WFMW: Online Calendars Don’t Work For Me

I’ve tried it. I really have.

For a year, I’ve used a virtual calendar on my laptop and my phone. I’ve missed appointments because I put it on one and not the other, forgetting to sync the two. Or worse, I can’t read what I’m supposed to do because of that darn autocorrect thing where technology inserts what it thinks I’m trying to say! Plus sometimes is uses bad words. Oops.

I decided a few weeks ago as I was trying to juggle a new school year, writing deadlines, Mercy House, and life in general that I’m a writer. I’m an old fashioned list-maker. I need paper and pen. I need to write down my dates on real paper.

So, I did it, I bought an old fashioned calendar.

Makes me want to sit in the school supply aisle and sniff glue, I mean, pencils. I’m coming home.

Watch out organization! Here I come.

How about you?

Online calendars don’t work for me.


  1. 3


    I can’t remember all of the details now, but someone told me a long time ago when Palm Pilots were all the rage that there is a part of some people’s brains that physically has to write something for it to ‘stick’ and that digital calendars won’t work for everyone. I tried and tried – but after a few years went back to my old school Franklin Covey planner because I am apparently one of those people too!

  2. 4


    totally agree with you! i even lose the lists i write on real paper. I actually like the post-it notes i can make on my lap top because i can’t lose them and i go on it every day. plus i can write what i want WITHOUT auto correct.

  3. 6


    I’m the same way. I found the BEST paper calendar last year and I will never buy a different one now. It’s made by post-its and it’s big, but what I love is each page is for one week only. At first glance, it looks like a monthly calendar on each page, but what you can do is have a separate row for each child! So, I put each kid on one row and then I have a huge space each day to write their individual activities. That way I don’t have to squeeze them all in one box. I got mine at Target……I highly recommend it!

  4. 7


    They don’t work for me either! I juggle 7 kids, a full time job, two girl scout troops, and lots of activities (I am a single mom) and only a paper calendar will do. If I lose it, I’m a goner! I’ve tried the computer calendars and my phone and like you I either ignore the reminders or I don’t know what I wrote because of the spell checker.

  5. 8


    Oh how I’ve tried to use online organizational tools. They have worked, but only for a short time. I always end up going back to my paper calendar or day planner. I’ve come to decide that if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

  6. 9


    The ONLY reason my online calendar works for me is because whenever I check my Gmail on my phone it automatically updates my Google calendar and vice versa. So my calendars are always in sync and I don’t have to do anything special.

    We do have a big calendar on the refrigerator that I call command central. If it ain’t on there, there’s no guarantee it’s getting done – lol.

  7. 10


    I completely agree with you. As much as I love the calendar on my phone (I use Jorte that syncs with my google calendar automatically), I still have a calendar that hangs on the wall because I like to be able to physically see the calendar and everything on it as I walk past it the 20 zillion times I go to the kitchen each day. I also keep a daily docket out with the day’s to do list and such which basically recaps my calendars.

  8. 12


    Have you tried Google calendar? Hubby and I started using it 2 years ago and it changed our lives. We have android phones which automatically sync. Hubby can sync his work calendar to his personal calendar and we can view each others calendars on our phones and computer all from the Google homepage or app. Hubby is not an organized person but he always knows to check the Google calendar before committing to something. Plus reminders pop up on my phone. I LOVE it!

    I am a pen and paper girl too. Still make grocery lists on paper, plan menus on paper, and take notes on paper because I do remember things better if I write them down but Google calendar works so well for our family.

  9. 14


    I use a combination of a paper calendar, Google calendar, & Toodledo and Springpad, online planners. I keep a calendar on the wall in the kitchen where I write everything in pencil in case anything changes. On my home office desk is a 5 x 8 paper calendar that goes with me to appointments. When I tried scheduling appts. quickly in my Google calendar, I often made mistakes.

    I use Toodledo online for household tasks/cleaning. It saves paper, and saves me time. Springpad is for meal planning, recipes and projects. Evernote is for my writing /blogging and my grocery list.

    Then, I keep a half-size notebook in my home office for anything that I need to do at my desk – financial, etc.

    My post this week is about handling school papers since it is that time of the year!

  10. 15


    tried the phone calendar. ummmm. did you know that you lose everything if you drop your phone in a cup of water? and couldn’t remember to use the online one. i’ve also tried living iwthout a calendar. ha. so, i bought one in june. yep. needed one for the SUMMER. that’s how busy we are. spilled coffee on it in the first month but refure to buy another one.

  11. 17


    This cracked me up. Online calendars work for me, but I totally get what you are saying. I use a hybrid method with an online calendar (shared with my husband) but I also write some stuff down for myself. Some would consider it a waste of time, but I have to SEE something in order to remember it, and this crazy method works for me. Thanks for keeping it real!

    • 17.1


      I do the same thing, sharing an online calendar with my husband (Google), but I also need a paper calendar to write it down because I never remember to check my Google calendar.

      I also never remember to check the paper calendar, but at least if I physically write it down it will stick in my brain.

      I have to see it in order to remember it too, I thought I was the only one!

    • 17.2


      August 23, 2011 I am the QUEEN of coicoctnons. Actually– the majority of the dishes I make are coicoctnons haha Sometimes they aren’t decent enough to make the bloggie– but most of the time I put them up just for fun

  12. 18


    I relied on a paper calendar for years. I was struggling to find a calendar that would work for everyone. We started using Google Calendar. Each of the four of us have an account and maintain a calendar (my husband puts the kids events on their calendar). With the Google calendar, we are able to share our calendars with each other. This allows me to see on my phone or my computer, what everyone has going on that day. I can set up reminders to pop up a few minutes or the day before an event. My husband even set it up so that we would get notifications when things were added to the calendar. That way, if he made plans with friends, I would know that there was now something going on and could at least look ahead to consider the schedule. I like it a lot. With only “one” calendar, I can see the same thing on my phone and my computer, and since I sync on the airwaves, the calendars are pretty much always in sync. Might be worth checking out.

  13. 19


    Amen, sister! I am an IT professional and have been for more years than I care to admit, but I just can’t handle electronic calendars. Several years ago, I chunked my electronic calendar and bought one of the cheap, purse-sized calendars. The batteries never die and it doesn’t have to be synched with anything. It was the best $3 I ever spent. I’ll never go back.

    • 19.1


      OMG I’m in IT too and I have the exact same problem with electronic calendars!

      I am ashamed to admit this at work, where I force everyone else to use our group calendar. Only because I need to know their schedules though, personally I can’t stand them.

    • 19.2


      Amen! People expect me, as a web person, to have online everything. But technology needs to fit the person. For me, that technology is a good old-fashioned planner. With two little ones who like to push buttons, electronic won’t do.

  14. 21

    Donita Hammond says

    I also prefer things written down, but really want to make technology work for me. I end up doing an online calendar AND a hanging wall calendar. I mostly operate off the wall calendar, but I like having the online for when I am on the go.

  15. 22

    Sara Z. says

    My sister and I are complete opposites on this subject. She is and always has been a paper planner kind of girl. Though I have tried and tried, my attempts at using a planner or paper calendar always fail within a month! But that’s ok, because we have both found what works for us! She buys a paper planner every year and I use my outlook calendar synced to my phone :)

  16. 24


    I am in the group above that had a misfortune phone crash. I still use my phone for reminders, but I like my paper planner. I also enjoy jotting down little notes and inspirations, and I just never tend to do that with a phone.

  17. 25


    I’m the same way. I don’t trust that anything won’t disappear. I also like to be able to check it off to know it needs no other attention. Sometimes, I even right down notes regarding the event, such as the score if it’s one of the kiddos’ basketball games, etc.

  18. 26

    Sylvia says

    I print out monthly calendars to post on the fridge. There are only two of us, so I don’t need really big spaces to write. I also write appointments in my lesson plan book at school so if I forget at home, I have the info there. I email myself the dates. HIghlighters help to differentiate the activities… school from home.

  19. 27

    Heather says

    Big calendar on the counter in our “command center” (small hallway off the kitchen next to the mudroom) and I write EVERYONE’s schedule on it and highlight different people with different colors. Been doing it this way since I got married 12 years ago and it TOTALLY works for me. Never miss an appointment!

  20. 28


    ONE calendar in the kitchen. The kind with big spaces. It’s where the whole family jots down activities/events. Quick, convenient and right there in everyone’s view. Ugly? Yes….

  21. 30


    I don’t do online calendars either. I am a pen-to-paper kinda gal.

    I don’t even do grocery lists online. Or my daily sheet of what I need to get done.

    Apparently paper itself is my motivator in life. And nothin’ better than a good pen. {happy sigh}

    No my husband, well we’ll just call him “Mr. Gadget”.

  22. 31


    Totally agree with you! I am a Filofax addicted :-). Have had one for twenty years now (well a new one once in a while) and it just got bigger… The only thing I use my outlook calender for is to send my hubby the appointments where we HAVE to have him home for some reason – school things, evening appointments for me (so he will be babysitting) or any important weekend stuff – whatever he is NOT to forget about it because I may have him told, but he did not fully pay attention…

    Greetings from Germany

  23. 32

    Crystal says

    THANK YOU! I am a non-texting, non-Twittering, non-online-calendaring sort of girl……and I’m only 26! I pretty much never miss an appointment and am very organized — something I believe that comes from using pen and paper!

  24. 33

    Sharon B says

    We have one big calendar for the family were we can all see it, but I’ve started using Cozi for calendar. I’ve used it for a while but it didn’t do a lot for me until I found out that “there’s an app for that!”. Now that I can check it and add things on my phone and Ipad AND the computer, it really does help me out. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my paper calendars, but this helps with the “my planner doesn’t fit into my purse” problems I had.

  25. 34


    I just use one reminder bell on my phone, and one hanging beside my kitchen sink. I’m certain I’m not as busy as you are, so it’s probably easier for me :)

  26. 37


    So funny to read all of the posts. I LOVE pen and paper and I have 3 beautiful “physical” planner binders I refuse to get rid of…but I also use to use a lot of paper and ink to print and reprint my calendar (perfectionism alert). I still prefer the pen and paper for basic to do lists, etc.

    BUT, I love using Google Calendar combined with the CalenGoo app for iPhone. Because I can put tasks in my phone app and set them to repeat (Google Calendar doesn’t do this online yet). I NEED this for repeating tasks like the dogs’ monthly pills, reminders to change the furnace & water filters, etc. I also like the email and text reminders, but not the pop-ups because I often miss them.

  27. 39


    Online calendars are difficult. If I had a smart phone I’d probably use that more often. Hmm.. maybe that will be a good excuse to upgrade :)

    Thanks for hosting.


  28. 40


    I prefer paper too…..but my husband does not. We keep a family calendar, so I’ve been “forced” to learn to use one on the computer – and it’s really not as bad as I thought.
    Thanks for hosting!

  29. 41

    Kirsten says

    I LOVE! It has an iphone app or you can just access it online. It will remind my husband of events ahead of time FOR me… that I’m not the one nagging! I love that it’s available anywhere I am (with my smartphone or computer) and is always current (on my phone, home computer, husband’s phone, or work!) I print out the calendar each week and hang it on the fridge. It’s a lifesaver for us! (It will also make to-do lists, shopping lists, etc.) (I sound like a commercial!)

  30. 43


    I just made the same switch. I Love The Well Planned Day Homeschool and On The Go planners. They are the most thorough planners for moms I have found for moms. It will take some getting used to though.

  31. 44


    I’m with you on this. I couldn’t find the type of calendar I envisioned would work for my family, so I made one in Excel. I put it in a binder and it sits on the kitchen counter by the back door for all to see.

    I did need to create an online calendar for my son’s Bible school class. I wanted it to be private so only the parents and students in the class could see it. I finally settled on and have been happy with it so far.

  32. 45


    YES! I so agree – my calendar has got to be paper – and I’ve got to be able to write on it and pull it out when I need to look at it – feel it in my hands – otherwise how do I know its not been changed or is reliable! :)

  33. 47

    Deedra says

    I have to agree with the lovers! I would be lost without my Cozi calendar. I love it because we can all update it from our phones or computers. Now I can see at a glance who has to work when or who has to be at cheer or band and when. It saves my sanity. Well, almost saves my sanity, with 7 kids my sanity is always in question.

  34. 48


    I use both. My husband lives for the calendar on his phone, so I have an online calendar so he can see what I am doing. But I work much better with a paper calendar. I used to buy the big, full page calendar with monthly and weekly setups, that broke the day down by hour – but that is too much detail for me. This year I took a bloggers advice and bought an Erin Condren Life Planner. I have loved it! It does weekly and monthly but breaks down the days into morning, day, and night. It is shorter so it fits into my purse. But everything is in my Google calendar also, so I don’t freak out when I leave my paper calendar at home.

  35. 49


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