Saturday, February 7, 2009

Personal Planners: Paper or Plastic?

As phones become "smarter," more and more people are using them for various everyday uses, that were, up till a few years ago, never really thought about before.

Your average iPhone or Blackberry, among others, allows you to check email, surf the internet, play games, take photos, and maintain a personal calendar. Though I have not yet taken the plunge into smart phone territory, it is tantalizing to consider buying one due to all that they have to offer. At this point my main hesitation is a monetary one, but another one has since surfaced. For my personal planner, do I prefer paper or plastic?

Let me start by saying that I've never been all that proficient in maintaining a calendar on a regular basis, electronic or otherwise. Somehow I manage to make it to all of my daily appointments, but traditionally it's been a scramble for me. For instance, I don't always get into the habit of looking at my calendar a few days/weeks ahead to see what I have coming up, I just kind of wing it and look at what I need to do soon. Additionally, I've never been good about keeping one single calendar; in other words, I'd have a calendar at work, scraps of notes at home, etc.

However, that has all changed since the start of this year. I bought an old fashioned pocket-sized weekly planner (at a cost of about $5) and attached a thin Moleskine cahier notebook to the front, with a handy rubber band, and I use another rubber band to keep a refillable pencil on the side so it's available at all times. You're probably reading this and thinking it's quite ridiculous that a person in this day and age is carrying around a pocket planner, note pad, and pencil all day long. And to this I say... haha, yes, you're probably right!

But to be totally honest I actually dig it!

Here are my thoughts about this...

-I sit at a computer all day at work and then spend many more hours in front of a computer at home (like, ahem, now). So do I really need another computer to tag along with me and run my life? Well, maybe a smart phone could be helpful and fun in some ways, but I don't think it would make a huge difference in planning my life.

-I love writing with a pencil on paper. So much better than tapping an electronic keypad. And faster... I can flip to the page and write a date down faster than most phone users.

-An elder business colleague of mine, a man who is highly regarded and extremely successful, totes around a similar small personal planner. If he's successful with this simple, almost primitive calendar, then that system can work for me!

I'm going to stick with the paper planner for now and see how it goes. Call me if you have any better ideas...

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