Saturday, April 30, 2016

Filling The Planner

It is amazing how fast my daily planner has filled up this year. As soon as I purchased the paper planner at the beginning of the year, I quickly started filling in the events and appointments that I had on hand at the time. This included work, lodge, personal and other reminders of what each day had in store for me. It has also served me well in scheduling different topics for the blog and had come in handing on a number of occasions both as a means to remind me of what I am writing about but, more importantly, of where I can move some topics when another blog needs to be written right away.

While some, many in fact, will see my bound paper planner as an antiquated form of organization, it still remains the most efficient form for me. Not only do I seem to do better when I am able to write things down, cross items off, and budget my time accordingly, it also forces me to slow down and remember what I am putting into my schedule. This is especially true for work engagements as it is too easy to simply accept a calendar invite. By pulling out my planner and recording the meeting, I tend to recall the commitment days earlier rather than fifteen minutes prior.

Of course, the most important part for me is the simplicity of this paper based system. I still enjoy writing many things by hand and editing documents by hand and having this out has allowed me to maintain my tactile focus without the constant windows and websites loading in the background just beyond the word document. It also eliminates the digital clutter that can become commonplace in an industry that relies so heavily on the digital world. Even when crossing off multiple items and shifting appointments around, the physical paper still seems cleaner than the digital jumble.

Another benefit of this ‘old school’ system has been the fact that I am able to schedule anything I need to without having to consult my computer or smart phone. It is a system that still transcends generations and given the frequent communication I have with many older generations, this can be a huge asset. Lastly, there is a sense of permanence and obligation when you write down a meeting in front of someone. The digital divide is still alive and well so appointments change regularly when simply typed into a computer or phone. Write down an appointment in front of someone and they tend to honor that arrangement more regularly.

In the end, I guess I am one of the few remaining that still prefers the physical planner over the digital calendar. In a sense, there is something a little out of touch about this method and I am okay with that. I don’t mind being ‘behind the times’ as it pertains to how I go about my day. There is a calmness to nostalgia and the simpler way of doing things that seems to be lost in most technology. All of these things are designed to make our lives easier but is that really what they are doing? For me, the pendulum swings both ways and sometimes it is nice to swing into the past.