Will your 2008 diary be virtual or paper?


In the course of planning how I’ll run my personal organisation system next year, I’ve had to do some thinking about whether to use an online calendar, or continue to use a paper one. In my job, which involves a lot of travel and external meetings, I need a portable calendar which contains not only my appointments but also the information I need about them (ie who is attending, their contact details, maps or directions for getting there, etc). I also need to be able to make new appointments on the spot – I hate having to say “I’ll need to check my diary when I get back to my desk” – so my diary goes with me everywhere.
There’s no reason why I couldn’t use a PDA for this, in fact I’ve done so before. This gives the benefit of being able to synch information from your desktop computer to your portable one. But to be honest, I return to the paper diary because I prefer to write
notes in my diary to having to synch the PC and PDA, or update a PDA with it’s fiddly little keyboard.
More recently the ability to share invitations and events via Google Calendar has gotten me using that for planning joint events, so for 2008 I plan to use Google Calendar for joint events, and my Moleskine for planning my personal day to day schedule.
So will you be an electronic or paper diary person in 2008? Do you use a blend of both? Share your system in comments please.


  • I print out my Google calendar page (the monthly view) for the current and following month. These are folded up and carried around in my organiser-notebook, and I add any updates to the online version whenever I have a moment. I find this covers most of my needs.

    (Am really enjoying the AU-specific Lifehacker articles, so thanks for your efforts!)

  • My Mobilepro 900c with CMONEX’s custom CE Rom goes everywhere with me. Syncing is easy (although I never use the calendar updates on my PC). It is also great for typing docs and inputing student data into a spreadsheet (I be a teacher). I also take a small notepad and pen with me to jot down quick notes as I need them. Guess I swing both ways.

  • Hi Sarah, yes it’s great to have Aus specific content!

    I love Google Calendar and it’s the only calendar that works for me as I’m spread over several different computers, but it just captures appointments/events – I don’t use it to plan my day – that I do in paper. So each review/planning period I write out my appointments for the day/week in my paper action planning sheets.

  • Oh my. I just looked at their webpage to see what you’re talking about and, wow. Could be great for me to manage writing projects too. I’m going to check it out. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  • Paper: no backup – except xerox/copying (but who does this, with dozens or hundreds of pages (calender, appointments, contacts and notes, daily or at least weekly?).

    Online/Web: the server stops working (hacked, exploded, cables cut, whatever) or your router/modem/phone/whatever stops working – no way to access your data. Just imagine this: you need your appointments, contacts, project stuff, but you can’t get to it! Also, I keep hearing of lots of security leaks on popular web sites – so take care where you store your sensible data (if your data is not sensible, you need not care).

    PC, netbook, or PDA with sync to PC is the only way to go. If you need paper, print your stuff out in the morning and take it with you, then type new stuff in in the evening.

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