Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Going Digital? (The Pitfall of a Paper Calendar)

On August 6 my husband burned my August calendar.  My family lives by my calendar - all kid activities and appointments are coordinated with my schedule.  Babysitter hours are set based on my availability.  Menus are planned according to the time I can spend in the kitchen.  Though I maintain an online calendar and shopping list through Cozi, which conveniently makes apps for my iPhone, as well as my husband's and babysitter's Blackberries, my paper calendar rules the roost.  So when I realized that August had been ripped out for the good of making S'mores (it was hectic and dark, so I'll give him a break), I had a moment or two of panic.  Luckily, I've been able to reconstruct the calendar... I think.

My colleagues and I have an ongoing debate about our calendars.  Half of us at the table keep paper calendars.  Half of us have moved to electronic, mobile calendars.  Though I am considered one of the "techies" among us, I have not made the switch.  I like the feel of the paper calendar, the purpose of writing in pen, the thrill of physically crossing items off the list, and the nostalgia of my youth.  I still use an academic planner (August to July, rather than January to December) like I did in high school.  However, I also like to be able to see my week at a glance and to read, in its entirety, everything written for that week.  My brain has been wired that way.  I am a digital immigrant, and my phone just doesn't cut it when I try to read and plan my life.

More important than the physical limitation of the technology is my (in)ability to manage my many roles in one virtual calendar.  I have separate Google accounts for my professional and personal lives.  Coordinating calendars across accounts requires more effort than my digital immigrant brain can handle - especially when I can manage that coordination beautifully on my paper calendar.  I need not log into two separate spaces.  I simply open my book, and I can read and write my life.

When I realized that my calendar had been rendered useless with four of the next twelve months serving as charcoal, I paused to consider my next step.  Would I join the other half of the table at work?  Would I push myself to adopt new technology?  Would I figure out how to combine my various roles in life through one online space? After all, it would be pretty difficult for my husband or kids to destroy a virtual calendar.

I've decided that coordinating mom and professor  is a routine that doesn't yet need changing.

1 comment:

  1. Kristen, on Google calendar you can have one color for personal and one color for work and you can view separately or together. Ry loves making my work dates disappear from view!