Shannon Stacey

When only paper will do

At 6:00 this morning I went to my refrigerator to get the milk for my first coffee of the day and thought…oh crap.

I think that fairly often while standing at my fridge, but usually it’s because I forgot to get milk or because the pile of elementary school art projects and empty gift bags I’m just sure I’ll reuse are about to come down on my head in an avalanche of paper. This morning it was because I looked at the refrigerator door and realized I didn’t have a 2011 calendar.

Now, if you know me, you’re thinking: But Shan, you have two computers, four iPod Touches, an iPad and a Droid X in your house. You’re far from lacking in calendars.

Okay, true. But the one thing I can’t give up is a paper calendar. It’s hung at eye level on the fridge door where I can glance at it while getting the milk for that first cup of caffeine. I’ve found that, while the Google calendar may seem to be my lifeline and sync so wonderfully across all my many gadgets, it only works if you actually look at it. My paper calendar I look at.

So this morning, after dropping SK off at school (and I do feel like the only mom I know mourning the end of Christmas break), I ran to Staples and bought a paper calendar to go on my fridge. Sadly, there’s no way for Google to magically sync my appointments to paper, but writing them in with a real pen and everything helps cement things in my head.

Do you still use a paper calendar or have you gone digital?

And speaking of gadgets, today I’m at Access Romance, talking about gadgets and awareness of digital reading. Please stop by and visit me there!

11 comments to “When only paper will do”

  1. Katie D
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 3:30 pm · Link

    I have a similar love of the paper calendar. I wrote an “ode” to them when buying my 2010 calendar. I realized back in high school that my memory is very spatially oriented, so I need to physically write something in a particular space to have it stick in my memory.

  2. Kelly
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 3:32 pm · Link

    I still use the paper calendar as well.

  3. Lee Laughlin
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm · Link

    Like you I have Goggle sync across all my devices, but I hav a large paper calendar that hangs in the kitch and eye level for the short and loud set.

    This makes it easier for them (10 and 6) to track our activities with out me nagging them or them nagging me (Mom, what are we doing today)?

  4. Lori
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm · Link

    Yes! Exactly. It does the family no good if I’ve got al my calendars synced, but there’s an orthodontist appt my hub has to take the kid to. The general rule in our house is that if it’s not on the fridge calendar, it doesn’t exist.

  5. azteclady
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 4:29 pm · Link


    I have a magnet calendar on my computer’s casing, where I can just glance and get it, but I need the paper one to actually keep track of things–for me, it’s the physical act of writing it that helps me actually remember whatever it is I’m putting down. For some reason, typing doesn’t have the same effect in my (faulty) memory!

  6. Jaci Burton
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 4:44 pm · Link

    I use iCal, which syncs across all my devices (and devices, we have many). This is where I put all my deadlines and Dr appts and birthday reminders and add in the alarms to pop up reminders.

    But I actually use two paper calendars. One hanging in the kitchen where I post the monthly dog flea/heartworm medication reminder, and one above the desk just so I can glance up and see the date.

    So yeah, we buy two paper calendars every year. Must be the old folks in us. Can’t get away from them. :roll:

  7. MJ
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 10:39 pm · Link

    I have a weekly calendar on my fridge where I make my daily to-do list. I have a 4-month dry-erase calendar to keep me organized, and I have a Harlequin calendar just for the pretty pictures :) As much as I love digital, I don’t use iCal or any of those.

  8. library addict
      · January 3rd, 2011 at 11:40 pm · Link

    I use the calendar in my phone to set reminders for myself.

    But I still have 3 paper calendars. The big wall one in the kitchen for all of the teen’s activities, a mini-wall calendar on my “office” bulletin board which lists birthdays and anniversaries, and the 2-year planner calendar in my purse which also has birthdays/anniversaries as well as the books I want to buy in the side notes column.

    That’s not to mention the handy year-at-a-glance one from the Hallmark store which sits by my computer screen.

    We tried one of those white board calendars to keep track of the teen’s stuff, but found it’s too easy to erase important stuff by accident, so a paper calendar is a must. Plus, it’s centrally located so we both see it.

  9. Marie Harte
      · January 4th, 2011 at 5:31 pm · Link

    Funny. I actually was happy to have my kids go back to school. I love them, but two little boys with boundless energy make me nutso after day three. And they were home for two weeks!

    On another note, like you, I am crazy for a paper calendar. I was in tears a few years ago when they stopped the Far Side calendars. Now I have an M.C. Escher calendar on my wall. And I use it despite the electronic calendars on my computer. Hey, it’s hanging right there on my wall. I can type and look at it. And it’s paper. Call me old school.

    :smile: Marie

  10. Shannon
      · January 4th, 2011 at 7:51 pm · Link

    So far, everybody but one person (on my Facebook page) still uses paper.

    At least when the zombie apocalypse comes and the power goes out, we’ll all still be on time! :lol:

  11. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · January 5th, 2011 at 10:46 pm · Link

    I’m late, but oh, well. :)

    I think it’s actual tested fact that we secure things in our memory better when we write them physically, as opposed to digitally. So the results don’t surprise me at all.

    We don’t have devices to sync across, so I don’t actually use any kind of digital calendar. (Digital to-do list is a different story.) I have a dry erase board for everyone to quickly glance at, but my life is in an old-fashioned Daytimer-style planner, which I find faster to whip out and scribble in than a handheld device, anyway.

    I also generally have a small paper calendar in my office to keep track of paydays and for the whole year to just be available at a glance.

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