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.