Sunday, March 16, 2008


Along with the new office, and my new office, I have new responsibilities at work. I'm still doing some development, but more and more of my job is shifting toward scheduling and traffic, ensuring that work keeps moving through the office, and that deadlines are met.

I'm in a lot of meetings, both internal planning meetings, meeting with staff to go over workload and due dates, and meeting with clients. I'd gotten pretty good at keeping my calendar online, on Apple's iCal. I have a .Mac subscription, so everything I enter on any of my computers--the eMac, the iBook, and the iMac at work--is synced up, so no matter where I am, I can see my current calendar.

But more and more, I'm not at my desk. I'm walking around, talking to people, sitting in on meetings, holding impromptu meetings all over the office. I'm not in my office all that much. I'd considered taking the laptop in so that I could have my current calendar available, but that wasn't really a good solution, either.

I still use the Palm, but not as much. I depend on it more for recordkeeping--the checkbook register, passwords, account numbers, prescription numbers, that kind of thing. When my job started changing, I started carrying around a big graph pad, writing down everything--meeting notes, due dates, lists of projects and lists of people--trying to figure out a good system for keeping track of everything that I suddenly need to keep track of.

I can't say that that system was exactly a failure--I haven't missed any important deadlines, I don't think, and nothing has really fallen through the cracks--but I wasn't feeling very much in control. I had pages and pages of notes, but no way to organize them, and no real way to find anything. It was great for free-association, but not so great if I ever needed to refer to anything again.

So I made a spur-of-the-moment decision yesterday while I was out. I bought a new Franklin planner. I have a long history of using Daytimers and planners. I love them, but I've never really stuck with one long-term. They're (mostly) big and heavy and a pain to carry around, and frankly, I've never really needed one all that much. I would use one for awhile, then get tired of carrying it around, and stop. But now I think I can finally, really, justify it.

The Palm is good, and I like it for some things, but there's just something satisfying about paper. Both have their disadvantages, of course. The paper planner can be lost; if the Palm is lost, it can be (mostly) reconstructed, as long as the sync is up to date. But there's also something about writing things down--sometimes just the act of writing them imprints them on your brain somehow. It's different than typing.

So anyway, I went to the Franklin Covey store on Saturday. I picked out this binder:

It's a gorgeous soft leather, ivory, the Classic size (approximately 5x8, I think), with a slight metallic sheen.

Inside, there are lots of pockets and slots:

I picked out the "Blooms" filler. I didn't intend to get anything so girly--and I've had the "Blooms" set before--but there wasn't anything else that had the layout that I wanted. Or, at least, there wasn't anything else that I saw or that was appropriate (obviously, even if the ESPN one, for instance, had the right layout, I wasn't going to choose that).

I got the two pages per day version. On the left, there's a Daily Task List ("to-do list"), and an Appointment Schedule. There's also a spot called Daily Tracker -- I'm not sure yet what I'll use that for. The right-hand side is completely open, for Daily Notes. In the back are pages for addresses and phone numbers. I spent a really happy couple of hours setting it all up, putting in appointments and notes.

I'm really happy with it. It's something of an indulgence, but one that I think I an justify as a necessary business expense. It makes me feel more in control, and sometimes, just feeling in control helps. I'm enjoying the job, and I think this will enhance it. And if nothing else, I'll look good doing it.

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