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Hanging up the Planner and Answering the Phone

By Savannah Cooper
On November 7, 2018

For the tech-savvy, reminder apps can add convenience to one's daily planning.
Photo Courtesy of Savannah Cooper

Reminder apps are the new black in the 21st century, so I decided to put down my pen for a week to see what a cellphone calendar could do for me.

I am a very old-fashioned person. Instead of navigating through social media as soon as I wake up and before bed, I opt for a good book to start and end my day with. Likewise, I would rather receive a nice phone call instead of texting all day. I am not the person to come to with any type of question about technology.

This being said, when I was presented with the opportunity to switch up my routine from using a planner for scheduling to using iPhone apps for reminders, I was very intrigued. The thought of being able to lighten my literal load by putting all the information I would need for the week in my phone was appealing.

The flipside to this curiosity was fear. The thought of typing something in wrong or messing up the time for a meeting were my greatest fears. Although mistakes can be made in a written planner, my skills with technology, or lack thereof, made me question my ability to handle the simple task of setting a reminder.

Ultimately, I pushed my fears to the side and entered all of my weekly activities into my phone. Special events for the week were put into the calendar app while meetings and appointments were placed in the reminder app. After I entered everything in, I spent the rest of the night double and triple checking that I typed and set everything in correctly.

Monday’s reminders came at me fast. Because Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are my busiest days of the week, my notifications were continuous. Once I figured out how to remove the reminders from my screen, I was set for the day. As the day progressed, I realized that I should not have set multiple reminders for the same appointment. It turns out I would not forget about the event in the 15 minutes between my reminders. Needless to say, Monday was filled with dings and bells.

Tuesday turned out to be a more pleasant experience with the apps. I ended up switching my settings and placing one alarm for each event instead of three. This allowed me to glance at my phone every now and then to be reminded of my event.

By Wednesday, I had started to really enjoy my new tech-reliant life. I did not have to worry about carrying around my bulky journal, I never needed to search for a pen when something new for the week came up and worrying about spilling something on my pages was a thing of the past. By this time, I was ready to make the full-time switch to planning apps.

On Thursday morning, I realized something that did not hit me until I sat down to drink my coffee; I missed getting to sit and plan out my day in the mornings. Before my updated routine, I would sit down in the mornings, study my planner for the day, and anticipate the day I had ahead. Since the shift, I no longer needed to have my meditation-like time because everything was pre-set in my phone. Once the realization hit me, I longed for my planner.

Friday, the last day of my test, was decision day. After a full day of events and notifications, I sat and reflected on my week. The plus side to using the apps dealt with how quick and easy they were to use. If an old-fashioned person like me can figure them out, anyone can. I also did not have to look at my journal every few hours since the reminders showed up on my phone.

The downside to the apps revolved around my nostalgia for a planner. Yes, I had to look at my journal a few times throughout the day, but it never dinged at me at an inappropriate time. My planner also encouraged me to take a few minutes in the morning to relax while preparing for the day. For me, a peaceful feeling was brought by writing out the day and highlighting important events.

Ultimately, although it is less convenient, I ended up switching back to using a planner to keep up with my schedule. If I was a little more tech-savvy, my decision may have been different. In the end, I am glad I did the experiment because it helped me realize why I liked using a planner so much. Although technology can be our friend, it can also take away from the experience of spending time with ourselves and our thoughts.

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