A Book of Days


I tried, this year, I really did. I tried to make the transition from traditional book-form agenda packer to techno-savvy iPhone calendar user.

But alas.

Mid way through January I caved, nipped over to Chapters and picked up one of the last remaining agendas in stock. Happily, they were on for half price, and one of the ones I’d been eyeing before Christmas was still there.


I started buying appointment diaries – or engagement calendars or day planners – when I started university. I went to school in England, and fell in love with the ones I saw in WH Smiths every year. Rather than just your standard, business-minded book with little more than numbers to mark the dates, these ones had decorative covers, and graphics or quotations (or both) throughout.

When I returned to Canada, I was hard-pressed to find anything that motivated me to keep track of my appointments… aside from the need to keep track. I bemoaned what I found long and hard.

But the tides have turned, and today my biggest dilemma is choosing just one attractive day planner from the multitude out there.

Then, last December, I inherited an iPhone 3G. With, of course, an electronic calendar. “I can do this,” I avowed, thinking about the paper I’d save, not to mention the efficiency of having everything together in one little gadget.

I resolutely ignored the fact that it takes three times as long to type appointments into the calendar than it does to quickly scrawl something on a bookmarked page. I reminded myself that, if this calendar layout is too humdrum for my whimsical taste, I can probably find another, nicer one in the apps store.

What drove me over the edge, however, was booking appointments on the phone. How, pray tell, am I supposed to ensure that my calendar is clear before committing to something if I can’t access it because it’s currently being used as a phone? Hmmm?

After running into this problem a few times in the first fortnight, I abandon the idea and went to back to the way I love.

The paper way. With heavy, silky pages to turn, room to jot things in my own personal font, and not just appointments but random thoughts and impressions.

Of course I do love that my phone can remind me of my commitments with a little ding, so I’m going to keep using it for important reminders. But I know now that the book calendar is here to stay.

What do you use to keep track of yourself?

– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

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  1. I’m with you sister! I tried the iPhone 3G also, but my problem was I’d get all the info typed in and then close it, forgetting to save. And the times I did remember to save, I thought I’d use the reminder option but couldn’t get that to work 9 times out of 10. For next year, check this out. I would have liked to make one for myself for 2012, but discovered it too close to Christmas http://www.blurb.com/create/book/planners

  2. Not that I don’t love your manual planner, but for technicalities-sake, I thought you could multi-task on your phone and be using it as a phone all at the same time. While you are on the phone, if you want to access any app, including your calendar, you can put the person on speaker, then you press the home button. This should allow you to keep using it as a phone while you also use any other programs already on your phone. Not trying to change your mind, just thought you’d want to know. Try it if you’d like and let me know.

  3. i love using my iphone calendar 🙂 so handy!! 🙂

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