the joy of physicality

Earlier this year, I impulsively decided to buy a couple of paper calendars and hang them on the walls. I just wanted the physicality of crossing off days, maybe putting symbols in them to track good habits, stuff like that. Today I just bought tickets for a show and realized, hey, sure I could keep this PDF and spend a while searching for it in my email when we got to the venue, probably with shitty reception… or I could send this PDF to my brand new printer, cut them out, and tape them to the appropriate month of the calendar.

So I did. Is it weird that this feels kind of revolutionarily simple? People probably did shit like this all the time in the days before computers ate our infrastructure, but I wasn’t impulsively buying tickets to shows back then so I never did it or noticed if anyone else was doing it. Now there’s a big physical token of this event hanging where I can easily see it and grab it and have it scanned at the show, then maybe have lingering around in a drawer for a decade and trigger memories when I find it again. If I forget to bring it then it’s still on my phone at the cost of several minutes of finding decent reception and searching through my email and feeling dumb for not doing that on the way or something.

Also I sure am glad I got a laser printer instead of an inkjet when I finally got a new one just now. I’ve always had inkjets as an adult and the absurd price of the ink makes me think two or three times before printing anything out; toner for this is a lot cheaper.

Paper is such great information technology.

  1. I have a big ol’ paper calendar above my computer monitor and I use it exclusively to track appointments and dates to remember; when I tell people “I’ll put it on my calendar” I mean that literally. and I write physical notes to myself all the time, I keep notepaper on my desk for exactly this reason. sometimes I feel like I Must Be Old because I keep doing these things when there’s technology to do it via computer literally at my fingertips… but tbh I generally can’t be bothered to learn to use the software, and doing it with pen and paper works fine, so. XD

    • Supposedly writing stuff by hand activates different parts of your brain than typing it, resulting in better recall of it. I have spent a lot of time fucking with the software and I am really not convinced it’s any better than doing it by hand; if I was in a situation where I regularly had to schedule meetings with other people it would probably be useful to have the networked computer taking the job of “secretary” and letting everyone see my schedule, but I am not, so why do I need anything beyond some paper?

  2. Aside from writing directly on the calendar, my favored system is to stick those 1.5×2″ Post-it notes on the day. I write tiny, so I can easily fit the event, time, contact info, and directions on those scraps. Come the day, I take the Post-it and stick in my wallet to take with me. Perfecto!

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