Why I’m returning to a paper diary
For a few years I used a very nice black Moleskine diary, the kind with a week to a page, and lined page for notes on the other side – a week to a page is enough when you have only two or three appointments each day (i.e. rehearsals). However, when I finally joined the smartphone bandwagon almost 18 months ago, I decided to give google calendar a shot. It’s been OK, but I’ve decided to go back to the Moleskine.
Google-cal’s biggest selling point is that it’s accessible from my phone and my computer and always synced. I usually carry my phone around with me, so therefore, I almost always have access to my diary. The reminder function is also very helpful.
I’ve realised that the problem for me, and it’s a decisive one, is that I just don’t get any sense of time from google-cal, at least, not very easily. I’m a pretty visual-spacial person and I like to see how things relate. Having a week-to-a-page diary let’s me see not only my whole week in overview, but with a couple of page turns and I can physically ‘see’, for example, the time between now and when I need to have something learnt. I know that it’s possible to do this with digital devices, but it’s just not the same when it’s the screen changing (screen swiping is no match for comparing two pages). I notice this too when I read on the Kindle – it’s much more difficult to judge how much of the book is left; a figure of 65% is meaningless unless you’ve been paying attention to how quickly that number progresses.
I also prefer to write my to-do lists on paper (I don’t know why, but the to-do app on my phone just doesn’t seem to ‘do it’ for me) and Moleskines have nice paper. There’s something about nice paper which a screen just cannot replace.
I use google-cal as the basis for the schedule on my professional website, so I will keep that updated, and in the case of being asked a question sans-moleskine, I’ll be able to look at my phone and see if I’ve got a show that day, or not.
I’m not being a Luddite – I use my phone for many things, including reading the bible at Church and small-group, but there’s room in my life for the both of them.
Do you use a digital or paper diary (or both)?