Friday, June 24, 2005

On planning (and remembering)

an officemate gave me a planner for 2005 as a gift. let me see, when was the last time i used a planner? four, five years ago? must be more than that. i occasionally have a "throwing away ritual" when i dispose unwanted belongings, with much gusto and usually a promise not to acquire or at least limit my purchases of such things. i distinctly remember throwing away my old planners during one of these rituals. after that, the idea of planning for days, weeks and months ahead became simply an impractical notion. looking now at my old planners, i realized that most of the time i enthusiastically started each year jotting down notes, important dates and upcoming activities only to find myself faltering towards midyear. it was an exercise in futility. worse, it was just a waste of precious paper.

but then the computer came. at home, i have this corel central program that not only keeps card files for my personal library. it also has this personal calendar that transforms the whole business of keeping written planners into a thing of the past. if you have internet connection, you will even enjoy the pleasure of having a note or memo sent to your email addresses automatically. though i'm not sure if this made planning and organizing lives necessarily simpler or easier. for one, it has virtually expanded the range of things that can be planned and organized at any given time. from the location of your CDs, supplies and gadgets at home, to the schedule of your pets' vaccinations and visits to the vet. not to mention the huge amount of related information (e.g., email addresses, telephone numbers, publisher, distributor, market price, acquisition and expiry dates, age, weight, etc.) that can now be saved, stored, updated, manipulated and analyzed with a click of the mouse.

i haven't really updated or used my computer planning/organizing tools for some time now. i've reverted to scribbling notes on this "hard" planner and on pieces of paper that end up between pages of books that i happen to be reading at the moment. amazingly, it's almost midyear now, and scanning my planner, i'm heartened to find almost all of the dates with an entry or two. though i noticed that most entries were about what i've done or what transpired during the day rather than about what needs to be done or what i plan to do. so it is not so much of a planner now but more of a journal or diary. a memory tool to help stimulate aging brain cells.

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