Howdy from Texas

I've actually been around for almost a month, but had some login troubles, which seem to have gotten better (at least as long as I use IE as my browser).

I don't remember how I ended up stumbling onto, but I had already made lots of templates by the time I did. I have to admit that after I saw how slick they could be, I did go through them and polish them up a bit.

I got my first Daytimer in 1980-something with my first promotion into management. My boss told me I would need one of these, and I was shocked at how much they cost, but she was buying. One of the most valuable tips she gave me was to remember that I could either follow the headers provided for each section or I could use them for something I found more useful. I had the Senior Pocket size, in a 2-page-per-day format. They call it something else now because someone at Daytimer thought it was important to change what they call it.

Later on, I became a teacher, and I had to pay for my planner myself, and I didn't have a lot of money, so I started printing my own. I made booklets which I stapled and trimmed myself.

Later, working somewhere else and for more money, Daytimer came out with software, and I was very happy with that. I switched to a ring binder, in the Junior Pocket size, which later became the Jotter size (the pages are around 3x5, so I was ahead of my time ). I bought my paper from them, in break-apart sheets with six pages to a sheet. Their software did an amazing job of printing the calendar pages so that, for example, the left-hand Tuesday page was on the back of the right-hand Monday page.

I liked that I could put recurring events into the software and forget about them (everything from the team meeting every Wednesday to my wife's birthday). There was no such thing as a PDA back then, and people were pretty impressed at my high-tech system. I would print out a rolling two-week window of my calendar. If an appointment came along that was in that window, I would write it in. I had a section for "future entries," too, and before printing the next batch, I would enter those into the software. My address book was also in the software, and I would write updates on the pages, then periodically, update the software and print nice clean new pages.

I got a kick out of watching a supergeek friend of mine search for a phone number on his Merlin (I think that's what it was called, one of the early PDA's), while I pulled my Daytimer out of my pocket and flipped to the "F" section in about 1/10 the time.

Then something got corrupted in the software, a DLL file or something, and no amount of uninstalling and reinstalling would fix it. That's when I discovered that Daytimer had discontinued support for their software. I tried other options, but nothing would print the pages out the right way. I tried making my own application, and that's when I began to truly appreciate how sophisticated the Daytimer software's printing was.

I finally bought a PDA, for around $500. I thought it would be a little computer, didn't realize that it would have its own operating system, and that I was stuck with Outlook. Even third-party applications were mere window dressing over the Outlook database. Outlook is junk. Appointments showed up in other months than where I intended to put them, things got duplicated, things got deleted, things got changed. That series of meetings every Wednesday got messed up if one week it got moved to an hour later. The battery went dead and I had several hours of reinstalling to go through. Every time something went awry (which happened a lot), I had to establish synchronization all over, and more stuff would get duplicated or deleted. I had lots of applications installed, and was constantly having to check their websites for updates and patches and bug fixes and new versions with new features. Pretty soon, I was disgusted by how much maintenance this system needed, and how much time I was spending *on* it, instead of *using* it. When the battery got to where it would only run for about 45 minutes, and I was looking at $100 to get a new one, I put it on a shelf, where it lies today.

I got a Classic size Franklin Covey binder on EBay for $18.50, including shipping. I decided on a bigger format than what I used to have, because my eyes don't deal with tiny print so well anymore. I thought this would be a good size, too, because the pages are just letter-size paper cut in half. So, for less than the cost of a new battery for my PDA, I have a whole new system, which I can configure to my whims without a lot of time and effort.

I'm so happy to be back in these comfortable, sensible shoes, and very glad to see a website like this one, where I can get all kinds of useful things to put in my binder, and also know that there are a lot of other people out there who are coming to their senses and pushing back against the PDA craze.


Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Welcome to the site. You definitely can't go wrong with a good Classic size planner! Especially if you have a good printer & hole punch. I recommend if you don't have one already, go for the metal Franklin Covey hole punch. After using the plastic one for a while, I can only punch one page at a time and have problems opening it after every punch. The metal one is very well made and can easily punch 3 pages at a time.

Paper planners are so much easier... There are two electronic calendar systems where I work and I have not been able to sync them due to network issues. My solution: "sync" both of them with my paper planner. It takes about 2 minutes a day and requires no special software besides what is in my brain and no hardware besides pen & paper.