When some nasty computer virus like the ILOVEYOU or Melissa wormed their way through the world’s computers and emails, people were reminded again why it’s so important to back up their files. But how often do people think about backing up their electronic calendars and schedules, which can also contain important information? MIT reminds computer users that data is the most critical element of their computer’s makeup, presumably including the information on a person’s electronic calendars.
If you’re like most people, you include all the necessary information you need for your schedule on your calendar. This would include people’s phone numbers and other contact information. Losing your calendar means losing all this information, too. Granted, you may have it at home on your computer, but this doesn’t help you if you’re on your way to an appointment.
You can sidestep this issue by keeping a day planner with you. Or if you find that these aren’t large enough to hold all the information you need, you can use monthly calendar templates to make your own planner. These can be bound in a three-ring binder, which gives you plenty of space for the information you need. It also allows you to take pages out as you’re done with them, which keeps this system clutter-free. Those pages can go into your filing cabinet for long-term storage, which provides another form up backup for your critical documents.
Compounding the Problem
Much of the time, this backup is electronic in nature. Some of the information would be difficult to back up on paper. However, this is not the case with your calendars. Long before the computer became a part of daily life, printed calendars kept track of people’s entire lives. This makes them a logical choice as a backup for your schedule.
Paper backups offer you another advantage, too. They’re virus proof by their nature. Because your email and your calendar are often electronically linked, you can pass a virus from one to the other. With a printed calendar, there is little chance that a virus will corrupt your information. There is also little chance that you’ll inadvertently pass the virus or worm onto someone else.
Writing and Memory
However, not all the advantages of keeping a paper copy of your calendar have to do with viruses or portability. When you write information down, you remember it, according to The New York Times. While the obvious advantage is that you’ll likely remember your appointments you’ve set without having to consult your calendar as much, there is a deeper advantage. You’ll remember the information associated with the people you’re acquainted with.
And an article on Medical Daily suggests that writing information down helps people to retain information even weeks after they first came into contact with it. The article cited an experiment in which students were separated into two groups. One group wrote their notes by hand. The other group didn’t. After a week of reviewing material for an exam, the ones who wrote down the information scored significantly better on their exams than their non-writing counterparts.
If you’re in business, remembering information isn’t just about testing well. It can make all the difference in your business success, especially if you can remember someone’s name. Forbes reminds its readers why it’s so important to remember a colleague’s name.
Hearing your name flips a switch in the brain. It does in everyone’s. People will automatically tune nearly everything out in a noisy room upon hearing their names. That’s a lot of power in the business world. People feel better when others remember them. This is why so many business and political leaders really strive to remember the people they come into contact with. It’s a simple way to make a lasting impression.
An article in the New York Times encourages people to write their schedules down. Its reasoning was that modern electronic scheduling tools force people to flip between several different menus, which can be confusing.
But keeping a paper calendar offers you more advantages than just preventing you from feeling confused. It helps you slow down the viruses and worms that can make their way through your email and its connected calendar. The printed calendar is also portable.
However, the best reason to write your schedule down may be what it does for your memory. If you write your person’s information down by hand, you’re more likely to remember it. In a business or school setting, the ability to remember a person’s name and other facts about him/ her gives you a decided advantage, one that could be both profitable and rewarding.