If you follow me on the blog or social media, if you know me as a friend, if you work with me, and even if you have just spoken to me as an acquaintance, you probably know I like to be organized…and I have likely asked you “How do you keep track of your work tasks / personal tasks / note taking in meetings / etc…”
For me, it seems like this has been an ongoing challenge for the last year.
*Disclaimer = Don’t ask my husband, he’ll likely tell you I’ve been fighting with this since we’ve been married (7.5 years). And if he does tell you that, and decides to complain about it…well know it’s all his fault. You’ll find out why shortly.
So during this, let’s just call it 1 year, I’ve tried a plethora of planners/notebooks/apps/etc….
Bullet Journal – This intrigued me because of course we all ‘want’ to be crafty in some way and I have a deep love for colorful pens! But alas, it took a LOT of time and I really like to keep notes separate by subject and the whole point of Bullet Journaling (if you do it the way as “created” by Ryder Carroll, BUJO ), then you’ll know that essentially “pre-planning” your journal breaks Every. Single. Rule. of the system.
Franklin Covey – YEP, I pulled out my beloved burgundy, leather bound, 3 internal with 1 external pocket, 6 ring zipped binder. And FAILED. It’s so big and I travel at least 1x per month and each time I would pack my laptop briefcase I would intentionally not take it. If I did anything, it was remove the needed pages, just to leave the bulky binder behind.
3-Ring Binder – You know the binders for school, like the large size that high schoolers use. (Don’t judge me, it was a recommendation from a girlfriend at work whom I dearly admire and learn from each time we sit down to chat).. Anyway, I’m not sure why I thought this would work from me. I mean, if I’m leaving behind the “classic size Covey” what on earth made me think I was going to tote around a normal notebook size, 1-inch binder. I was able to pre-plan and I did LOVE the flexibility of moving papers from 1 section to another, or printing off an important email, punching holes and dumping it in the Alphabetically-organized section of which it belonged…
Yeah, I ditched it too.
Weekly Planner – I made sure to buy a fun color in hopes the color alone would motivate me to use / carry it. Except, it really only helped with planning and tracking to-do’s. There wasn’t enough space to take a note. I mean I barely had enough place to list out 6 to-do tasks per day,,,,
Electronic – Here it got messy and this is where I would revert to paper. I would try to take electronic notes in Word or OneNote or in an “outlook task”, heck I even took notes in an email message on occasion (don’t judge—I’m like a lost puppy right now, OK). The problem came when I needed to use the very note taking device to present during a meeting and I was restricted from taking the electronic notes…So then I was back to pen and paper. About a month ago I was ready to dive full-in to Outlook tasks. This was proving to work, because I could set reminders or a date and it would sync with my calendar. So almost like having a weekly planner to lay out when I want to work on something. But with a company initiative to drive down our inbox size, I found out my ‘tasks’ eat up email space…well we can’t have this! So then I moved to Microsoft OneNote and I will say, it is nice. Still feeling it out, but so far, so good!
So in each of these, electronic vs. paper, I have never fully been 1 way or the other. I have always still been using both, which I think is part of the madness that’s making me cra cra.
Now that you’re fully up-to-speed, let’s start with this morning…
So as I’m discussing it with my husband today for the hundredth time, he said why don’t you run 2 short-term trial periods.
WHAT? Why didn’t you come up with this earlier? Why are you just NOW giving me this idea? AND…Why didn’t I think of this? I work in an industry where we run tests and trials on your (hopefully you have one) Bosch Dishwashers and Thermador Ovens ALL week long! What a novel idea! A trial period.
Go fully electronic for a few months, then fully paper, then make a decision of which one you like best and be done with it!
For September and October I will be 100% electronic. Then November and December 100% paper. Then hopefully before January 1, 2018 rolls around (yes, we are only 4 months away from the new year!!) I will have a preference and can run with it for 2018 and not fight this mind over matter battle any longer—or at least not in 2018, this is the first goal.
Anyway, if you have any preferences, leave them in the comments. As you’ve already read, I like to find out what each person prefers / uses / how they manage it daily and weekly. So, I’d love to hear from you!