St. Martin’s Press, has kept the same agenda since the mid-’80s, when she bought it in London at the Filofax boutique. “I have the standard size with a cover that used to be green and a handsome little snap that has since rotted off,” she said. “I feel like it’s lived with me so long that it’s earned its decrepitude.”

“There’s absolutely nothing anyone could say to get me to switch,” said Dany Levy, founder of Daily Candy and a faithful Filofax keeper since high school. “People are shocked. Here I am a entrepreneur, I should be on the bleeding edge of hip technology, yet I use a form of scheduling that dates to the dinosaurs.”


Dany Levy’s Filofax is below:

I have to say, I have my difficulties with paper when it comes to keeping a calendar. I have adoringly used many paper agendas over the years, including several years’ worth of Filofax calendars. But the arrival of the Palm Pilot coincided with my professional life revolving more and more around meetings and travel, and I found it much easier to keep track of with a handheld device that could sync with Outlook. Once I switched, I never really looked back. Now, I can easily have 15 or more meetings a week, plus personal appointments, birthdays and reminders. Having something beep on my computer or iPhone is often the only thing that saves me from forgetting to attend meetings, which are now almost always scheduled by electronic invitations. In some ways, I do miss being able to just flip through a date book, but that just wouldn’t be practical for me now. But I do keep a journal and daily log in my paper notebook, and I keep to-do lists both electronically and on paper– the split is more or less business tasks and long-term projects kept electronically, and personal, short-term tasks kept on paper.

This is probably the last Filofax calendar I ever used:

How about you? Are you all-paper? All-electronic? Some hybrid of the two?

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9 Responses to “Calendar Wars: Electronic Vs. Paper”

  1. Unfortunately I am a dinosaur and keep a paper calendar on my refrigerator and my desk at work. For some reasons dates stick with me better if I physically write them down instead of typing them into something.

  2. I use both – electronic for work, because it gives me reminders plus paper for both work and home. The paper for work is a Daytimer and I use it to keep track of the client work. Paper at home, well I just like it better.

  3. My calendar is digital (Google Calendar), but I write lists of what I need to do by hand. I’ve tried to keep paper calendars many times, but they don’t work well for me.
    Most of my notes are on paper though, I remember them much more vividly if I do it that way.

  4. I have kept paper and electronic calendars, to-do lists, and journals. Now, I have a mix. My calendar is almost completely digital thanks to my new iPhone. My to-do list was once a jumbled mix of paper and electronic, but neither seemed to help me remember. Just ask my EDUC 330 teacher. As for journaling, I do still love journals written by hand, but applications like Memento and MyTymz make it easy to record anything at any time with photos included. I’ll probably mix the two. Even picadilly has a beautiful journaling app for the iPhone.

  5. I use both. In graduate school my PDA was essential for its ability to make automatically repeating events (I once forgot to go to class because I literally thought it was a different day of the week), and its to-do list was wonderful for keeping track of long-term assignments.

    At work I use my Outlook calendar for meetings, which just makes sense since that’s how people schedule them. My husband and I share a Google Calendar to keep each other aware of our schedules. But I also have a Moleskine pocket weekly planner, which has been a necessity for a while now. It was more so before I got my iPhone, but what’s nice is I also often jot down what was done that day, so if I need to look back it’s easy to check.

    That, and I genuinely enjoy filling in all the birthdays and whatever into a new planner each year. It’s a little bit of tedium I actually look forward to. 🙂

  6. I use a bit of both. My online calendar keeps track of things in the long term, but for scheduling my day I always plot it out on paper.

  7. I’m all paper: wall calendars, Moleskine 18-month weekly calendar, and Staples weekly calendar for work.
    For me, it’s the act of writing something down that helps me to remember. If I write something more than once, I’m even less likely to forget it.

  8. I like paper and pen- always have my Moleskine with me, and there’s a card 4- month calender inside – then at home Lesley and I have a diary which contains the full year.
    This is my take on paper vs. computer, if you’re interested.

  9. I’m both. I have a daily moleskinne I carry with me and use (at times) almost like a journal. I have decorated all the pages to give it an individual look. Then at home I have google calendar I keep also. It appeals more to the organizational Virgo in me. I need both to cover all facets of my personality!

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