“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” – Christian Lous Lange, historian
Can we live without the electronics? Certainly. Technology has it’s place. Without it, this blog would be nonexistent so I am definitely appreciative of what the internet brings to the table. But I would be remiss to devalue good, old-fashioned pen and paper.
Since at least 2001, I’ve maintained both an electronic and a written calendar. In middle school, it was done with a digital organizer from RadioShack and the standard planner that every MMS student got. In high school, while I had the CHHS version of the same planner, I upgraded my digital calendar to a Palm Pilot (I was cool). From college on, while I switched up day planners annually based on what would best serve my needs, I’ve been consistently keeping the digital version of my calendar on Google, with work-related events duplicated on whatever system my job at the time uses. The Google calendar has been synced to my Motorola Q, BlackBerry, and numerous iPhones since freshman year. It’s worked out pretty well for me.
There is value in keeping a hard copy calendar and auditing your calendars weekly. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has had trouble with a phone/tablet before. Whether it outright dies or is just moving slowly, if you need to get somewhere at a certain time, reading it on a piece of paper is always an effective method.
So, today, slide over to Target or Barnes & Noble or OfficeMax or wherever else you think you can grab a planner that will make you want to use it. This year, I ordered one from Target’s website that says “If you keep thinking it’s Friday, eventually it will be” on the cover. Once you get yours, start plugging all your set dates for 2018 (goal deadlines, birthdays, work events, family functions, vacation time, etc.) into both your Google/Yahoo/etc. calendar and into your hard copy one.
And, since we’re on the topic of paper plus digital, reading and typing on a screen aren’t the best for your eyes. Grab a notebook (preferably made of recycled paper) to free write sometimes. To me, it’s much more engaging than punching away at some keys.
Tip: If you don’t want to spend your money on a planner and your department has room in the budget to purchase one for you, that’s always a win. It’s definitely a worthwhile work expense.
Make professional development a priority.