Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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September 14, 2011 • News

Should I Just Etch That On A Stone Tablet For You?

Look, I’ve been using a digital calendar exclusively since I bought the HP95LX back more than 20 years ago. I was never the type to carry a DayRunner or other planner, but I had great multi-purpose cases for my Newton, HP200LX, and Palm/Pocket PC devices. So I was bemused at my answer when Dan came to the Gear Diary crew and asked:

Do any of you know ANYONE who uses a paper calendar? I ask because my amexcard wrote to offer me a “free” desk and pocket calendar and before I rant I wanted to check if i am offbase. I mean, I assume their clients are fairly sophisticated and use… smartphones. No?

My reply to him:

We have a door-width one mounted on our pantry door, an awesome one with lines for each family member on each day as well as full-family events.

My (non-smartphone) wife uses one to track the scheduling at her work within their department as it is rather fluid.

Me? Heck no, not since before I got the HP95LX more than 20years ago!

Dan then asked:

So do you see there still being a market for a desk and pocket paper calendar/planner?

I dug further with folks I work with and found more info:

In my business life – which is on the tech side of things – I tend to see loads of smartphones … and loads of paper. Most folks seem to still keep a paper planner, and keep notes on paper as well. It is positively barbaric! 😀 I’ve gotten two people using iPads now at least 🙂

– At my work now and back in Massachusetts, we are required to have a ‘controlled’ lab notebook that keeps our records and discoveries and data and is dated, signed and witnessed weekly. This immediately pushes the paper aspect.
– Also, while the world might be moving to smartphones, most larger companies are only grudgingly moving in that direction. At my work when I interviewed I had to surrender my camera phone, and at first there was a strict no-camera policy when has only recently softened to either ‘camera ok but register your phone’ or ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ depending on location. And our company is not alone.
– Finally … even going back to Palm/WinCE PDAs companies were very skeptical/reluctant to allow full-on syncing of devices.

All of these things set up a corporate environment where at best people log stuff into their Outlook calendar and (!) print it out to stuff in their notebook.

Francis added:

its unbelievable but absolutely. even with technology people seem to love them. like for schedules at work, or something everyone needs to see but want to publish only once. i dont have paper anything really, but others….without a doubt.

Thomas added:

Yes, quite a few people at work use paper calendars or print from Outlook. My wife puts some stuff in her phone but keeps appointment reminders (dentist, etc.) on the side of the fridge.

I usually put her appointments on my calendar in Google and remind her. 😉

Travis added:

Sporting goods reps and the military always brings us the giant desk calendars and planner books. I use a paper calendar to plan our district softball schedule since I am the district chair. That is a few hour job though, the it is back on my phone.

So there is a totally non-statistical sample from our crew, which says that literally decades after the declaration of the coming ‘paperless office’ we are as dependant on paper for schedules and calendars as ever!

What is your experience? Let us know in the comments!

2 Responses to " Should I Just Etch That On A Stone Tablet For You? "

  1. Scot Taylor says:

    My iPhone syncs up my personal Google calendar and my work Zimbra calendar. However, I admit that they long ago lost their “coolness” factor and I’ve fallen in love with a Moleskine diary and a Kuretake Zig Letter Pen (current cartridge color Sunset Orange, previous color Sepia).

  2. Scot Taylor says:

    My iPhone syncs up my personal Google calendar and my work Zimbra calendar. However, I admit that they long ago lost their “coolness” factor and I’ve fallen in love with a Moleskine diary and a Kuretake Zig Letter Pen (current cartridge color Sunset Orange, previous color Sepia).

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