2016-01-23 Personal Information Managers – a rant

Some time ago I had this weird experience. A friend of mine wrote on some social media site that his daughter was born that day, and he asked (semi-jokingly, I guess) for wishes next year, for her first birthday. Of course, I immediately put the date into Org-mode, and promptly forgot about it.

One of the things I do every morning is to look at the agenda for the next two weeks. So fourteen days between day zero I started to get reminders. My plan was to write my wishes right after midnight, so that I could claim to be the first one;-).

And of course, since I look at my agenda in the morning, I forgot about it in the evening and went to bed.

Next day I sighed and said to myself, fine, I won’t be the first one, but I’ll send my wishes anyway, of course. And so I did.

After a few hours, I got a response from the friend, who said that he was very surprised to read my message. “Isn’t /gettit your daughter’s birthday today?”, I asked (afraid that I mixed up the dates or something). “Yes it is”, he answered, “but you were the only one to respond to the request I made last year!”.


And this is now bugging me. Why all PIMs, why Org-mode, smartphones, reminders etc., if we don’t spend five seconds entering important things into them?

So I decided to do something about it. I started small, by trying to do what should be done myself: to put important things into my scheduler app (as I said, it’s Org-mode, but this doesn’t matter now). Since this is about treating people as important, I also decided to actually send Christmas postcards to people; I mean, not virtual postcards, but physical ones. Not bought, made by me and my daughter. (For Easter, we’ll make more of those, and we’ll engage the Mommy, too.)

I love technology. But it’s no use if we forget about what’s really important.

Thank you for reading, you can get back to Facebook now.

CategoryEnglish, CategoryBlog, CategoryOrgMode