organize this digital life…the digital divide

Hi my name is Bobby and according to my wife, I am gadget freak. Yes, I have an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, PS3, AppleTV and on and on and on. I love gadgets. I love the accessories that go with these gadgets.

I love bags. No…I am not a guy with tons on man bags. I have tons of camera equipment, lighting equipment, cords, gizmos, and gadgets to do my job. Oh yeah…I have other bags for my laptop, iPad, books, etc. So I love the idea of finding the best bag possible to organize these things and make them  quickly assessable.  My life…my entrepreneurial life…my small business life…quickly assessable.

Digital Dependancy
Everyday, I use these things that we depend on so much in this new digital life. Google Calendar, Google Docs, MS Word, iCal, BaseCamp, Quickbooks, Mobile Me, iMail, etc, etc, etc. I use these everyday to organize and execute my life to serve my clients. OK…are you annoyed? Yes…I am. My head is spinning.

Think about your day. If you are a technology person or live in this Corporate Americano…we are influenced to use so many digital tools. We check our email, update our calendar, take notes, use the CRM, pull out the iPad, take notes on paper, save our contacts in three places…we try so hard. This is a true digital divide…dividing us between all the devices/software and efficiency.

Have you tallied up your communication and online communication costs?  How about the time invested in creating the best tool from a piece of open source code? Oh yeah, how much time do you spend sifting through emails or even multiple email accounts? How many newsletters are you getting each day? How many different passwords do you have to remember for each login between all of those technologies?

So…I put my foot down.
I spent more time stressing out about what I am doing next and where to find what I am doing next. Notice the last sentence was in past tense! Yes…I have an assistant, but using the “digital” to find the “digital” is creating a huge digital dependancy. Why do think we text, Tweet, and consistently review our digital device while driving…because we can and we hope we can stay in-tune with our information. We do not have a clear plan.

So I went old school!
Yep…I did it and I have a planner again. Yes, you know that organizer that is a day timer? Yep, it is about the size of my graduate school classical rhetoric book. Guess…what, it is WORKING. Also…It has me thinking about all this digital dependancy.

Because if you are surrounded by the crowd I am around (offline and online), then you are always hearing about the next big tool, next big CRM, next gadget, next organizational “do-dad”…and we try it. We are entrepreneurs, small business owners, and we want the edge…the edge to get ahead. We live technology and we are conditioned to believe that killing trees is not the answer…just a better gadget.

Back to basics.
Yes…I have moved to the planner full of paper, a calendar, organizational tools, place to take notes, place to journal. Oh, I still use my iPhone and iPad with the calendar so my assistant can keep up with what I am doing. I am getting rid of all the stupid newsletters and blog posts delivered. I am also using my hand to write. It is amazing how much this helps me clear my head and articulate my thoughts. Plus…if I can add 30 minutes of time back to my life each day, then that is more time with the things I love…my family.