Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thing 27.   Keep a folder called “How To” on your computer at work and at home.
For most of us, repetition is a good teacher. But how can we remember how to do those tasks we only do once in a while? My suggestion: Write it down, and keep it in a file on your computer/tablet/phone. Or a paper file of some kind.

I have such a file on my computer at work. Inside 
are instructions for how to find a specific document on a shared computer drive, how to restore a deleted file, how to do certain tasks on a project management system, how to change default settings on my computer. The instructions are very basic: “Click here.” “Select this.” That way I don’t have to ask Randy (our department answer man) every single time I want to do one of these tasks. (Though Randy is kind and gracious every single time I ask for his help.)

Thing #28.   Carry a notebook or electronic tablet for keeping track of ideas.
I used to carry a notebook in my purse with my calendar, address lists, family information, and a tab for “ideas.” I’d jot down ideas for articles, projects, gifts, trips, organization—any fun idea I didn’t want to forget.

I’ve since converted to an electronic version of my notebook, and I confess I miss the paper, pen, colorful tabs…. Stickers don’t work nearly as well on my Nook. But the advantages of the electronic device outweigh the tactile pleasures of my old notebook. I think I have even more notes now, some of them tucked away under a password protected program.

Some people prefer to dictate their ideas into a recording device. I heard a comedian once who said he used to keep a note pad and paper on his night stand so when he’d wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a joke, he could jot it down. The only problem was, when he tried to write things down he was only half awake; his penmanship was illegible. So he switched to a recording device.

One night he put it to the test. He woke up in the wee hours and recorded his idea. The next morning, full of anticipation, he played it back. He heard, “Sm hmm wana blah mm mm. . . . “ Just as unintelligible as his pen and paper attempt.

So whether it’s paper or electronic, I encourage you to carry around a notebook to keep track of all your creative and original ideas. And then write about your best ideas in a blog!

Great idea, huh? Glad I wrote it down.

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