Paper or Plastic?

January 23, 2012

Personal organizer, that is.

Most of us use some sort of system to stay organized and on track. Some people opt for electronic organizers (“plastic”), and others stick with paper-based systems. You can probably guess: I’m a paper person. (Yes, I know, it’s the 21st century.)

Electronic organizers have certain advantages—they’re lightweight and portable, hold tons of information, can be kept current when synced with your computer and can often access email. But there’s just something so deeply satisfying in putting my pen to paper, in writing in my obligations and, eventually, crossing them off. My personal organizer has a month-at-a-glance calendar, a two-page spread for each week, a section for important numbers and quite a hefty section devoted to books I want to read. I have some favorite pictures in there, too. I find it very easy to use—just flip it open and jot down whatever-it-is. It’s also a fun way to look back on previous months with their notes, questions, birthdays and social engagements. I’ve had the binder itself since we moved to Florida more than 20 years ago! I love sitting down with it on Sunday afternoons to plan out my week. It’s like an old—albeit slightly grubby and battered—friend. It can’t break, run out of batteries or crash and eat my data, though it can be a pain to transfer data when a new year rolls around and it can get messy when I tuck various bits of paper into the front and back pockets. Choosing new inserts each year is a simple pleasure I always look forward to. I try to make it pleasant to work with all year long.

Old Faithful
Of course there’s no right or wrong organizer system—just one that feels right to you and one that you’ll use. (I’ve found from sad experience that it doesn’t help to write down the appointment if you don’t look at the calendar again.)

And now I’m going to go cross off “write blog post” on my to-do list for today!

What type of organizer do you use? Do you prefer paper or plastic?

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  1. I prefer paper too, although I'm not nearly as organized as you. I make lists and keep a calendar - that's about it. My calendar is a small one that I keep in my purse and I try to write all my appointments and other obligations in it. I have a grocery list on the refrigerator, and other lists of things I want to do or buy scattered about. And I find it satisfying to cross items off my lists.

  2. Cheryl--Crossing off items is great! A tiny perk for accomplishing something. Do you have a list of books you want to read?

  3. I prefer paper, but mostly use plastic these days. Those missed appointments? Yeah, those. That's what made me go for plastic, because then I can ask my calendar to remind me to make the appointment. However.....

    I still keep a big old long to-do list because I do love being able to mark things off as done. So paper hasn't completely gone to the wayside!

  4. Sounds like a good combination! Less forgetting, but still the satisfaction of crossing things off.

  5. Funny, I don't have a list of books I want to read - I just have STACKS of books I want to read!

  6. Oh yeah, there's my wish list on paperback swap - I guees that's my list of books I want to read.

  7. A girl can never have too many TBR lists!