New Year, New Calendar(s) (?)

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?

5 thoughts on “New Year, New Calendar(s) (?)

  1. I keep both a paper calendar, which is a set of three loose pieces of paper, and I pin it to a quilted wall hanging about my writing desk. I unpin it to write events on it. I also keep a calendar in my phone. Most things are on both the paper and electronic calendars. The only problem I have is sometimes I don’t pay attention to the phone alerts and other times I don’t read the paper calendar. Maybe I need a third method too. Ha ha!

    1. I’m so happy to read this! I don’t think I can not have a paper calendar. I get easily frustrated when I can’t find something on my phone, but I know my paper trail is always there, right in front of me, at least in my office 🙂

  2. I rely heavily on my phone calendar, especially because I can set alerts. For example, my sister’s birthday is on my phone calendar along with an alert one week in advance. That helps me remember to get a card in the mail. Having the phone calendar is so handy for doctor, dentist, hair appointments, again with an alert a few days in advance. If I get a call to schedule an appointment, I put the caller on speaker & tap my phone calendar to check my schedule to see when I am free. Another perk is the search feature on the calendar. I can search to see when the last time was that I had the dogs groomed for example, by searching the word “groom”. If my PCP wants to know when I had my last mammogram, I search my calendar. Since I always have my phone nearby, this has simplified my life considerably. Yet, I still use a wall calendar as back up. Phone batteries die, phones get drowned while kayaking, etc. Plus writing my plans down on a big grid lets me see the big picture all at once. So, I’m a proponent of both, but if I had to choose one option, it would definitely be my phone. And I’m 5 years your senior, young lady! ☺️

    1. I adore this answer. You always offer such wonderful insight, my friend 🥰 I’m going to start small and go from there.

    2. I agree, the search function and reminders option make it worth the learning/habit curve.

      I went cold turkey from a desk blotter on my refrigerator to my phone only 2016. I also have wedding anniversaries, death anniversaries and birthdays loaded to pop up each year.

      Two years ago I started family photo Christmas cards. And that nudged me to get/keep the address book on my phone up to date. I use a * in front of names to denote who is on my list.

      I have an iPhone with back up, I should not lose anything, knock on wood.

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