Friday, July 22, 2011
DayTimers, Smart Phones, and Yellow Pads
Did any of you used to carry a DayTimer and a gold Cross pen? It was the height of cool in the 80s and early 90s if you were a professional Important Person. I carried them because I was a professional Sales Person--probably the antithesis of cool, but the pen and the official calendar with 30-minute appointment increments made me feel important and very efficient.
DayTimer sent lots of specialized pages to fit my pocketbook-sized spiral calendar. Pages to track my mileage, To Do list, expenses. I loved them all but used none of them. It turns out that I'm most comfortable with just one list. I place check marks next to completed items and rarely used symbols to show the priority of each. Sorry, DayTimer!
I've had a smart phone for almost two years and I'm slowly transferring my calendar and notes to its little screen (hey, don't rush me, now!) My reasoning is that I always have the phone with me, making it likely I'll have the right calendar, list or address when I need it. What I didn't figure on was the visibility factor. That little phone gets put away and I can't see proof of my fabulous organizational skills. I forget the lists are there and my confused brain thinks I haven't done anything, causing alarm bells to sound.
It's almost time for my summer getaway. The Coachella Valley loses its "dry heat" distinction in July and August when the so-called monsoon season creeps up from the Gulf of Mexico, giving the desert the feeling of a Florida swamp. That's when everyone who can escape, does.
I've been trying to plan my trip by putting lists on my smart phone. I've been feeling frazzled and disorganized. Last night my friend Mel mentioned to me that there's nothing as satisfying as checking things off a big ol' list. I suddenly realized my old-fashioned self yearned for that very thing.
Tonight I picked up a clean yellow legal pad, feeling like I'd come home. I carefully wrote down a couple of things I've already accomplished--just so I could check them off. Ah, bliss! I now have three columns extending half-way down the page and I'm not nearly done. I leave the list on my desk, where the visibility factor reminds me that I'm in charge, Baby! I can't say I feel more important, but I do feel very efficient again!