How do you get a techno-phobic to be techno-friendly?
September 3, 2007 4:12 PM   Subscribe

How do you get a busy but techno-phobic guy to be open to the idea of calendar schedule sync'ing with another very busy super geek? Obviously, I'm the geek here, and I am stressed about people's needs to talk on the phone when calendar sync takes only one second. /SML
posted by seeminglee to Human Relations (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A lot of techno-phobic people, especially traveling people, still keep paper calendars. DayRunner, DayTimer, remain multi-million dollar operations, supplying this market.

If your "guy" finds paper calendars more effective than software ones, as I do, you've got a tall order on your hands trying to convince him to abandon their convenience, privacy, utility, and low power demands, to satisfy your convenience. Syncing software calendars to the master paper planner is so not worth it, he probably just won't.
posted by paulsc at 4:28 PM on September 3, 2007

Agreed, I also use paper planners. Actually a moleskine that I use for notes/planning. It doesn't invite theft, it doesn't need a computer to sync to in case it goes bad and it is one less set of power cords to carry around. It is also several times faster to jot things down if you're on the phone and suddenly need to take schedule notes down. You might have calendar sync, but the large majority of my interactions are not with calendar sync people.

So either find him an electronic alternative he would want to use (e.g., an iPhone), a personal assistant who can keep his schedule, or a compromised system (such as entering appointments and calendar syncing at the end of the day).
posted by geoff. at 4:43 PM on September 3, 2007

My husband and I use Google Calendar to see each other's schedule. It's fairly quick and easy to use.

I use a PDA and still wouldn't be too enthused about synching it with my husband's (if he had one). It seems like a lot of bother, and what if I have an entry like "Pick up Mr. SLP's birthday gift" or "Pick up tampons?" At least with the Google Calendar you have some control over what the other person sees.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:01 PM on September 3, 2007

Add me to the roster of people who would not be likely to switch my calendar system for the sake of syncing up with someone else.

That said, maybe there's a compromise measure so the system doesn't have to drive either of you totally crazy? Could you perhaps do your scheduling by email, so they don't have to switch their system but you don't have to deal with the phone and can put off their schedule comments to handle when it's a better time for you?
posted by Stacey at 5:44 PM on September 3, 2007

I'm another person who uses a paper calendar, but even if I kept a calendar in a syncable format, I wouldn't be willing to sync it with anyone else. My calendar is private. I like keeping it that way. I like being able to say yes or no to social engagements based on whether or not I want to go, and being able to politely say that I "have other plans" if I choose not to go. If someone else knew my calendar, I wouldn't be able to tell those little white lies that act as social lubricant. Perhaps your friend is using the excuse that he is a "technophobe" because he doesn't want to hurt your feelings by telling you that he prefers to maintain his privacy from you. That's what I would say if someone suggested this plan to me.
posted by decathecting at 7:56 AM on September 4, 2007

Yeah you could ask him to set up a Google Calendar showing only the blocks of time he's available and you could do the same. Or if you can get the same info in an email from him it should take maybe a minute or two to put it into your own calendar, after which you can make a decision and email him back. Either way keeps everything nice and asynchronous, allows him to maintain his privacy, and doesn't force him to manually sync his existing organizational system to a calendar that's compatible with yours.
posted by benign at 8:24 AM on September 4, 2007

Response by poster: 1. I do use Google Calendar to show my schedule already.

2. I am also a Moleskine convert--but I use it mostly to keep notes. I go through one per month.

3. I use Palm + iGoogle to-do list + 43Things + Yahoo Pipes (see SML To-Do) for my to-do lists because that's the most effective way of keeping all my items.

4. However, my problem is that I can't get this guy to look at my calendar and he insists that I call him on the phone to throw time at him!

5. He doesn't have a personal assistant, neither do I. I am starting to think that the best way to handle this issue is to literally hire the same personal assistant and get him to be the human sync.

6. Which brings me to my next question--how/where would you recommend that I find one? Are there personal assistance services / secretary assistance services available similar to office rentals from Regus?

Much thanks!
posted by seeminglee at 8:02 PM on September 7, 2007

« Older Printing woes on XP   |   WIFI hijacking Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.