No matter how many fancy little electronic gadgets I get, sometimes there is just no substitute for doing things the way your grandmother did.
I’m not going to bash gadgets in this article. I am a big, big fan of anything that makes my life less complicated. (Yes, I am forever grateful for dishwashers, video doorbells and washing machines).
However, some things just don’t seem to work out as planned once they go electronic. I have found that there are a few things that simply work out better when you do them the old-fashioned way. Yes, it might take a bit more effort, but you will find it is well worth it.
1. Use a real camera.
Of course, having a camera on hand for those spontaneous videos or spur-of-the-moment pictures is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but gathering the family around a cell phone or tablet to view Christmas photos just doesn’t cut it.
You don’t have to lug around an $800 camera and a box of lenses. A simple digital camera will do nicely for pictures you know you are going to take, including family photos, Christmas and other holiday photos, birthday parties, etc. Save your cell phone for times when you simply must send a picture of these shoes to your sister to see if they go with her new outfit.
2. Make a real photo album.
Again, there is nothing heartwarming about passing around a cell phone to view Susie’s first birthday party pics. It really is worth the effort to take pictures with a real camera (digital is great) and then order prints of the photos you think are the best. Put those photos (don’t forget to write who is in the photo on the back) in photo albums. When your family gets together, sitting around an album is much nicer than a cell phone. In addition, albums can be passed on to other family members throughout the years. I really cherish the pictures of my parents and grandparents, which would most likely be lost in a computer crash.
3. Keep a paper address book.
I only know three phone numbers now: my husband’s cell, my cell, and our home phone. Why? Because I don’t have to. My cell phone keeps track of all my phone numbers and addresses for me.
However, after losing my cell phone for a few hours one day, I realized that I would only have access to whatever backup I had as far as those names and addresses go. When was the last time you backed up your cell phone? Exactly! And what would we do if we had no way to access even our backup files?
For this reason, I now keep an old-fashioned paper address book in my home. I write in pencil and can make changes as often as needed. If I should lose all my contact information, even if it’s slightly out of date, my paper address book will still be there to help me out.
4. Use a paper calendar.
Phone calendars can be a great thing when you are on the road or away from home, but how many times have you relied on your Google or phone calendar, only to find that you forgot to set the alarm or that you put the appointment for 2 p.m., when it should have been 12 p.m.? It has certainly happened to me.
For this reason, I use a paper wall calendar in my kitchen to write big notes or achievements, as well as a small paper calendar in my purse, in addition to my electronic calendar. When I make an appointment, I write it in my paper calendar in my purse, first. Just a simple “John Dr. 12PM” will do the trick. Once I am home and not so rushed, I add it to my cell phone, then to the wall calendar. This way, my husband doesn’t have to ask me six times when his doctor’s appointment is and I have a backup I can check in an instant if my electronic calendar should fail, or if I should misplace my phone. Again.
5. Paper invitations and/or thank-you notes.
Yes, I’ve heard how e-vites and thank-you notes are all the rage because they are “greener” than using paper, but if you use sustainable paper sources, such as bamboo or hemp, that argument quickly falls by the wayside.
There is nothing more personal or sweet that you can send someone than a handwritten, paper invitation or thank you-note. If someone took the time to go to the store, buy a gift, have it wrapped, and show up at your event, is it too much to ask to write a three line thank-you note?! Invitations and thank-you notes are also great mementos to keep in your scrapbook or photo album.
There are plenty of other old-fashioned things that I like to do, but when it comes to electronic gadgets, I prefer my grandmother’s way to the Apple way.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below: