Paper or...?

At the grocery store, or at my grocery store at least, they have stopped asking me if I prefer paper or plastic. We default to plastic unless I remember to say something before the groceries start their interminable beep, beep, beep across the register. I never remember.

Which is really too bad, because I do prefer paper. While plastic grocery bags are good for one thing (bagging kitty litter), paper grocery bags are multi-functional. And recyclable. In the world of groceries, as in so many other places, paper is just... better. And yet we fail to give it its due.

Take planners as another example. The most 21st-century of us can decide between our do-it-all, know-it-all phones for calendar purposes, or our tablets (I don't actually have one of those), or our computers. Most computers come with some kind of calendar program, and if not, there is always the all-knowing, all-seeing Google.

I have both a know-it-all phone (which I like) and an all-knowing Google account (which I love), but I am successful in using neither to keep track of my life. When I finally upgraded to my current phone from my dumbphone, I decided to make an effort to consolidate: I stopped carrying around my annual Moleskine planner. I always had the double-spread weekly view, with one page showing the days of the week and the other a blank lined page for my listmaking activities. Now I have iCal. And Evernote. I have synced my work calendar with my personal calendar (a depressing thought, actually), and my work to-dos have their own notebook within the Evernote app, while my personal to-dos have yet another, and so on.

And I hate it. I have been doing this for over six months because this is the generation we live in, this generation of consolidating, of tools that can do anything and everything, of combining our work lives and our personal lives. But I cannot catalog my life on a screen. I cannot relate to it, I do not complete my lists, and I never check for appointments before making a new one.

I am now actively searching for a new paper planner for 2012, one in which I can scribble notes to myself, and make weekend honey-do lists, and keep a copy of my 26 by 26 list on hand. I will continue to use my smartphone for work, where I live in a world of technology and ever-changing schedules, calendars, and due dates, but for me, and my own life, I will remain on paper until they stop printing paper planners.


  1. I totally hear you about the paper planner rather than being iSavy. I love my Siri but cannot for the life of me give up pen and paper when it comes to lists, important dates, deadlines, etc. AND I just recently purchased one for 2012 which I luuurrvve! (Link below) It's probably larger than what you are looking for, but it's beeUtiful.

  2. Hey kerry, if you're looking for a Christmas present for dear ole Dad, I'd love a nice moleskin. I've been all electric for five years now and I'm with you on this.

  3. I'm almost 100% electronic with everything -- Kindle, know-it-all phone, Google account... I'm even considering getting a Mac Mini and digitizing all of my DVDs and just leaving it hooked up to my TV.

    The one thing I won't keep digital is my planner. Moleskine Page-A-Day planner every year for probably 6 or 7 years, which reminds me that I need to get off my butt and actually put my list of "For 2012 Planner" into my new one.

  4. Christina - What a gorgeous planner! I can't do spiral-bound (I inevitably ruin the spiral and then it doesn't lay flat and it's all bad from there), but I love that one!

    Dad - Duly noted. The Moleskine double-sided ones with one side for planning and one for lists are the best kind.

    K.R. - Love that! You are Mr. Digital over there, so I don't feel so out of date with my need for a paper planner if you are a paper planner, too.

  5. I suck at keeping my calendar and to-do lists on my iPhone. Nothing beats paper!


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