Note: I am not touting one company or device over another. I am simply writing about what I’m familiar with and use.
Last week was my birthday. Originally I had mentioned to my husband that I would love an iPad, that we could get one for the two of us to share but that it could count as my birthday gift. My hubby is not one to spend a lot of money, especially when we already have items that will perform the same function. So imagine my surprise when he and my entire family all chipped in to buy me an iPad. It is the iPad 2—since I have never owned one, I wouldn’t know the difference between it and the 3. Either way it’s new to me and very exciting. A whole new world of doing things has been open to me (with the exception of being able to comment on Blogger blogs without issue, but that’s another rant altogether).
Now that I have the iPad, and the iPod Touch, a few people have asked if the combination of the two and the way iCloud makes it so easy to share information between devices, if I would (finally, in their words) get rid of the paper planner. I have to admit that I thought about it for a millisecond, as in yeah, I can see the draw of using only an electronic device. It’s one less thing I’d have to carry. I could easily move tasks from one day to the next without having to rewrite all of my detailed information. I can enter information once and it’s accessible on all of my devices. But the truth is, I like writing down my schedule and to do lists. It helps me to remember my items. I like the weight and feel of paper and pen. We all understand this; this is why we’re here.
However, this does not mean that I don’t use the iDevices in tandem with my paper planner. I write down everything in my planner—my schedule, my to dos, my notes, my projects, my lists, and phone numbers of people I call often. I recently added my work to dos to my planner (an update and detailed information on the system is forthcoming). Every Sunday, I add my schedule to my Google Calendar so that my hubby has easy access to it (getting him to actually look at it is a separate issue). I have several calendars within my Google Calendar so that the items can be color coded, similar to how I color code in the planner. It includes my work schedule, my personal schedule, my exercise routines and yoga classes, and birthdays and anniversaries. My work calendar is shared with my work account, and all of the calendars are synced with the calendar app for both the iPad and iPod Touch. This allows me easy access to my entire schedule while using either of these devices. I don’t add items to the Google calendar without putting them into the planner first. I use it more as a reference tool.
I have always used a notebook and pen to take notes at work meetings. Now, with the iPad, I take notes in it using the Notes app. I wasn’t sure if I would like it at first (it felt all wrong), but what drew me to use it is its search capabilities. I can just type in a word or phrase and it searches through all of my notes to find the corresponding information. That’s just something you can’t do with paper, and when it comes to work, the faster I can accomplish something, the better. (In my planner, there is no need for a search tool since I know where everything is located.) With my calendar right at my fingertips on the iPad, I can also refer to it when choosing a date for the next meeting—I don’t even “need” to bring my planner with me (not that this stops me, mind you). And since I have both my work and personal Google accounts synched with the iPad, I have separate notes for both accounts—work notes go under my work account, and personal notes go under my personal account. My personal account has items like “Apps to Download,” “Gift Ideas,” and “To Dos.” Many of these lists get transferred to my planner on a weekly basis but it helps to write them down in the Notes app if I’m working on the device to begin with and my planner is not nearby (or I’m just being lazy). I do the same with the iPod Touch. I may end up having a number of lists in a number of different places, but eventually each item ends up in the planner, right where it belongs. I have been using this hybrid system for a while. It just now includes yet another device.
I don’t have the iDevice/Planner system down to an exact science yet. It’s a work in progress and might be for a while yet. But between the two devices and my planner, I may have found the best of both worlds—the traditional and the modern. It’s a way of moving forward without letting go of what has always worked. And isn’t life all about balance? Convincing those who are all about technology and the iWorld (and I know some who wouldn’t think of using anything else for any task) is the biggest challenge of all.