Web Japan > Kids Web Japan > Archives > What's Cool > Personal organizers

April-June 1998

Personal Organizers: Paper and Electronic

More and more kids in Japan these days (especially high-school girls) are using personal organizers to keep track of their lives. There are two kinds of personal organizers: paper-based and electronic. Paper-based organizers are filing systems the size of a small notebook. They typically contain address books, calendars, pockets for papers or photos, and so on. Electronic organizers are small hand-held computers that can store addresses and phone numbers, schedules, dictionaries, and other information. Some electronic organizers even include communication features.

Once only businessmen carried personal organizers. But over the past few years, low-priced versions of these products have cropped up, so now even kids can buy them. Paper-based personal organizers are particularly popular, and especially among high-school girls. These days, you rarely see a high-school girl without a personal organizer of one kind or another.

Nowadays there are many different colors and styles of paper-based personal organizers to choose from. And there are all kinds of materials available to fill the notebooks with: "profile cards" for writing down information about your friends (addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and so on); sheets for sticking mini photo stickers onto; photo album sheets; and pockets of various shapes and sizes for holding everything from business cards, maps, and train passes to magnifying glasses, mirrors, and combs. You can customize your paper-based personal organizer by filling it with just the sheets you want, in the order you want. Some organizers can be filled with so many things they seem more like handbags!

A growing number of high-school girls also have electronic organizers, although these are not quite as popular as the paper-based variety. Most girls tend to choose electronic organizers with a lot of fun and games built in. Some electronic organizers let you "feed" and "raise" a virtual dog or cat on-screen, some have horoscope features, and some let you create likenesses of your friends by combining images of different parts of a face. The communication features are extremely popular too. Many girls keep busy using their electronic organizers to exchange messages with their friends.

Photos: (Top) Organizers nowadays often do more than just keep track of your schedule; (above) with so many appealing choices, these girls can't decide which ones to buy! (Asahi Shogakusei Shimbun)