How many calendars does one person need within four feet of each other? If you’re like me, four, with the goal of incorporating a fifth.
My daughter bought me a cute card-sized calendar for Christmas that fits nicely on the base of my computer screen. I like that I can glance down from whatever I’m writing or reading and see what day it is because, you know, the date that shows in the corner of the screen doesn’t have a bird on it.
Before Christmas, I bought a wall calendar because for as long as I’ve been an adult, I’ve had a calendar on a wall(s) somewhere in my house. In the past, these calendars have included pictures of flowers, enlightened sayings, puppies, and hot firemen holding puppies, but wall space in my office is in short supply, so this year, I bought a half-sized wall calendar. I don’t really need it now since I have the adorable compact one, but I’m so used to looking over my right shoulder to see a calendar that I think I’ll keep it as I transition to another type of calendar system. (I’m getting to that part.)
Because I live much of my life, in terms of technology, in the 1980s, I prefer to write appointments down in a wire-bound paper calendar. In grad school (2015-2018), when everyone else whipped out their phones to record an assignment deadline or change in class schedule in their calendar app, I whipped out my At-A-Glance. I got teased about it sometimes, then I’d remind them I was old enough to be their mother and they’d nod knowingly.
Fast forward to three days ago, New Year’s Eve. I was chatting with my partner Jim when his phone dinged. It wasn’t a text, I know that sound, and I’m known to ask questions sometimes without first thinking it’s none of my business.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Oh,” he said, pressing buttons on his phone. “It’s a reminder about a weekly meeting.”
“But you have today off.”
“I know, but I have it programmed as a recurring thing. I forgot to cancel it.”
Jim’s not digitally illiterate, but he’s careful about what technology he uses, more for the sake of his sanity than anything else. He son-of-a-bitches his computer all the time, so when he said he swore by (not at) his phone calendar, I paid attention.
“It’s really handy,” he said, showing me how he enters meetings and appointments, and explaining how everything syncs to his iPad and work computer.
“Hmmm…” I said, thinking about how—when I go to the dentist or the doctor and they need to see me again in a few weeks, or I’m with a friend and we want to make plans for coffee, but I can’t remember what my schedule looks like because it’s written down in a paper calendar in a stackable rack in my office—it’s a minor pain in the butt to have to get back to everyone when I get home.
So this year, I’ve decided to make a real effort to join the 21st century and learn to use the calendar thingy on my phone. Look at all the little gray dots I’ve added so far! I even moved Calendar to the first page of my phone apps to remind me to check it rather than let it continue to gather dust on page four with my other seldom used apps.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m already skeptical, which isn’t the best way to approach change, but maybe you can help. Those of you who have made the transition from paper to electronic calendar, how long did it take you to stop keeping both? Does it get easier? Or is it as hard as it was to stop sucking my thumb when I was nine?