I have carried a personal planner in the form of a DayTimer binder around with me for, well, probably since when they were invented. I cannot remember in my adult working life not having one with me at all times. I continued using one even with today’s modern technology. I found that if I did not have the planner in front of me or at arm’s length things would not get done or would fall through the cracks. I like having the ability to have an overview of everything that needs to be done that day or month and be able to schedule my time accordingly. I liked having all the data I needed in one place at all times. This was imperative when owning a small business. In retirement…not so much.
I owned a DayTimer planner but it also had DayRunner items inside as well as a few Franklin Covey things. DayTimer for me is really the generic name for a five ring binder with a monthly calendar and pages for daily lists and appointments. It also holds a section for phone numbers, membership cards, business cards and anything else you can five hole punch. There are all types of these binders/planners by other names. Over the past few years I have noticed the market for them shrinking a bit but there are still a lot to choose from.
There was a time when it was hard to depend on modern technology to stick around for very long. Remember the Palm Pilot? Things changed quickly and the new fad electronic gizmos to store your important data could be gone the next year. You would have to spend a day reloading everything all over again and again and again. There was also a learning curve with the new technology. So, I stuck with my binder and its paper pages. I knew how to operate it and I all I had to do was add new inserts each year. Every November like clockwork, I ordered my new inserts for my planner or I went to the store to pick them out depending if I had time.
December 31, 2014 came and I found I was at the end of my pages in my planner. I was at a loss what to do. I barely have much to write in a calendar these days. I think I can remember that on Wednesday the gang is getting together for lunch or that on Monday the parts for the engine repair arrive via UPS. I can surely remember that on Thursday we leave for a trip. We have a boat computer with scheduled reminders of regular maintenance so I really don’t need a planner any longer. I still need lists for things to do or shopping lists but really not so much as when I was working. Nothing a small spiral notebook couldn’t handle. Or for that matter, I could keep the “To Do” list on my phone like real modern day folks do.
It is now January 11th. I still have my planner and it is still going everywhere I go. I think it might be a security blanket. Maybe just habit. It still ended December 31, 2014. I tell myself I need it because it holds other items like phone numbers, addresses, and business cards. But to be honest, all this information is stored in my cell phone as well. I have a vision of getting in an accident. Someone finds my binder with 12/31/14 as the last date and I end up in the special ward of the hospital.
I think the planner needs to go the way of Mark’s slippers (for those who read about their demise). Old, worn out and part of our past lives. Sometimes things just need to die away. Another item in our lives gone the way of the dinosaurs and worn slippers. Another item no longer needed in retirement and replaced by technology. In our downsizing lives my planner is not “storage worthy”. It has no purpose in our future lives so it has to go. Maybe I should have a special moment, say a quite prayer over it as it is lowered into the trash can. I am not sure I can actually put it in a trash can just yet. I guess for now it will sit on the desk in its special place until the next dumpster arrives.