If I kept every single to-do list or note I have jotted down over the years, I would have amassed a pile of papers that might make the Library of Congress blush. I’m a paper fanatic, and something about being able to touch, cradle, and hold my thoughts gets me giddy to no end. I’m a sucker for the handwritten note, and own a surplus of pretty stationery that will likely last me a lifetime if I never purchased another card or corresponding envelope.
When it comes to calendars, I have tried and failed with anything digital or that lives online. Unless I can physically write my appointments and lunch dates, decorate special events with colorful markers, or cross out meetings that are moved, I don’t feel quite comfortable. Weird, I know; especially given that I have owned an iPhone for three years, an iPad for about a month, plus a MacBook. All three devices have calendars that can easily be shared. But call me old fashioned; I still want and need my paper datebook.
Thankfully, however, not all of my organization efforts in 2010 resemble 1910. My note taking, for example, has moved seamlessly and completely online, thanks to two free applications I cannot live without.
The first is Ta-da Lists which I learned about several years ago from an online article, and have been hooked ever since. Viewing, updating, and sharing your own Ta-da Lists couldn’t be easier. There’s no app to install; all that’s required are a web browser, a username, and a password. The fonts are large, the text fields are large (which I love), and the sense of accomplishment I feel while literally checking off a task is wonderful. Plus, crossed-off tasks aren’t deleted forever in an unreachable abyss; they simply appear below, accessible and readable, if need be.
When balancing freelance writing projects, speaking engagements, my weekly (at times it seems daily) grocery list, and all of the gifts to buy for family and friends this holiday season, I can’t imagine keeping everything organized, chaos-free, and moderately readable in slim notebooks. Because Ta-da Lists are web-based, they can be accessed anywhere. I often find myself referencing my lists on my iPhone in the baking aisle at the grocery store, or while in a project meeting over coffee.
Best of all, my lists can be shared – a perfect solution when collaborating on projects. Sometimes circulating a saved and re-saved Microsoft Word file isn’t the best way to exchange ideas or separate project tasks.
You'll have to wait til tomorrow to find out what my other favorite is. But in the meantime, what are you favorite, can't-live-without-'em tools of the trade?
BTW: Whether you like paper or electronic calendars, the Marketing Mentor Marketing Plan for 2011 comes both ways.