Posted in It's all in a day's work.

Old School vs. New Age

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!

Posted in It's all in a day's work.


Total and utter exhaustion!

Fullfilling exhaustion!

Exhaustion where you know you gave your all. You laid everything you had on the line.

You walked away with nothing left!

For me, it set in around Thursday at 11:30am… When suitcases had been packed (and unpacked and packed again about 3 times due to carrying around gifts, 17 extra shirts which was the equivalent of 8 lbs in my suitcase, and projectors and staying in two hotels over the course of 3 nights). The 50+ slide presentation, presented.  The goodbyes said (to our New Bern Purchasing team).  Barely any Coke found (sadly, I’m not kidding, we were in the birthplace of Pepsi). The 5 pages of itemized receipts checked (that’s no lie). And we were loaded up in a GMC Yukon to make our trek back to TN from the lovely conference site of Atlantic Beach, NC. (Don’t have too much pity on us, we actually just took the  Yukon for a 1 hour drive & hopped the plane…no added team bonding of “punch bug, no punch back,” through an 8-hr car ride to TN–we were team bonded out!)

Myself and 2 other managers had completed our first 2-day offsite purchasing workshop for our team, and it was PERFECT!

Okay, so maybe not perfect to a “T” but with only having 2 months to plan it (all the articles I researched showed “to do” lists up to 6 months out!) and my perpetual  positivism (*grinning*), it really went off without a hitch!

We brought 15 people together for team bonding…and bonding we did! (Just ask my team…I am the Queen of Team Bonding…the cheesier, the better in my book). We didn’t just bond at the evening dinner events out on the back patio with the waves crashing in the background (yes, be jealous) but also during the two days of sitting in no-window rooms, discussing the highs and lows of what we do everyday…babysitting and firefighting, also known as “Purchasing.”

We started the day promptly at 8am, thanking them for the hard work in 2016 of achieving BP. No not gas…”Business Plan”. We set a few ground rules, which also included a gift…a Snickers bar, just in case anyone turned “diva” during our critical discussions. Then we actually got started with the day having each person put together a slide of photos or memes or videos to “introduce” themself within a 5 minute time slot, where everyone spoke for 8 minutes (yes, you read that correctly). But come on, who doesn’t love getting up in front of your peers, talking about yourself, to a totally captive (eh…”forced” captive) audience.  Then it was Coffee break time, which also came with muffins & pastries…Yum (well I hope they were good, I actually didn’t get to try one).

Throughout the rest of the days, we had overviews of how the interactions should be, set expectations for the upcoming year, had some lunch by the sea, where we discovered hotel guests out by the pool in bathing suits. I tried to explain that we were also in suits, just a different type…  (not buying it) . And there may have been some plotting on how to relocate the projector to display against the hotel & circle together the lounge chairs for the afternoon session, but since they were stuck having me mostly in charge, the relocation didn’t happen. (I’m cheesy, not easy…)

We had breakout sessions where the team could give their inputs of what is (and isn’t) working. We bonded through music and a game of “hot potato” (and yes, it was noted as such on the agenda-I told you I’m cheesy) to show the analogy of owning up vs. passing the buck.

The team laughed; some until they cried at the jokes and dry sense of humor we discovered in some of our folks.  They brought up the critical points, no matter how critical because it needed to be noted. A few of them tried to compensate for the lack of Coke by swaying me to drink a “Dr. Wham…The Cure for the Common Cola” #didntwork.  They asked good questions.  And most importantly, they seemed to have left feeling appreciated, giving the feedback that they fully enjoyed the workshop.


So the exhaustion of team dinners, staying up to rehearse slides (My apologies to the poor soul on my left, who had the pleasure of hearing purchasing topics and welcomes and transitions at midnight…), checking presentation order to match agenda time slots, and ensuring everyone was always accounted for (I will forever be a momma bear-Did it with youth groups, my own kids, and it won’t stop for my teams…and apparently it’s a nickname I have). And while the further exhaustion of setting the table places with gifts of gratitude, always being “on cue” for the discussions, and coordinating the details during the event, drains the ever-living life from you, I walked away knowing I laid it all out with the intention to bring nothing home with me.

But I did. I brought something home with me. And it wasn’t a souvenir.

It was a renewed scope. Refreshed vision. Re-energized passion.  Why Or How, you might ask… through them. Through their excitement and renewed passion and sense of gratitude to us for taking our time out (& away) to simply show appreciation. Sure, we set some hard tones, some new levels of expectations, but when it coincides with gratitude, anyone can bare the brunt of brutal much better. (I should Copyright that slogan😉)

And oddly enough, my pastor’s message for today was 100% confirmation of it all.

The title: How we can be “uncommon” in our communication.

The How: by giving and showing- Praise, Thanksgiving, Affection, Encouragement, Environment of Kindness, Truth in Love, and Prayer.

ALL of those things happened last week, in some form or fashion. WoW!

So while the weekend didn’t fully allow for the exhaustion to wear off, it settled and now resonates in my soul that all the work was for something greater and was purposed!

…but did I mention that I’m glad to be back in TN where they actually serve Coke more than Pepsi! Thank you Jesus!



Posted in It's all in a day's work.

Free Fallin’

Do you ever have one of those, shut your office door and cry, three different times in one day, kind of day?


Hmmm. Well I do! And I did. Just last week. Or was it this week.  Okay, so maybe I have those days more often than not.  Anyway, it had been quite an overwhelming day with a major shortage risk trying to creep its way in at our highest output factory.

Finally, 5:00pm came and I was heading out the door with my handbag (it’s not a purse-that is slang, I learned that early on in my retail buying career from a seasoned vet buyer) and my knock-off Yeti.  Or so I thought.

Next thing I know, I’m face down on the pavement, at the bottom of a set of 6 cement steps. Yep! I fell.

See, I’m already clumsy sometimes, so that certainly doesn’t help the equation and I can be careless about trusting all will be okay (No. Faith-filled. That’s what it is, I’m faith-filled). So as I was about to take the first step downward, the heel of my shoe got caught and gravity worked alongside that mess and pulled me forward.  My shins took the brunt of the fall as they smacked one of the steps, with my knees trailing behind to the next step and ending with my left elbow halting the fall against the pavement. As all this was happening in the physical realm, I was having an “out of body” moment. I was hovering above myself, seeing the fall, thinking… “Oh no, I’m falling. I’m falling. What am I gonna do. How can I stop this. I can’t. I can’t stop this. Oh no.” And in the end, there was no stopping it. I was falling whether I wanted to or not.

So there I was. Face down. On pavement. My handbag and 2 cell phones (yes, I’m That important) sporadically scattered at the bottom of the steps and my knock-off Yeti lying there with all water gone from it; even my fruit diffuser flung across the ground.

Even though I was still in complete schlock and trying to process what just happened, I decided I needed to get up because I simply couldn’t be found, face down lying at the bottom of these steps. So I pushed myself up from the ground and was able to maneuver myself to sit on the bottom step.  “I’m okay. I’m fine.” I kept telling myself. I looked around to see everything scattered about on the pavement and thought, okay what’s my next move. I need to get my phone and let hubby know I’ll be delayed in getting home. I started to move to get my phone, yet went nowhere because my body simply hadn’t gotten past the shock or initial pain.

“And, I’m not okay. I’m not fine and now I can’t reach my phones to even call for help.” What in the world am I going to do?

Mind you, I haven’t even looked at any injury yet because my main thought was, let’s get home and I’ll clean myself up there. Granted, this is totally the wrong approach and breaks many, if not all, of most companies’ safety procedures for accidents. But my ego was so bruised; I simply wanted to get home.

(All of this processing really only happened in a matter of 3 minutes, but with my writing you’d think I’d been sitting there half an hour at this point.)

As I sat, debating how I will even get home at this point, a car starts to back out. This could be my answer. Or wait, do I really want this colleague, whoever it may be (as I don’t recognize the vehicle), to come to my rescue?? Can you believe I even pondered that!?  I mean at this point, I have no other options because I couldn’t get my body to move to even pick up my phones.  Geez!  The things one thinks to avoid being seen after an embarrassing accident. The gal rolls down her window and to my surprise it’s our safety manger. Needless to say she pulls back in, and comes to my first aid rescue.

As she’s cleaning my wounds and bandaging me up, she begins to lay an ice pack on one shin and tells me certain warning signs to watch for throughout the night. I’m listening. I’m getting queasy. I’m thinking, ‘man I’m glad it’s not a 90 degree day’. I start to feel nauseated. I casually move said ice pack from my shin to my neck in order to avoid throwing up all over her and potentially passing out. And all of this happened as another colleague joined to support in any way. Yes, let’s make it a group effort-oh the embarrassment of it all!

(And by the way, how in the world did I have 3 kids??)

After she finishes and I think my nausea has passed, she looks at me and says, “Can you please let me take you home, you don’t look well enough to drive yourself.” Clearly, not all color had returned from the conclusion of the ‘what-to-look-for’ signs conversation, and I gave in to the offer (because sadly, I would have had to sit there another 30 minutes just to regain composure to drive 10 minutes home).  Both colleagues gathered my things and helped me to her car.

So the lessons learned… Always use the hand rail. Don’t ever be too embarrassed to accept needed help—Be Real Folks.  And, don’t drink too much Coke-this could have been reason for my fall (just kidding, but I had to include some sort of “coke” joke).