If you have a need for speed, use a paper planner instead of a digital diary

Credit: Eugenio Marongiu

Credit: Eugenio Marongiu

In a small, highly unscientific study, Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway has found that using an electronic calendar is more time-consuming than a paper diary.

She asked two groups of friends (n unknown) what they were doing on 30 October. The quickest electronic users — after typing a password into their smartphones and doing ” a good deal of jabbing” — answered in 17 seconds, although others took as long as 32 seconds. The fans of paper diaries opened their books to the relevant page in eight seconds.

That gap widened when Kellaway asked them to enter a lunch date. Smartphone users took 30 seconds; paper users took a mere five seconds.

A therapist Kellaway knows has banned electronic calendars in her office. “At the end of every session she says she will email them the date of the next appointment, to avoid having to waste her 10-minute break between patients while they faff around with their digital diaries.”

It didn’t take those findings to convince a therapist she knows that electronic planners are slow — and to ban their use in her office. “At the end of every session she says she will email them the date of the next appointment, to avoid having to waste her 10-minute break between patients while they faff around with their digital diaries,” Kellaway wrote.

Apart from speed, paper planners don’t require batteries, their pages don’t freeze and, above all, they are private. “The shared diaries that most companies (alas, including my own) now insist on strike me as a more grievous invasion of privacy than CCTV cameras and Facebook put together,” she said.

Proponents of shared electronic diaries cite their ease in scheduling meetings, but Kellaway countered: “Because it is easy, the result is more meetings with more people going to them, which wastes more time than any that is saved by more speedy scheduling.”~TM

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One response

  1. HERE HERE I applaud

    Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 18:05:47 +0000 To: adelem@bell.net

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