In Praise of the Electronic Calendar

Towards the end of 2021 I bought my usual paper calendar and started to jot down the skeleton of my commitments for 2022. In October 2021 I’d started a new part-time job as a library assistant which requires me to work alternate Saturdays. Also in 2021 I became a co-leader of a Shared Reading group – my turn comes around every other Thursday.In Praise of Electronic Calendars
I couldn’t be bothered to go through the whole calendar and work out the dates of both of these two-weekly engagements. Then, my husband, who was working away during the week and didn’t have sight of the joint paper calendar, began putting dates into his phone so he had them to hand.
That was my light bulb moment! I stepped forth into the convenience of the electronic calendar and wondered why I’d been a dinosaur for so long.
It was easy to download the Calendar app and I discovered it was possible to set up single events for the library job and Shared Reading and then tell the calendar to schedule the events fortnightly going forward. What a time saver!
I discovered it was possible to make my calendar visible to my husband and vice versa – so we can see if there are any clashes with dates.
I discovered it was possible to set up an event and send an email invite to someone else.
If I’m out and someone suggests a date for our next meeting, it’s easy to check the calendar on my phone and see when I’m free – no more waiting until I’m home to look at the joint paper calendar hanging on the wall.
So far I’ve come across only two disadvantages to the electronic calendar. Firstly, I can’t simply glance at the wall as I walk past to see what’s happening over the next week – I have to remember to check my phone (but you can elect to get e-reminders of events in advance). Secondly, I have a vague fear of the servers belonging to the calendar provider crashing and burning – and taking the whole of my life with them. But the same could’ve happened to the paper calendar hanging in my hall.
Like everyone else, my work life has long been governed by an electronic calendar on the office laptop. It’s just taken me a very long time to make my personal life easier by embracing the calendar on my phone!
I’m using Google Calendar but other electronic calendars are available – as I’m sure you know because you’re probably light years ahead of me in your use of them. Please let me know that I’m not the only one who’s taken so long to embrace technology!

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  1. #1 by Arnie Witkin on April 1, 2022 - 11:45 am

    Sally, because my wife and I have vastly different schedules, we thought that it would be a good idea to have one diary. It couldn’t be electronic, because our meetings would have clashed and that’s difficult for the electronic diary. We have a very nice moleskin diary in which we both put our appointments so that we always know what we’re doing. If we have to make an arrangement for both of us, we can see whether we are both free. Works wonderfully.

    Warm regards


    Arnie Witkin

    Life coach and mentor

  2. #3 by Michael Guerin on April 1, 2022 - 12:38 pm

    Dear Sally, Well done, I too am a technological dinosaur. I shall experiment with this technology and may become a convert!!! Thanks for promulgating this concept. Kind wishes, Michael.

    Sent from my iPad


    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on April 1, 2022 - 12:42 pm

      It’s definitely worth a try, Michael! Thanks for dropping by.

  3. #5 by juliathorley on April 4, 2022 - 8:41 am

    Occasionally, Google or some such will automatically add events to my e-calendar, but I much prefer a traditional diary. It has always been a must-have present for my October birthday. Of course, one benefit of not being able to check my availability on the spot is that I can say, ‘Oh, can I get back to you about that? I’ll have to check my diairy.’ I can’t always think of a good reason to say ‘no’ on the spur of the moment!

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on April 5, 2022 - 10:26 am

      Good point, Julia – sometimes an on the spot excuse about why we can’t accept an invitation isn’t always forthcoming!

  4. #7 by lynnforthauthor on April 4, 2022 - 11:11 am

    In awe at the technology, Sally…it’s the wall hanging month-at-a-view calendar for me too…as you say, I can glance at it as I walk past and I retain a sort of photographic memory of it. I can picture a week and know we have something on, say, a Wednesday morning. But our lives aren’t as complicated as yours.

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on April 5, 2022 - 10:28 am

      There’s a lot to be said in praise of that calendar on the wall! Maybe one day, when I retire (!), the complications will go and the calendar will return …

  5. #9 by Carl D'Agostino on April 9, 2022 - 10:04 am

    I still use just a paper calendar. It’s on the kitchen wall but does have some inconvenience. I have to take it down when scheduling and updating and take it to bedroom where my landline phone is. I have to bring it with me to doctors appointments to schedule the next one without conflict in times or dates. I do have auto electronic calendar for all medical related on my patient portal on line. Things would not be the same without my calendar on the kitchen wall. From childhood to now, there’s always been one on the kitchen wall. I don’t feel embarrassed and it’s comforting to have the old ways remain in my life. I still have personalized stamped stationery, envelopes, stamps and a fountain pen. In waiting rooms, I am the only one reading an actual book in hand.

    • #10 by Sally Jenkins on April 9, 2022 - 5:00 pm

      I think we stick to what works best for us, Carl. And I love that you still use a fountain pen and stationery – handwritten letters are lovely and something that I miss. Emails just aren’t the same although they are quicker & more convenient.
      Thanks for dropping by.

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