Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Keeping Time

I started out more than 40 years ago with those little paper calendars that the greeting card stores would give out for free each year. And they worked mighty well for me for a long, long time. Somewhere along the line, I switched to a larger calendar book that had weeks on display, rather than months, with a pretty quilt on the facing page. Again, those worked well for a good many years.

Kids began to grow and get involved in their own activities, and during the Cub Scout years I got my first Day Runner. It was the 5.5 by 8.5 size, and had tabs and categories and accessories and all kinds of wonderful things for a person who fantasizes about organization. There were actually more categories and tabs than I needed (expense account, for example), but I improvised and hauled that Day Runner (and the more intricate and complete ones that followed!) around with me for probably fifteen years.

In 2001 I went electronic and got my first Palm Pilot and for a few years was faithful at keeping it synched with the computer at work and the computer at home. And it fit in my purse. Which was a plus. Over the past year or two, though, I've noticed that I don't keep it synched. And what's more, I don't enter things in any of the locations very faithfully. I've tended to make handwritten lists of dates and commitments and keep them in my pocket.

I didn't even take my Palm Pilot with us on vacation last week. But I did do a lot of thinking about it. I thought about liking to handwrite my engagements on a page. I thought about turning pages to see what is coming up next. I thought about how much of my life I wanted to carry around with me.

And yesterday I went out and bought a pocket calendar! It is about 4" by 6", only a little larger than the old greeting card store calendars. It has monthly pages and weekly pages. It has room four ten (count 'em!) contacts! And that's about it. Last night I sat and entered my information for the next couple of months and started entering the birthdays. And this morning I stuck a few post-it notes inside the back cover so I have something to write on. I still have the Palm Pilot for addresses, but I think I just might pick up an old-fashioned address book sometime this fall. Something I can keep at home with the stamps and the cards.

If this little book turns out not to be sophisticated enough, I can go back to the Palm Pilot. Or I can get a more elaborate organizer with the categories and the tabs.

But my hunch is that this is going to be just fine. And I find myself sighing with gentle relief.


11 comments:

PattiCakes said...

I thought I would be all techno many years ago & use a program called Calendar Creater. It allowed me to make calendars with all of the family's numerous activities printed on them. Cub Scouts, dance classes, soccer games, Women's Guild meetings. But I had to sit at the computer and type all that stuff in. It finally dawned on me that sometimes paper IS better. I just started writing things on the big ol' calendar in the kitchen again. Using color-coded ink foe each type of engagement (just kidding). Yep, that's got Post-its too.

Susan said...

When I first got my Palm Pilot, I used it faithfully. But, like you, I've used it much less in the last year or two. It's not that my life has become any less busy, but I found it easier to use the Outlook calendar with my e-mail at work. I have very occasional thoughts about updating my technology to a Blackberry or I-phone, but don't like to think of my life as being that complicated. But you've got me thinking about giving the Palm Pilot another try.

paula, the quilter said...

Back in the day, I used HP's version of a Palm Pilot and was happy, happy. Until it died and took all my precious info with it. I returned to paper and have gone through all sorts of sizes and have decided that the ~4x6 size is the one for me. I use the Weekly DayMinder but found I needed a bit more in the way of keeping all the bits and bobs of extra paper corralled. My fabric stash came to the rescue! Every year when I purchase the new calendar during back to school sales it immediately goes into the sewing room and a new (journal) cover is made that includes a ribbon bookmarker sewn to the top.

Salem Stitcher said...

I've never had a Palm Pilot or a Blackberry or any other little electronic device to carry my life around with me. Sometimes I've wished for one but or the most part, I've survived. I use Outlook at work and have most of my life on there. But it does seem I need to start carrying a little calendar in my purse. Where I use to could remember weeks and months at a time, I find I barely remember what I'm doing next.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Well, all I can add here is that your previous post had a subject regarding aging and bra purchases... and now, moving in reverse regarding technology... be careful, you have Sam and Carrie to think about. I'm just sayin'...

Lorraine said...

at the end of every year I buy a small diary to put in my bag...all the birthdays and the upcoming stitching group dates are put in....I use it for a while and have grand plans that it will contain all the "stuff" I will be doing throughout the year....but then I forget to put things in and it sits in my bag ...all forlorn and empty...LOL.....and I revert to my Outlook calendar at work....that's where I am most of the time anyway!

AnnieO said...

My refrigerator door holds all my invites and I carry a spiral bound notepad in my purse, but that's mostly for making lists. I do use my Outlook at work to remember birthdays and important dates, and occasionally my phone's calendar for appts, but really don't have enough going on to require the sort of technology you mention. Boy, I'm glad, too!

Judi said...

I'm with you, Nancy! My DH has tried very hard over the years to get me to use electronic diaries, but for some reason I still like my paper version.

Maybe that's as organised as I want to be?

GARI said...

Well, I could have written this. When I was working, I used my palm and synched with home and office computers. It was wonderful and I couldn't imagine living without it. However, I don't have nearly as many appointments or events as I used to. I now have a weekly journal that I keep track of birthdays, meetings and home/studio/family to do lists. I am still organized but I am more casually organized: ah, retirement!

Juliann said...

I definately like my moleskin planner better than the electronic one but since I have had a blackberry, I have grown to like having my outlook calendar and contacts accessible. Now they want us to get i-phones at work and i am so worried about the lure of the technology. Enjoy your paper.

Tanya said...

I'm with you on calendar history. I always think I'm going to be so organized THIS year. Usually I don't make it past March. I gave up pretty quickly on the Palm Pilot just because I kept forgetting to recharge it and I'd lose my information and I'd have to reload it from the computer and I wasn't that compter literate. I just came accross my old calendar booklet but I didn't buy refills this year. Hope I can keep it handy til January when I'll try again.