Paper or Plastic?

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I live in a paper and plastic household.

My partner totes her blackberry everywhere; I carry my canvas folio with my Sapa X recycled in my purse or laptop bag with me everywhere. She sits on the train tap-tap-tapping.   I take out my pencil (or Sailor fine point) and flip back and forth among the weeks and months as I do some planning and list-making.

She has tried to interest me in using a blackberry; I have tried to get her to go back to a paper planner. Neither of us will budge – although we both concede the other’s way has some merit.   (Our 26-year-old son uses a cell phone AND a Monthly 4!)

The advantage of a blackberry is the instant communication and the all-in-one convenience.   She can email, call, manage her calendar and appointments.   She whizzes right through them, while I need to get out my cell phone to laboriously  text, or wait until I get home to read and write email.

On my side, I need to wait for her to catch up when it comes time to using a calendar.   She needs to scroll-scroll-scroll when I can flip a few pages and be there in seconds. I have to wait while she tries to catch up.   This takes awhile if we have a few dates to discuss and agree on. Another advantage is that paper planners note holidays–many of them–very clearly.   She can make an error booking something on a holiday. I can also see and make changes to the “family to-do lists” on my Sapa X notes pages.  

So it’s back and forth, back and forth on paper or plastic in my house.   Do you have this same situation?   How do you manage it?

7 thoughts on “Paper or Plastic?

  1. A few weeks ago I would have been with the paper crew, but I went to Verizon with my son, who was buying the Incredible, and I somehow got talked into a smart phone. I was tired, I’d had a massage – resistance was futile! I love my Journal 21 – have to have paper so I can use fountain pens. But I am liking this technophone. It syncs with Google’s online calendar, at least one way so far, and also with contacts, so even if it crashes, I still have everything. Like Cole and others, I am using computer less because I don’t have to turn it on (and get sucked in) to check emails. I like the apps – etch a sketch, magic 8 ball, and quotes. But what I find the most appealing is the ability to take a picture and immediately send it to someone by email. I most always have my phone with, but not a camera. So if I see something really cool, I can take a pic and send it off. So I have a foot in both worlds and enjoy each for its own merits.

  2. I am both paper and plastic. I use my iPhone for SO much – work, calendar, Twitter… but I love my fountain pens, ink, journals and correspondence and all related to them are paper

  3. It’s paper and plastic in my household as well.

    Hubby uses Outlook for nearing everything. I use a Sapa X to carry with me in my purse and a Septanote to keep at my desk or in my brief bag when I need to head to campus.

    I agree with you, the speed of paper far exceeds the scrolling on the computer or smart phone.

    I have an iPhone, but can’t bring myself to use the Calendar function. I need a week at a time view, and I’m too slow on the touch keyboard.

    I’ll take paper and fountain pen over computer or phone any day!

  4. I’ll never give up my paper planner (Notor)! I’ve tried a Palm Pilot but just hated the electronic calendar, couldn’t ever get it to work for me, and it was way too much trouble. I like being able to see my whole day, week or month on paper; to be able to actually write in it, make notes, etc.; and to have the paper record to keep. The Palm Pilot was nice for contacts and computer applications, so when my current cell phone dies, I might consider a Palm Pre for contacts and applications, but I will never, never give up my Notor even if just for calendar and notes. It’s worth it just for those two functions alone!

  5. I think I have to say that I agree with you, Karen. I’ve got co-workers who are ADDICTED to their Blackberrys (berries?) and one had to have surgery on her thumb because of it. The constant contact – almost a ball & chain – are too much for me. I just can’t see any sense to it. Like Winnie, I have a pay-as-you-go cell phone because of my elderly Mom and use paper planners (and my Outlook calendar). I’ve got a special order request in at my local mom & pop stationery store for the ABP1 (I think)for 2011.

  6. I’m with Cole and your son – I use both. Only just to make things really interesting, I have a simple cell phone that is just a phone, an iPod touch and a Moleskine. The phone is a pay as you go and very few people have the number – it’s essentially a lifeline for my Mum. The Moleskine is best for thinking, dreaming and planning but it doesn’t have wi-fi or play music or movies. It also means that all my contacts are in three places and after listening to my partner whine and complain and carry-on after his cell phone crashed and burned taking all his contacts with it, I’m very glad for that, too.

  7. In terms of paper versus electronic, I definitely balance both. I was resistant to getting an iphone/blackberry for a long time, but then I realized that I was wasting so much time sitting in front of the computer answering emails! Ironically, the iphone has allowed me to spend more time away from my computer. I actually wrote an essay on the debate here (

    I also downloaded a bunch of dorky applications for my iphone that work with my paper- writing and planning– for example, I have the full texts of Shakespeare and Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a dictionary and thesaurus, a translator… etc. It’s been a healthy balance for me.

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