Purple Dragon’s current post got me thinking about aides memoirs new and old.

I gave up on Microsoft Outlook, reminder pings and yellow ‘animated’ yellow post notes, because my computer isn’t where I spend most of my functioning day. It is not on from the first point of my waking day. Some days it is not switched on at all. I don’t find computer diarising in a domestic setting too useful. I am much better off with a paper based diary and a monthly ‘to do’ list.

The portable electronic personal organisers were good, though a bit heavy and bulky. I still have one functioning with all the birthdays and associated information. I add to the electronic list as new people appear and occasionally delete a few. Though portable, the organiser does not now move out of the house and only appears when I need to check on some third party personal detail or other fact.

While I can see how a programme like Outlook can be supportive in a commercial environment when computers are on from the minute you arrive at a desk, when the system can advise others of possible availability and so on, I feel the way such a programme is structured is not too useful in a family household. It is not geared up for domestic life.

Many people I know both in business and not, use microfile style old-fashioned handwritten organisers. I say old fashioned but are they? The refills for these paper organisers are readily available in stationery stores.

I feel there is a commitment putting things into writing. Typing doesn’t have the same feel about it and on a computer or electronic organiser whatever is ‘noted’ may stare back at you but it does not seem personal, it is disconnected. Its effectiveness is reduced, even negated.

Sure, you can dabble with the the computer diary system and work it, in a fashion, but it puts you back to the requirement to have a computer on all day and everyday from your waking moments, pinging, till you close your eyes at night.


0 thoughts on “PINGING BIG BROTHER:

  1. That sounds about right. I notice a lot of young people working with paper-based diaries, also printing off schedules to refer to easily, at times to suit them.

  2. Marriage is certainly one way to deal with the reminder issue. At some point though, it may not remain as reliable as you find the system to be right now. Overload could creep in, old age and the other pressures of daily living.


  3. Hi Skip,

    Outlook and Outlook Express are fairly different software applications. One is just an email client and like you and many others, I use Thunderbird for that activity.

    Outlook is a broader application, it does email, diary activities, and in a business environment enables electronic appointments to be slotted in by others where free time slots exist, (the user must therefore remember to block off time for other matters). It is like an online secretary, aide memoir, note pad, business address organiser, card index and anything else you wish this package to do in a business sense.

    I found Outlook had its drawbacks in a micro-business environment, when I tried to set up a range of requirements in it related to an intensive and complex activity I was undertaking. I did not have it connect to anyone else, it was just for me, not that this fact would have made any difference to the purpose to which I put it.

  4. I use a Filofax that I splurged on a few months ago, that tells me what I am supposed to be doing day to day, but the Outlook thing is more minute to minute. Also, if something has happened that means I have to postpone something, then it is easy to postpone it on the PC. Not so written down. Actually, that is really the problem. If it is written on my calendar or Filfax, it happens. If it is on Outlook, it can be postponed indefinately. A-ha moment!

  5. Which confirms my thoughts about the commitment of the written word vis-a-vis the once or twice removed typed in one that can be ignored, personal commitment is just not tied to it.

    There is a lot to be said for Filofax style systems. I much prefer the manual diary and to do list, which performs a similar function on a lower rung of the Filofax ladder.

  6. I realised reading your post that i never used the Outlook!! Really!
    BTW, about that problem with IE, do you know if they sorted out (..and fixed it..) the problem? I’m using the Mozila Firefox yet and i really like it :yes:
    And i’m getting used to it 🙂 so i guess i’l keep it instead of the IE again…well one can always change it isn’t it :)) but not so soon….since i knew that reading your post than the news related with it i’m not trusting IE… yet :-/

  7. I have made Firefox my default browser and I have decided to keep it that way. I can still use I.E. if I want to but I doubt I shall use it very much and certainly for nothing I consider important. Mozilla is far more secure than I.E. has ever been. You could do the same.

    One of the difficulties Kiki, is that I.E. is so widely used hackers and other people who want to try and break into domestic systems will always try and break into I.E. in some way. I.E. has always been vulnerable to attack partly because the software is not well designed. I observed that certain public institutions either use Mozilla or anything rather than I.E. Those that do use I.E. are attaching masses of security to it.

    There is some confusion between Outlook and Outlook Express. They are different programmes. One is solely an email client the other is a scheduler, minor database and email facility which can merge detail into other programmes in the M.S. Suite. Also, it operates vice-versa.

  8. HA yes M. i was refering to the Outlook Express, sorry.

    Indeed it is so true, i noticed it, and the kid, my nephew used to tell me that as he uses the Mozilla Firefox always, i was being a bit stubborn keeping the IE, i still can use it too yes but i will not, i like this one very much because it is much more secure that’s true.
    Thank you for tell me,

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