Paper is not so bad after all!

It all began a few weeks ago when I was being booked for a follow up visit at my favorite healthcare facility. The scheduler gave me a date six months out. As much as I wish I could be like the old school number runners and never write anything down, I can’t. My 45+ year old memory isn’t as sharp as it once was so I have to record appointments (and anything else of great importance).

Here’s where the fun began.

I have an appointment in April – it’s of a personal nature, so it could go on my personal calendar. However, this appointment will require me to take time off from work, so it could go on my work calendar. Rather than standing at the scheduling desk locked in confused panic – thrusting my hands into my pockets, spastically groping for the correct device – I simply asked for a piece of scrap paper, on which I wrote the date, while I further pondered which calendar to use.

Here’s the dilemma.

In my pocket is my apple and the man’s blackberry – sadly this is a bitter fruit salad comprised of components that – for various security and integration issues we won’t delve into here – don’t speak to each other. This isn’t an entirely bad thing. Being the staunch advocate of work-life balance that I am, I avoid placing personal appointments on the man’s blackberry – just as I don’t put work dates on my apple, but from time to time there is a convergence (yikes – sounds like I’m back at Lucent) of my personal and work schedules.

Here is my old school fix.

Friends, I’m not proud, but I’m happily better organized and content, basking in the glow of a successful marriage of my personal activities and work obligations. You might ask, “What is the glue holding these two worlds together?” It’s not an app, and no it’s not a cutting edge VC hungry web portal – it’s an old fashioned paper calendar.

It’s a kind of master schedule where – for example – next week’s PTA meeting resides side-by-side with the corporate off-site I have to attend. Mock and scoff if you will, but it works for me – keeping my apple personal and the man’s blackberry impersonal (read into that what you will).

The paper calendar also gives me a space to physically write my goals and objectives. Putting pen to paper to jot down goals does – at least for me – increases the likelihood of those ideas coming to fruition. I won’t go too much further here. I don’t want to go all Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar on you!

Right about now you may be thinking that a paper calendar is a prehistoric throw back to the days when phones weren’t so smart. Maybe, but I don’t care. My little black book is bringing peace to my life – acting much like Carter, back in 79, when he brought together Begin and Sadat.

Don’t worry, I won’t need a high-tech intervention (If you saw the ‘apples’ on my X-mas list you’d know why). I don’t plan on breaking out my old Royal typewriter any time soon – however, ribbons, if I could find them, are a lot cheaper than toner.



  1. Michael Charney (@BeckIsALib)

    I’m with you. We keep a paper calendar–where else–on the side of the refrigerator. On it are all the important things that have major impacts, everything from business trips to dog grooming appointments. We think of it as the 50,000 foot view of when we need to be somewhere, adjust to each others’ schedules, etc.

    We’ve actually turned the calendar into an event: we haggle over the design each year, now she gets to pick odd years and I get to pick even….


  2. Susan Maricle

    “In my pocket is my apple and the man’s blackberry – sadly this is a bitter fruit salad”

    I absolutely love your phraseology. That phrase and others made me smile as I read your post. I can totally relate, too. I moved to a new city and relied on an old-school way of finding my way around: chamber of commerce tourist packages. They give you the big picture rather than the limiting point-A-to-point-B of GPS.

    I’ll definitely be back for more! Susan


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