Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Diary

For donkeys years I've had an electronic diary, firstly on my lovely Palm gizmo and then on my phone. I still use the phone diary (obv) but I've gone back to paper as well.

I have fond memories of leafing through my old filofax, the diary section and all the other sections that set the tone for our lives during the 1980s and '90s. And then came along digital stuff in the 2000s that relegated paper to the waste bin of technological change.

I loved my little pocket-sized Palm with a stylus to write on the screen, with addresses and photos and even music. So much more versatile than a paper diary. But the stylus was that transitional thing where I could still write on the screen as well as type stuff into it. And then phones started to emerge with internal diaries and address books and suchlike and it was probably when I got my iPhone that I said farewell to the Palm and had everything in one place.

That was all terribly convenient, having everything together with photos and music and a camera in a single gizmo that was also a phone, but over the years I yearned for pen and paper.

And then I discovered the joys of Moleskine notebooks and started carrying one round for odd notes, lists, random thoughts, gig set lists, odd quotes that tickled my fancy and whatever else seemed reasonable to write down. It's nice to see the difference in my handwriting and I can easily tell when I'm at home making a list or copying down a quote as opposed to when I was on a train in New York noting down my favourite paintings from MoMA with more jagged and jerky writing. The shape and condition of the writing says something as well as the content itself. I started a new green Moleskine notebook last year and I think this habit will continue.

Then, last year, I bought a red Moleskine diary, my first physical paper diary in lots of years. And I wrote in it. Theatre visits and gigs, days out, appointments, holidays, reminders, birthdays and anniversaries. O yes, all of these were also in my phone but it's nice to write them down as well, Writing with pen and ink on paper makes them real as opposed to tapping a screen and creating digital letters and times. Sometimes scrawled and sometimes carefully written, it all says something about me and when I made that particular entry.

I got another diary for this year, this time an orange one with a blue elasticated strap with cream paper from Paperchase, almost square - not a normal diary shape at all and that's why I like it. Apparently it was made in Italy. I haven't filled in the address section yet and probably won't - I've got addresses I might need while out and about in my phone and my green Moleskine notebook so why would I need them a third time?

But writing down my future appointments is important. It makes them real and means I must attend on time. That's what diaries are for. I don't know about you but I find it terribly easy to ignore what the 'machine' tells me to do (including my work phone/calendar).

Do you have a paper diary?

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