on the importance of a filofax

It is done. I am finally allowed to plan my life with a fresh Filofax recharge for 2022. Just 358 more page corners to tear off in order to scribble in an even newer agenda next year.

No, I have not become luddite or gone old school during this holiday season. My use of a beautiful black leather agenda has neverkept me from also working with different applications to organise my daily tasks, appointments and zoom links. Although too old to be part of the post-Internet generation, I have used email since my first job, had a Friendster as well as a Myspace account and bought a Blackberry as a first slightly smarter phone.

Questioning technology

My interest in more un-technological ways of working have never actually been a statement, a conviction or reminiscence of older days. It has particularly grown during these last two highly digital years, where I spent more time connecting with people on zoom, slack and teams, rather than in classrooms, coffee shops or bars. The ongoing sanitary crises has forced a certain need for change upon us. All of that, whether we were ready for it or not.
It didn’t just shift our existing volume of social and professional interaction with students, peers and colleagues onto this new, more convenient electronic mediums or channels. It has completely transformed the underlying workflow that determined how our daily efforts and relations unfolded.

Homo ex machina

My phone or computer affectionately pinging me with a notification for an upcoming appointment makes me feel strange. As if a machine is telling me what to do. The first time my phone “told” me to leave my coffee place to arrive on time for the next meeting, I became surprisingly scared. I have never asked for anything like it nor will I in the future.
It feels like time only passes through and thanks to artificial reminders, otherwise every day would somehow look the same. Another over-optimized user experience, which basically is the same for everybody.

also read  back from the start

The passing of time

Like a watch, a digital calendar is illustrating the time of the now or of the current working week. A physical calendar, on the other hand, really fixates the time’s passing. An old school, paper-based agenda has a growing visible past and daily shrinking future.
My Filofax finally allows me to have that personal link with the real passing of time again. Something I cannot get with or in Tech. I love the change of the pages’ colour and how the yearly overview becomes more and more scruffy. As we all do over the years.

Einstein said that the only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. I want to enjoy every single piece of it.

This article is based on our newsletter “thoughts&coffee” published on 07.01.2022  

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