The Blog

4 Things I’m Certain to Not Let Go: Old School Tools That Still Rule

pen to paperI admit, the ever-evolving world of technology makes our life easier and more efficient. But as a baby boomer I confess, (and unlike our millennial children), it’s increasingly harder to keep up with these changes. The advances are morphing at rapid speed.

I work hard to learn what my children seem to know intuitively. Without question, computers have streamlined processes in ways we could have never imagined.  The Internet makes information accessible and fast. Technology has changed everything.

But there are still a few ‘old school’ ways that I cling to because for me, technology can never replace them.  Here’s my short list;

1.  Pen to paper- I’m a big fan of emptying my brain onto a piece of paper.  This brain dump clears my head and makes room for new ideas and to-do’s.  I routinely make lists every evening before bed, and edit once again in the morning.  I typically add, delete, and cross off throughout the day.  This clearly can be done on my iPhone, but this process is way more satisfying to me.

2.  Making a phone call-  Our new normal is opting to text more than talk, but there’s nothing like a voice on the other end of the phone.  No misread inflections, just real conversation. Texting serves a purpose, but too often, it obliterates verbal socialization. The paradox is that the technology keeps us more connected and readily available, and yet we become more detached.

3.  Face Time- I don’t mean FaceTime or Skype. I mean face-to-face interaction. Connect in person, not just on social media platforms. Meet a friend for lunch. Sounds a bit cliche and ‘old school’ but as I recall, “reach out and touch somebody’s hand” was way more than just a great Diana Ross hit.

4.  Physical Photo albums- I might be aging myself, but I love my hard copy photo albums.  I love turning a page and touching a photo.  Scrolling through iCloud of photos or moments on timelines does not provide me with the same experience.

I might be ‘old school’, my friend, but I’m not that old. Well, let’s just say, I’m getting old-er. Anyone with me?




Read this post on single page to comment →

Syncing or Sinking with your Busy Life? Is Technology Your Friend or Foe?

914512389_optManaging our “busy” is a daily challenge for most of us, and how we approach it changes from day-to-day.  Some days it feels like all the stars are aligned and we navigate through our day with seamless effort, right?  Our calendars are synced to our phones, we get to our appointments on time, and our schedules are running according to plan. We are in sync. Our phones are “smart” and life is good.

Living in a high-tech world is the new normal. We’re able to access social media while on the go with no worries. We can receive all of our e-mails, glance at Facebook, and connect with anyone (anywhere) with a simple click, tweet, or “like.”  But if things go awry and in the event that we lose Internet service, battery life, or even the actual phone, we stand to lose more than just a connection.  We are likely to feel off kilter and out of control.

Sometimes the techy world becomes all too consuming and can overwhelm our lives.  The foe rears its ugly head.  Because we are virtually “available ” 24/7, it can invade our personal spaces. We can easily drown in the social media pool, sinking ever so slowly, without realizing that it is robbing us of our leisure time. In a recent blog, I shared my experience of “disconnecting” while on vacation, “The Rules of Disengagement: My Quest for the Ultimate Get-away Vacation.” Imposing a social media break was extremely elevating and eye-opening.

Technology makes our world both simple and complicated. Indeed, it is a double-edged sword. Some of us depend on the cell phone for just about everything, and highly regard it as an alternate brain. Hence, in the event that it’s lost or misplaced, it can be catastrophic.  I can remember a time that a phone was just a phone, not our life GPS, computer, radio, TV, camera or bank.

Managing our busy with the help from our technology works perfectly…until it doesn’t.  We are at its mercy.  When our devices have glitches, we freak out.

I often think about how scary it is to be so dependent on technology that I have implemented certain practices to foster a little more self-sufficiency.  I  love having a smart phone, but I still want to feel smart and in control. Here’s what works for me.

    • Back-up– I’m NOT talking about the obvious virtual back-up onto your pc or the cloud. (Besides, the computer can potentially have a meltdown when you need to access info in that moment) I’m referring to backing up my appointments on paper. I’m old school, and I love paper calendars.  Although I might also sync my schedule with my phone,  I refer to a wall calendar for my personal social life.  I rely on my purse-size calendar to reflect my day-to-day and work schedule.  I take comfort in having a physical hard copy and can edit, without worry of powering up or accidentally deleting (yes, I still use an old-fashioned pencil and erase). I feel in control.


    • Memorize important phone #’s–  The phone #’s of the most important people in my life have always been embedded in my memory. Granted, using  the “speed dial” feature for key contacts is so easy, fast, and efficient, but how many of us can recall their numbers by memory? Ask yourself if you lost your phone, how would you recover the contacts?


    • Write it down- I’m a huge advocate of writing everything down so having a physical hard copy of important phone #’s, vital documents, passwords, and personal info, is a comfortable habit for me. I store them in a secure location but it is always retrievable.


    • Discriminate the data – Personally, I discriminate and limit what personal/private data I send to the cloud. I choose not to relinquish all control to multiple devices.


    • Print and preserve photos- It’s super convenient to save photos to your phone and share them when you’re out socializing, but I still prefer having a physical space to capture my memories.  I have always kept organized photo albums and still love turning a page and thumbing through the good times in a photo book, and sharing it together at a family gathering.  I’m so grateful to have them. We can trace our lives through these photos.  It is our timeline.  They rekindle the memories and compel us to retell the stories. For me,  scrolling through hundreds of images on a camera roll is not the same experience.  But that’s just me.


So how about you? Have you completely succumbed to technology? Are you 100% in?  Do tell.

Read this post on single page to comment →

Are you a Candy Crush Addict? Hands Up: Time to Arrest Your Time Robbers


If you’re considering checking into Candy Crush Rehab (there’s a waiting list, lol), then this blog is meant for you.

Let’s face it, one thing that we all can’t seem to get enough of is time. We cannot freeze it, it is unfortunately fleeting. We cannot control the sweep of time but we can indeed manage it. Perhaps if we can identify our time robbers, we can reclaim some of it back.

The biggest culprit without a doubt, is technology.  Our PC’s, laptops, tablets, and smart phones are eating up most of our time.

Whether it be professionally or personally, just managing our e-mails is challenging enough. Sorting our inbox of relevant content from silly viral jokes can be super time-consuming. But the biggest time robber by far, is Social Media.

It all began with Facebook. Now with the phenomenon of Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and virtual/smart phone games, there is increasingly more opportunity to get lost in the digital world.

My latest guilty pleasure is Candy Crush.  It is the most popular app on Facebook and the highest-grossing app in the Apple and Google app stores.  Candy Crush Saga has about 6.7 million active users and earns revenue of $633,000 per day. Yes, admittedly, I play it. I play it a lot.

Initially, I was reluctant to jump in when I first noticed the ads on Facebook in 2012, but as the manic activity increased on my newsfeed, my curiosity was piqued.  I knew a lot of smart people whom I respected that were playing and began to wonder what all the fuss was about. And so with a simple click, I entered level 1.

So here I am, Professional Organizer (A.K.A. time-management expert), and I’m hooked on this stupid game. I started playing at bedtime, thought it would be relaxing to decompress from my busy day. Wrong. This game is far from relaxing, in fact it both stimulates me and increases my anxiety before sleep!  The most disturbing realization is that I have been neglecting my Kindle more and reading much less!

As for the time-management component, the one redeeming feature of this compulsive game is that it times you out after 5 attempts to complete the level. You can also get 5 more lives if you play the game on another device, or bother your FB friends to send you another life, but eventually you have to wait for a new game to reset. And of course, you always have the option to “buy” more lives or boosters, but that’s where I draw the line. The game’s over when the game is over.  It can suck some of my time, but not money.

Now that I’ve learned that they keep adding more levels (now 485 is the highest), I’m re-assessing how much time I want to invest in this endless quest.  Fortunately, this game has not robbed me of my daily productivity, but it surely has impeded on my “down” time. I’m thinking that there are other enjoyable things I could be doing. From here on in, I’m going to “play” more wisely and prioritize.

Chances are, if you see me waiting in a Dr.’s waiting room, I’ll be playing Candy Crush.

How about you? What are your time robbers?

Read this post on single page to comment →