Thursday, June 23, 2011

Doing It Old School

by Maria Geraci

A few months ago while watching as I manually jotted down an important date into my calendar, a friend convinced me that I wasn't taking full advantage of my iPhone.

"What's the use of having a smart phone if you're not going to be smart about using it?" she said to me.

"Gee, I guess you're right," I said back. She then showed me the Calendar function on my phone (which I was aware of, but I confess had not really explored much).

"You just place all your appointments in the calendar and you'll never miss anything again," she said.

Maybe I should have had those words bronzed, because the fact is, my friends, as you have probably guessed by now, I've missed just about everything. And this is despite using the "alarm" function on the calendar. I'm a visual person, and by visual I mean I need to write something out and then look at it constantly for me to "get it." I need a real calendar that tucks nicely into my purse that I can pop out to look at and I need to flip pages. I like my iPhone. But I don't love it. I've had it for almost 4 years now and I think it's awesome, but it's not the be all and end all that a lot of people think it is. At least not for me.

Recently, I was hacked. All my email accounts, my Facebook account, even my website. It was my own fault really. I hadn't changed my email password in years. I stored almost all my other passwords and important information in the Saved Mail portion of my email account. Pretty dumb, huh? All this happened while I was visiting my parents and had no Internet access. By the time I was able to get into my account and change my password 4 days had passed. Four days of someone else playing with my life (in not a pretty way). I now have all my important information printed out and saved in a real time file in a real time desk.

Yes, I think the Internet is pretty awesome, but you have to respect the awesomeness and protect yourself. It's not enough to have a "smart" phone or a "smart" computer. You have to be smart too.


  1. I totally hear you, Maria! Give me the little Hallmark calendar any day of the week. Who cares if by April it's full of lint with bent edges and that I've scribbled on it numerous times to get a pen working, not to mention torn out August (nothing happens in August) to write a note to myself back in May! It's generational, like suggesting to my mother that she pay her bills via the internet instead of a paper check. It's just not happening!

    Hope all is now secure with passwords that the CIA couldn't crack!

  2. Maria, I've been using a giant Franklin-Covey planner for the last 15 years. I recently went a little crazy and changed the type of calendar I put in (I went from a day-at-a-glance to a week-at-a-glance...crazy!) but other than that, this vinyl-bound planner has served me well. I'm the organizer in the family so I get to keep appts the way I BlackBerry stores appts, too, but I don't always have it on, or with me, particularly if I'm in my office.

    All this to're not alone. Maggie

  3. Add me to the group who has to have a paper calendar. I have no idea if my Blackberry even has a calendar. I only ask that it permits me to make phone calls and send e-mails :-)

    But thanks for the tip of not leaving any passwords on the hard drive. Sorry for all your troubles with being hacked.

    Marian aka the Northern half of Evelyn David

  4. Maria, I am SO sorry you had to go through all that caca. I know too many peeps who've had to deal with that mess, and I hope you've got everything back by now. Ugh. Just ugh.

    I have a paper calendar, too! Actually, a little purse-sized one I tuck in with my dictionary and thesarus atop my desk) and a small wall one on the refrigerator. I can't imagine not having those! But then, I've got the dinosaur of all cell phones that doesn't text or download or get online (and only gets turned on when I'm in the car). Oh, and I still write paper checks like Laura's mother. So, just call me T-Rex. ;-)

    Susan the Tech Dinosaur

  5. I love this post, and yet I am an iPhone lover, and I tell everyone that if it's not in there, it's not happening, I do worry that if it goes poof, and the back up on my computer fails me I'll be lost. I'm just moved my need to make lists and write things down to the screen on the iPhone. My kids laugh at my list making.....too bad, they haven't missed anything yet.
    Ugh on the being hacked, I can't imagine, but I am changing my password today.

  6. I've had an iPhone, switched back to a Blackberry and never used the note or calendar thingie. I barely use the phone. Email is my big thing and Facebook.

    I have two calendars I consult--one on my desk and one I keep in my purse. Writing helps me remember.

  7. Since I have a business partner who needs to know when I'm available all my calendars are online (gmail calendar is awesome!), but I've noticed that my husband doesn't ever know what's going on because he checks his email about 3 times a week and never looks at the online calendar at all, so I've started printing out this months calendar and posting it on the fridge. Which must work because he successfully managed to pick me up at the airport on time last month. ;)

  8. Rather than weigh in on paper vs. ether, I wanted to mention a tool some of my friends are using called "Cozi Family Organizer". It's an app (for iPhone and also droid devices, I think) that lets you share shopping lists and calendar stuff with another person in the family (like a spouse) so that you can both know if you happen to be making an after-work stop at the grocery what's lacking at home and you can both see when the kid's ball game is and when practices are, etc.

    Friends sing it's praises to me as a helpful way to keep everyone up-to-speed and manage errands efficiently.

  9. Thanks for all the wonderful comments, ladies:)

  10. My paper calendar has never run out of battery power, has never been misplaced by my children playing angry birds on it and has never butt dialed anyone!