This is a conversation I have with myself every January while browsing the paper goods section of a store. (See here, 2012.) Maybe I should start a planner for 2016. That one would be perfect. Maybe I’ll keep it up this year. It’d be a good time capsule. I love looking at my planners. Such memories. Though, for the past few years, I can’t manage to maintain a planner.
Yup, every year. I haven’t kept a true planner since graduate school. It makes more sense for school because of all the assignments and exams and scheduling. I haven’t kept a hand-written diary in a few years. Everything is digital now. I have my outlook calendar for work and my google and apple calendars. Everything is linked to my phone. However, I miss the satisfaction of crossing off items on my to-do list, jotting down a to-do list, and flipping through pages to see what this year has brought. I’ve yet to find a satisfying app for a to-do list.
I didn’t realize the impermanent nature of digital calendars until I switched jobs last April. My work calendar of the previous 5 years was gone because I no longer had that email address. Meetings, days in the field, all of it vanished. It seems minor, but I like remembering what I did on a certain day in a particular year. It’s how my brain pieces together memories. Suddenly, a digital calendar seemed helpful, but not a reliable record of my life.
Naturally, I flipped through calendars and planners in all of the stationery sections of all of the stores as 2015 came to a close. I can’t help it. And then I found one that I adored. A weekly/monthly planner for 2016 with an aesthetic that spoke to me. I know planner addicts know what I mean.
What will I do with this planner? Good question. So far, I’m using it to jot down plans with friends, appointments, events, and to make a note about each day – such as “cooked dinner at home,” “xc skiing with friends,” “slept in,” “long run with the girls,” “trip to IKEA” or something mundane that I just want to record so I can remember how the days pass. That’s as important to my soul as the bigger events.
While we’re talking digital v. paper, running jumps into the conversation. I run with a Garmin, which records all of my runs and routes and distances, etc. It uploads nicely into the Garmin website and an iphone app, too. I love it. But, this year, I fell in love with the Believe journal designed by pro-runners for runners. Most runners love to obsess about training and mileage. I am one of them. There is something gratifying about writing down my workouts and goals and keeping track, tallying up results, and flipping through a beautiful book about running.
Thus, this year, my goal is to use my planner and my running journal for the entire year. Maybe it’s a bit of duplication from my digital life, but it’s completely enjoyable.
How are you keeping track of 2016? How do you feel about long term digital life?