I gave up, again, on technology to keep my life organized. I've surrendered to the ravages of time and now accept that the current concept of modern technology is insufficient for me to keep my life organized.
My phone is *gasp* a telephone first an a clever tool after that. The software that I used to keep the phone synchronized with my computer is long past the point of end of life and no longer usable. Add to that the uniquely humorous adventure of a short attention span and I know that technology has not figured out what I need to do in order to survive so out came my old Day-Runner organizer and I dusted it off. Yes, paper. No spiffy high-tech doodad du jour to keep my life organized until it all changes six months later when the newest version of "their" software comes out.
Before you laugh, let me tell you this. I heard a really neat presentation of an idea on NPR one day and it applies here. The speaker pointed out that not that long ago there was this clever thing called a "Betamax" video tape. You can't view them anymore. It's not even an extremely old technology, it is just gone by the wayside. However, you can still read a Gutenberg bible that was printed in what, the 1500's. So don't laugh. Just because you don't think it's a technologically "smart" decision, I counter with that its the smartest decision that could be made.
So, paper. Let's talk about this. I'm not the only one of course. Tom Limoncelli, the wunderkind behind http://everythingsysadmin.com/ has termed his paper organizer his "PAA" for Personal Analog Assistant has a lot of interesting resources for those of us who want to survive our own lives. There's also "D*I*Y Planner" at http://diyplanner.com. They seem to have gone by the wayside but there's still a lot of cool stuff you can find there. Its a shame because there seemed to be some really brilliant things going on there.
One of the things I'd found is the DIYPlanner Widget kit and I designed some of my own pages. Once you make an effort it's very easy to do.
So, the first thing I did was create a ToDo list for myself. I took one that I found and I massaged it to my own liking. After that I got this:
It worked pretty well but I found that the spacing was too small and the list got to be too large. So, redesign again. This time I spaced it out a good bit more and got rid of the check boxes. Now I have:
This works nice. So, now I printed it onto different colored papers. Based on what I had available to me I used a buff color (super pale yellow) for my work list and a nice light blue one for personal things. It's working aces and I'm pretty happy with it.
I still have a list of name and phone number pairs in a spreadsheet that I should set as one list based on a classification... Hmmm... That means that maybe I can come up with a page for that. So, I created a blank "Classified" page based on one of the pages that I got with my Day Runner when I got it. So, here's what I did. I created a blank page:
So, I take that and I run it through the printer on a piece of bright yellow thick paper, sort of like a soft cardboard and then I print my little address list on it by running it through the printer again and I get a nice solid "Classified" page for, in the first case, the local restaurants we always visit! Feeling clever, I do the same thing on a piece of orange paper of the same type and print the local emergency services numbers on it.
Then I had to come up with a note pad. I used to have a "top-glued" three hole punched (register size) note pad that I used all the time. Well, I can't find them so I created a similar one and printed them on pink paper.
Yes, I'm still reading the GTD book but it's taking time.
Oh, in playing with the ideas, I did a goofy test to see if I could create one of those really "classy" looking pages that some folks create. In doing it, I came up with this: