Friday, February 02, 2007

Organizing My Life With a Moleskin PDA

It's so weird that this is being covered over at Passionate Users. While in Destin for the break, I bought my first Moleskin. It felt sinfully expensive, but hey, it was vacation and I was feeling generous.

I bought the Moleskin to use for brain-storming, or that's what I told myself. I wasn't quite sure how I'd use it, but if it was good enough for Hemingway it was good enough for me. The feel of the little book is really lovely. I'm an aesthetically driven person (who isn't?) and the leather and paper is pleasing. More than that, they feel permanent. I will not throw this away.

Not that I've ever thrown a planner away. I keep them for reference. The ones from the early '90s are Franklins and huge. When I was working at the Computer company, I needed. College required detailed organization, too. But when I graduated and got dumped into Motherhood, I just couldn't justify the size, weight and expense. Have you ever tried carrying a full-size Franklin and a baby car seat? Didn't think so. What a pain in the arse.

So I downsized to the smallest Franklin. It still wasn't small enough. Last year, I just took the complimentary calendars that we get every year at the office and used it. Small, could fit in my purse. Effective. Cheap. Every once in a while, I'd need more space, but whatever.... It was a worth-while trade-off. If I needed more space I stole paper from the printer...and then lost the paper.

Enter the moleskin. I bought the book version and have written little notes in it. Mostly, I've stared at it and admired its simplistic beauty. Tonight, though, I'm reminded why I love the internet: Over at Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra talks about how she uses her Moleskin. Wow!

She is my kinda gal. I don't use a PDA. It is bad enough that I have to enter phone numbers into a cell phone. My sister uses a Crackberry and they look sinister and soul sucking.

Crack addicts, of course, love them. But they're really not useful to me because I'm often thinking out loud and the electronics are not conducive for this--at least for me. Another problem is charging the thing. My cell phone runs out of juice all the time. Doh! I'm getting better with my new phone since it doesn't blank out on me like the last one, but I digress.

Anyway, Kathy uses a system she's incorporated through this book:

It's the GTD system. Sounds good to me. I won't go into the details, you need to go over to her post for that.

I'm actually very excited about this. For the past nine years (yes nine), I've floundered trying to find a system that works for me. Hasn't happened. I've got the
"Daily System" wall-board system from Pottery Barn. It has been a saving grace for our family. We all use it. We have two months up and anyone can add activities. Highly recommended. It is also nice and sturdy, magnetized and looks good. We'll have it forever. But the wall system has kept me organized.

I'll keep you updated and let you know if this system works. Oh! And you'll need a pen to take everywhere right? My favorites are Pilot P-700s. I've used them for about five years.
I know, disturbing. Other places recommend this pen because it can hook to your key chain and is portable. Hmmm... good idea. Might try that, too.

And yes, I know I'm a nerd. For more information on "Getting Started" go over to 43 Folders. Oh, and I'm a geek, too. This is why this system will work for people like me say the experts:

I think Getting Things Done appeals to geeks for a lot of reasons. Overgeneralizing for effect:

* geeks are often disorganized or have a twisted skein of attention-deficit issues
* geeks love assessing, classifying, and defining the objects in their world
* geeks crave actionable items and roll their eyes at “mission statements” and lofty management patois
* geeks like things that work with technology-agnostic and lofi tools
* geeks like frameworks but tend to ignore rules
* geeks are unusually open to change (if it can be demonstrated to work better than what they’re currently using)
* geeks like fixing things on their own terms
* geeks have too many projects and lots and lots of stuff

Well, then it should work for me. I'll let you know.

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