Calendar Wars Pit Electronics Against Paper

I like a having a paper calendar, at least as an insert to a Circa notebook but you can’t manage a collaborative calendar without an electronic tool. Note that further into this article there is reference to a study of “personal calendar use”. In the corporate world we have long used Outlook or IBM’s Lotus version, whose name escapes me. One cannot expect a global team to keep their calendars and meetings synced without it.

Feel free to use only paper to manage your own time but don’t expect me to know what you did or guarantee that I’ll make the same change accurately in my copy.


LAST month, I did something that not once in my 20 years as an overscheduled, neurotically punctual, paper-bound calendar keeper had I done before: I left my personal organizer (as Filofaxes, Day Runners and such are known to the trade) at the office.

Ed Alcock for The New York Times

Dany Levy of the Web site Daily Candy has used a Filofax since high school.

Ed Alcock for The New York Times

Dany Levy with her computer and Filofax.

Not only that, I forgot it there on a Friday, leaving me clueless and unmoored for an entire weekend. What was I supposed to do on Saturday? What were my children supposed to do? Were birthday parties left unattended, errands unrun? On Sunday night, deprived of my ritual week-ahead review, I had nothing to worry about except what I didn’t know I should be worrying about.

This sorry situation had, of course, a solution, one embraced by many: convert to iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook or any number of other electronic personal-information management systems (as they are known to the trade). You can instantly update. You can sync. You can seamlessly integrate personal and professional into a harmoniously unified oneness.

I would rather live a life of 1,000 missed appointments.

So much of our social and professional lives are determined by the systems we use to keep track of them. With more people converting to electronic calendars or hovering between paper and PDA, how we construct and coordinate our schedules is in flux. And no matter how synchronized our intertwined lives have become, a certain amount of calendar clashing is inevitable.

Continues here:



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