Monday, January 31, 2011

The Best Laid Plans...

I have been meaning to write this post about daily planners since the beginning of January. Ironically, because I failed to actually schedule it in my planner, I now find myself hurrying to write this post before February arrives. I'm not sure why I feel in a rush, other than by the time February rolls around the topic of planning for 2011 seems about as fresh as the air in a teenage boy's bedroom.

For the past 12 years I have used and loved a planner called The Family Calendar. It is produced by a company called Polestar Calendars. (They also make great business and student planners if anyone is in the market for one.)

On the first of January I took out my new Family Calendar and put it in its usual spot by the phone. And there it has sat neglected for the whole month. As I thumb back through the 2 page weekly spreads for this month I count just seven entries. In years gone by there were often that many for a single day! Here is a page from last November.

And here is Monday to Friday for the upcoming week in my 2011 calendar.

It's not like I suddenly have nothing to do. So what has happened? Well, this.

I now use iCal to keep track of my daily/weekly/monthly plans. At first I was using both out of a sense of loyalty, but as time has moved on I fear my Family Calendar has been sitting undisturbed for greater and greater lengths of time. The fact I can sync iCal on my computer with the calendar on my iPod Touch has also contributed to the overall neglect of my planner.

So it was with a sense of sadness and guilt that I turned the page of my planner this morning and noted there wasn't a single thing written down for this week. You might be wondering why I would feel guilty about such a seemingly trivial thing. After all, technology is taking over many areas of our lives, and clearly I have made the choice to use my computer rather than the old-fashioned method of actually writing something down in a book.

Well, here's the thing. I know the people who run Polestar Calendars. They run their family business from their home in Winlaw, BC. We were friends with them when we lived in the Kootenays. I know their livelihood depends on the sale of these calendars. I hope there are enough people out there who still use paper based planners that they are able to remain in business. For my part, even though it is no longer the indispensable item it once was in my life, I will continue to buy the calendar every year. I find myself wondering if this is how people felt about their horses when they brought home their first Model T. I rather doubt "glue factory" was the first thing to pop into their mind.


  1. I LOVE Polestar calendars, I used to buy them where I worked and they are my favourite planning calendar. Haven't seen one in a few years.

    I have used my iCal, but I don't check it enough. I still need things written down in front of me. I do use my sticky notes on my mac for my daily to do lists.

  2. Well, I have an igoogle calendar (which you just reminded me of) and because of your post I am going to attempt to use it a little more. I still go to my REAL desk calendar, though. It's pretty basic, but it does the job!

  3. @kate - it is nice to find another Polestar fan! I discovered the mac sticky note application a few weeks ago and love it.

    @aneta - I haven't looked at the igoogle calendar, but would guess it is similar to the iCal one. It took me awhile to totally switch over to a computer calendar.

  4. Hi, Kristie,
    I just wanted to say thanks for the comment in my blog, photos of snowdrops will be up on it this coming weekend I hope...
    loved your naked Korknisse and the Kinder egg saga, the hunt for wool, the losing of the car, the YakTrax and with you on the sadness of the decline of paper calendars and the rise and rise of the ICT versions...
    oh and the Birkenstocks, you go with them girl!!
    why not!

  5. The wonderful thing about the paper calendar is that you can keep them to look back on and to remember. Years later, I can glance at a calendar from 1992, and remember Gordon's senior year in high school..... friends he was meeting, plays he was in, things the younger kids were also involved in. I know I won't archive my old iCal pages, and I will be sad to lose the memories.

    Barbara M.

  6. @liz - looking forward to your pictures of snowdrops. Have you made the switch from paper to computer calendars?

    @Anon - You are right about having the paper calendars to look back on. I will really miss that. Is it possible to archive old iCal pages? I didn't know you could do that.

  7. One day if I have a laptop I may go to that kind of calendar, but for now I just use whatever free one has the biggest spaces. I've used art ones in the past and like that too, since it's front and center.

  8. The electronic is so convenient, but the paper is so much more...real. I never write letters anymore, e-mail won that battle, but it's doesn't feel the same. My calendar is electronic and so is my phone book. I hope I remember to keep everything properly charged and the power doesn't go out at a bad time.

    PS - My fours pairs of Yak Traxs arrived earlier this week, just ahead of a small ice storm. =)