One of the best things I did for my own organization and productivity was to begin to keep a notebook – always open on my desk, and tucked into my bag when I am out. Before my notebook, my desk was a cacophony of post-its and scraps of paper, and when I completed something I would throw away the paper. This method – and I’m sure that I’m not alone in my post-it method! – had a number of drawbacks, including:
- If I ever needed to refer back to my scrap of paper (which was more often than I’d like to admit!), the paper was gone. I can’t begin to tell you how much time I wasted searching through my trash bin!
- If I left my desk and wanted to work elsewhere (who knows – perhaps I can untether myself from the desk occasionally!), I had no idea what needed to be done. And if I carried the scraps of paper with me . . . well, you can just imagine how badly that went!
- If I were out and remembered something that needed to be done, I had no place to write it. In fact, I would often email myself notes!
- If I received phone calls or other progress was made on my current projects while away from my desk – and my collection of post-its – I had no place to record the changes.
Thus was born the notebook! While I didn’t want to carry around an 8 ½ x 11” spiral notebook, it seemed that my desire for a “small, attractive, carry-around” notebook was actually becoming trendy, as the notebook aisle at Staples was filled with a wide variety in all sizes, materials and colors. Deciding to keep a notebook lowered my daily stress level and added enjoyment to my work days in several ways, including:
- It gave me a perfect excuse to spend quality time browsing the notebook aisle – guilt-free shopping!
- I feel organized and empowered – like I can take on the world!
- My very attractive red leather notebook on my desk makes me smile at the sheer indulgence of an $8 investment.
- I no longer live in fear of discarding important information.
- When I am out, I have a place to write ideas, inspirations and information that I won’t lose.
All this from a notebook . . . I should have done this sooner!