I’ve written before about managing life. It’s something I really have to try and stay on top of with the life I lead. You see, if you haven’t been around these parts too long, I’m a full-time IT guy at work, a father of 5 and husband of one wonderful wife, a fill-in-the-gap preacher/teacher, a home-roaster, home-gardener, home-chicken-raiser, and home-goat-milker. So, yes, life is full, but very, very good. And you can see why one would need to stay on top of things with such a life.
The past several weeks, I’ve been realizing something all the more. If I don’t have my calendar on my desk at work, I don’t get done at home what I need to get done. My planning goes down the tubes, and I am at the mercy of the moment. Even though my planner at work, on the desk, is my personal one, it’s still true. You see, at work, MS Outlook, love it or hate it, is my planner. But at home, I spend most of my time away from the computer (only now am I here since the only other soul in the house is asleep, the goats have been milked, eggs collected and garden watered) and an Outlook style app (be it Thunderbird + Sunbird or GMail + GCal) doesn’t make much sense. I don’t carry a smart phone (I do however, at times, utilize SMS for calendar alerts to my simple phone). Paper, for me, is still king.
That’s not to say certain apps don’t catch my fancy. For instance, this blog post was noted in Evernote, a rockin app that runs virtually anywhere. If you haven’t seen it, its goal is to be your electronic brain. You can tweet your notes into Evernote. You can add them on the web, from a blackberry/iPhone, or from an app that runs on Window,s Mac, Linux and from a USB drive. It’s ubiquitous. And for me, all but necessary. I store a good deal of things in my electronic brain: notes for sermons, illustrations, recopies culled from the web, etc. It’s all there. Planning items are merging there, creating a GTD-esque setup.
But still, with Evernote, for personal work, Outlook for work, I still rely on my trusty dead-tree planner. And open, it must be. With all I do, lunch is frequently a time when I get something done. Many times, it’s on my calendar in my planner. If it’s not out, I all too frequently forget it altogether. It servers as a reminder that other things are required of me, that lunch isn’t always free time for hulu. When I’m preparing a sermon, it’s a bit more than necessary (although, the most recent one was built heavily withing the ESV Study Bible online). But my writing happens in my planner-accompanied notebook as well. Kinetic recording suits me best, especially when I have to reproduce the product of my writing orally. It keeps me honest to my non-work duties, when work can be the equivalent of a digital fireman.
So, hat’s off to you, you dead-tree planner. If I don’t place you handily on my desk, my life slouches towards anarchy. Only the visual cue of seeing you lying there goads me on to keep on track, to stay the course. Whether it’s running out to pick up goat feed, or sermon writing/research, you keep me honest. The presence of the the even-closed planner reminds me of duties lying ahead; open, and the particular tasks are ever before me, ready for fulfillment. Amazing how the smallest thing changes the way life works. Now I just need to prioritize the update to my planner for 2010.
Solo Deo Gloria,