I was looking at the user reviews of some fairly well known iPad calendar/to-do apps. Generally they seem to get 5 star reviews. But some of the none 5 star reviews make interesting reading.
Comments such as 'So slow to start up I could have got my paper diary out, entered the appointment and put it back in my bag by the time it had started' made me smile.
With the power of modern phones with multiple processors, more memory and processor power than a desktop computer of say 10 years ago, there's no real excuse is there for lacking performance.
But when they get that right it seems that they make them so complicated to use that they become a pain to use. Take this comment
It looks nice and seems to have some great reviews - but my own experience is that it's over complex. You can spend more time setting the dam thing up and trying to understand what all the settings mean than actually getting anything meaningful done with your life! I'm left wondering if any people who buy this actually lead very effective live or just like pressing buttons and pretending they are 'organised' ?Hmm, there are some parallels there with having expensive planners but not using them effectively... just having one isn't going to make you organised is it... ok moving on...
I still have two of my earliest electronic PDA's on my desk more for ornamental value than for practical purposes. A Casio Digital Diary with all of 64kb of memory! was the first... I needed the manual to work out how to enter an appointment on it after not using it for so long. The other which I've mentioned before my Psion 5mx is elegant in its simplicity, but in todays world of connected to the internet type devices the Psion has been left behind.
Electronic calendars by now should have wiped the paper diary off the face of the earth... but they haven't thank goodness. Too complicated to use, or too slow, electronic calendars should be able to have customisable views, complete flexibility to the users requirements but I've not found one yet.
They still base their views on Month, Week or Day views in very familiar layouts that you and I see every day in our Filofax organisers! Hardly a move forward is it.
Oh but they can share their electronic calendars. Well I can 'share' Alison's calendar... I just ask her are you busy next week and she tells me what she is doing and I write it in the right hand margin of my Filofax.
Not that complicated is it... and the speed of communication is at the speed of sound... from her mouth to my ear and from there to my pen.
And I share mine when she asks 'and what are you doing?' "Oh you know, the usual" ! And she will roll her eyes as I'm sat here typing away and surfing the internet looking for Filofax things!
I know we grumble about certain diary formats not being available on the Filofax website, so please Filofax listen to what your customers want. And I know some of you grumble about not being able to print out Ray and my wonderful diary inserts, but again that's only technology getting in the way... Don't let it stop you from using them.
Printing your own inserts is a once a year task, so take some time to learn that skill and that perfect diary insert is possible... paper of your choosing, in weight and size and quality, in a layout you might have designed or customised your self using your own preferred font, style and colours.
It will be a joy to use and you too can chuckle at your colleagues as they mutter and fluster on their smart pad doodad phanletbooks or what ever they are calling them this week, whilst you simply flick the popper on the clasp, grip the Today marker ease the pages over the polished rings and let the paper settle at the week in question as you reach for your pen, you click it, grip it between your thumb, index finger and middle finger placing the tip at the correct date and time, you are poised waiting as you look around the room waiting for someone to suggest at date.... you are ready and you can dictate the date of that next meeting.
Your leather briefcase will be making that precise clicking noise as you close the locks and you will be out of the door whilst your colleagues will still be packing away their toys... you glance at your analogue watch and realise you will be home on time.
Every time you will be the leader!