Friday, August 03, 2007

PDA PDQ?

So as I read this book this week, I am just about ready to take the plunge. Managing my time better has always been something I wanted to do and never really got around to doing. I tend to go with the flow but I usually know where the flow is coming from first. I hate schedules with a passion so I don't like dictating to myself what I am going to do everyday and when I am going to do it. I do however, love To-Do lists and feel somewhat discombobulated without them. Hmm. Is that a little conflicting? Don't know. Anyway, the challenge, as I've written before, is to keep the list with me and to keep the other stuff I need on me too in order to stay somewhat organized - my calendar, my business idea notebook, my cell phone to remind me of things. The thing is, my job is the one place where I've managed to be pretty organized and it's time to carry that over to the rest of my life.

So Dr. Don Wetmore is the author of this book and I think I've mentioned him by name before too since he came a couple of times to one of my business groups to talk about time management. Now, just to talk about this book for a minute, I've heard the man talk so I know his style and this book is so him - his way of talking and his wit. His thoughtful examples. Plus, this book has pictures! Lots and lots of pictures. You can breeze through a chapter not only because he gets your attention but also because the little amount of text there actually is on a page so you just have to finish a chapter because really, it's just not that long. I took this with me while dropping off the kids and I read about 6 or 7 chapters in that time.

Now the man has some good thoughts about how to organize your time. Some of it I've heard from him before but re-reading it is good and makes me think about what I'll want to take away from this. One thing I did was assess where I stood on the 7 things that make up a person's life. (This book is about managing ALL your life. Don believes in life balance, as I do, so he is trying to help people figure out how to keep your various facets of life in balance. Those seven things, just so you can think about it too, are:

Family
Health
Professional
Intellectual
Social
Spiritual
Financial

Basically you rate these on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 meaning you are satisfied with this area of your life. You think about each area and consider all the things you want to accomplish in each area as well as assess how it really is right now. Wherever you are falling short, you may be thinking you don't have the time to deal with and that's why it's lacking, but Don thinks you do and so do I. It's about prioritizing and thinking about how one area affects another before you decide to do or not do something.

Well, this got me to thinking about ways to sync up my various calendars (mostly mental calendars) and I think I am about to do what I never wanted to do - go tech. The fact is I had already been thinking I need to put up a family calendar on the fridge. We've had too many mornings where Son needed something for school and we had to scramble to get it though we knew about it for a week. And Daughter will be in kindergarten in another year. So a calendar will kept the upcoming weeks before us and we can keep the peace.

I keep things in my cell phone, I write them down on to-do lists. I have an address book which is at home and never with me at work when I seem to address letters the most. I have my idea book for my business and I've lots of time when I thought about something I wanted to write and had no paper to write it down. The problem really is my disdain for carrying loads of things. I think I loathe that even more than tech gadgets, which is why i am now considering a PDA. I could, in theory, keep all the above mentioned stuff in one little streamlined place and that, along with my cell phone, I should, in theory, have no problem carrying around. Right now I don't imagine I'd want a Blackberry or mix of PDA and phone because I prefer flip phones and these portable computers don't flip. I don't think. Who knows. But I don't think I want to merge the two just yet. That would be going too far.

So do I want to go PDA? I'll look to buy one next month, if I decide it can do what I need it to. I'll still need to handwrite some things because after all I am a writer and I like the feel of pen to paper. But this search for easier and lighter feels eternal and I really want to bring it to rest now. It's time to sync up all my calendars and try to keep all my crap in one portable place. So if anyone has a PDA and wants to regale me about the virtues of this device, feel free. You can knock it too and tell me what works for you because I'm open to the discussion - this month. After then, I'm taking the plunge.

1 comment:

Looney Mom said...

That sounds like a great book. Lord knows that I'm a total disorganized mess. I like making schedules and the idea of having one, but rarely do I actually FOLLOW them!! Now that I'm homeschooling I HAVE to be scheduled - whether I want to or not.

But I'm going to put my 2 cents in where the PDA is concerned. I LOVE my Treo 650 - Palm powered. I know they now have the 755w with Windows applications but I haven't even cared or dared to "upgrade" since this little guy has been such a great companion for the last 4 years.

It has your calendar with alarms if you want them (I literally use mine as an alarm clock; I just tuck it under my pillow), you can check and write email, surf the web, doodle on it if you want to "hand-write" notes, calculator, video and still camera, MP3 player, I even have the entire bible on it and I can watch movies on it! I also have games on it for the kids if we're stuck somewhere for a long while. Oh, and it's a nice flashlight too. LOL! There are so many other features on this phone that "upgrading" just seems redundant at this point. I LOVE mine!

Ok. Really, I don't work for them! LOL! But honestly, I don't know what I ever did without it. ;)