Archive for December, 2011

Dear Paper-Based Scheduling Systems

Hi there! I know you’ve seen me around these past 5 years, but I don’t know that we’ve had a chance to be properly introduced. And, with so many new exciting things coming up for me, I thought it would be smart to reach out, say hello and cover a few things.

First, I want to compliment your willingness to step into your role almost 2000 years ago. It must seem like yesterday. When humans first discovered that they could contextualize time by breaking things down by years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds, their brains were naturally overwhelmed at managing all the things they were in charge of organizing in their own heads. They needed a worthy counterpart to help them stay on track. This is where you came in.

And, without complaint, you have served them all well. Extremely well, in fact. You’re always on hand and can be easily portable. Events can be erased and repositioned; and you worked into something they already know and have: pencil and paper.

For centuries this has worked, and worked well. Paper based planning and scheduling has come to be the norm once someone has too much in their head. And, they have worked equally as well for schools, universities, businesses and organizations.

But, times have changed.

People are busier now.
People desire to be more connected.
People want digital backups.
People now collaborate with others around the world via the internet.
People carry mobile devices that have very functional calendars on them.
People want a window into how they are managing resources, rooms and organizations.
People want to know they are organized.
People want technology to empower them to do more with less.
People want technology to simplify their lives.

While out of no fault of your own, people have outgrown you, in need of something faster, more connected; frictionless. Something that shows them how rooms, people, teams and groups are being scheduled. A system that helps them collaborate together when they are not in the same room.

You have to admit, they brought this on themselves. Many of them long for the simpler life they once had. The time has come again where people must evolve from the new pressures of the current state of scheduling. Their situation in history demands it.

So this is where I come in.  A new scheduling tool for where schools and universities are at today. A connected scheduling tool using the internet. A online tool that allocates facilities to teams or groups of people. A tool that updates a personal digital calendar automatically. A tool that posts a schedule to the social networks that are most used. A tool that is simple to use. A tool that, sadly for you, isn’t paper and pencil.

To be frank, people have known about your limitations for a while now. And, many people will continue to use paper and pencil for their own personal calendar, to keep them organized. They find comfort in its simplicity. But people who schedule schools and universities deserve better. They demand better. And today, they have an option.

Please don’t take this personally. I aspire to be as relevant as you’ve been all these years. So, take some “time off”. Relax. Schedule a cocktail or two. You deserve it. Focus on staying relevant in the personal digital calendar market (just beware that the names like Outlook, iCal, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar will come up often. I’ve seen them, and they are really, really nice).

As for scheduling schools and universities, just realize that from now on, I got this.

Your digital friend,