Siri vs. Filofax

So, I’ve had my new iPhone 4s about a week now and I am loving it more than I think I have ever loved an iProduct.

The new iCloud feature is great and every time I use the new 8 megapixel camera I’m stunned at how crisp and actually pretty good my lame little cell phone pictures are becoming.

But the star of the show has got to be Siri.

Dictating reminders to “her” and having changes to my schedule be as easy as the push of one button and a quick  verbal command is truly changing the way I go about my day.

Since it has historically taken me less time to jot a note, list or appointment down in my Filofax than to open up an app on my phone and awkwardly type it on that damn touch keyboard, my tendency was to default to paper first and add stuff to my phone later as a backup.

With Siri, however, the tables have turned. It is now far faster and easier to access Siri and have her create my reminders, lists and appointments than it is to write it down.  As is making changes to those things. Even with an erasable pen.

As Siri and I develop even more of a rapport;  as she “learns” about my habits and becomes even faster and easier, what will become of my precious Filofax?

In a word….nothing.

Every morning I sit down with my Filofax over a cup of tea and review my schedule & tasks for the day, as well as take a look at the general progress of my week. I also record some details like the weather, my mood, any health issues I’m having, and I typically jot down a line or two regarding what I most want to work on that day (re-framing my attitude, staying positive, watching my self-talk, etc).

While I could theoretically input all of that with my iPhone over tea (no doubt in less time, since Siri also interacts flawlessly with the Notes app), I don’t see myself doing that.

Pen on paper is part of my ritual. It’s not just a means to an end (organization), it’s the scent of the paper, the sound of the nib scratching on the page, the mindfulness of the act of writing. The way my handwriting looks. The feel of my favorite pen.

Tapping buttons with the pads of my fingers will never bring me to center

And while I have a deep and abiding fascination with all things gadget, speaking my day to a piece of silicon and plastic – no matter how elegant or cool it is – will never bring me the joy that creating myself on the page does.

No matter what the day, week, month or year brings, my iPhone will always look essentially the same.  There will be no evidence of what I experienced, learned, endured, triumphed over.  You won’t be able to see me in it. With the flick of one setting I can be wiped clean from it…as though I never even existed…and sell it to someone else.

But my Filofax is different. The leather wears as it tumbles through the years with me. You can flip through it and see the shakiness in my writing the day I was so stressed out.  The tear stains rippling the paper the day my heart broke. The goofy sticker that made me smile. The inspiring fortune taped to the page after a take out lunch with my best friend. The quote I found that gave me hope on a bad day. The epiphany I jotted down while I was stuck in traffic that reminded me that life is about the journey not the destination.

The little hearts scribbled in red pen like a giddy 16-year-old the day I fell in love again.

All of those things  simply cannot be captured digitally…they are miracles. They are us.

Siri may be amazing, and as AI technology advances I have no doubt that interfacing with an “intelligent assistant” will indeed be the fastest, most efficient means of planning, organizing and keeping track of one’s day.

But there is a reason paleolithic humans left red ochre hand prints behind and not merely scratches counting how many mammoths they killed on a given day.

Life isn’t as simple as what we do….we are not Human Doings after all…we are Human Beings. Doing is so much easier than being sometimes, isn’t it? We can quantify what we do. Track it. Check it off. Not so with who we are.

Siri may have dual processors, but what she lacks is heart,  a spirit and uniqueness of  mind.

So  I’ll use Siri as my assistant for doing, but my Filofax is what will continue to help me leave red hand prints along the way on my path of being.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 12:29:41

    Loved this post. Those of us that love paper planning will get this post. Thanks for striking a nerve and reminding me of who I am, too.

  2. Laurie
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 05:03:19

    I LOVE this post. This is an enormous reason why I love paper and don’t see myself ever going digital. A few years from now, everything people put into their devices will be gone. My planner contains my life, and I love flipping back through my planners years later to see what I did and thought. It contains my life, now and forever.

  3. alismidd
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 07:03:53

    I also found my-self nodding my head as I read your post… love looking back through old diaries and seeing where I’ve been as well as where I’m going (as much as I adore my iPhone, just not for planning). Can’t wait to play with Siri….!

  4. Heather Winterton
    Oct 29, 2011 @ 06:31:15

    Your blog is beautifully true and one I 100% agree with.

  5. Knitting Liisa
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 00:42:28

    Oh wow, great post (again!).

    And you are a really good writer in every way, one of my favorites! 🙂

%d bloggers like this: