Pen + Paper = Planning Power!

TGIF, y’all! I don’t know about all of you, but work has been pretty busy ever since I got back from the new year. Even though we are down in the factory, I’m catching up on all the things I had been ignoring while on shift! Lots of protocols, data pulls, reports, and staring at the computer for extended amount of hours ._.

I’ve been sooo caught up, I totally didn’t realize that it has been a year since I first visited this part of Virginia to interview for my job! It blows my mind it’s already been 1 year since I started my final quarter in college. WHOOSH.

Anyways, as you can tell by today’s blog post title, I prefer using the old fashioned way when it comes to planning. Whether it be a day planner or my notebook I use at work, I prefer writing on paper first. I am  suuuuuch a lover of lists. It can be so daunting filling up a page so easily with a huge list of tasks or due dates, but once you start accomplishing what you need to, it can be addicting to cross off those items!

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Figure. Here is my planner for 2014! A pretty standard planner setup from Barnes and Nobles, but I like to cross out bills and due dates as I pass them.

Plus, what I love most about using pen and paper is that you are not restricted how you want to make your lists. I think it’s more fun and engaging. Electronic means sometimes limit my creativity because there is usuallya template that can only be manipulated so much. Or if it’s a portable device, you need to use a touch screen to type >_< I am way faster at scribbling notes with a pen than using a confounded touch screen (ask my cell phone).

Also, I am a very visual person. When I list tasks initially, I will associate a items on my to do list with sketches to jog my memory. Also, sometimes it helps me to organize my tasks in a chart. Then, I can put them into buckets that help me figure out how high it ranks on my priorities and how long it will take to accomplish. I also like to make up my own icons 😛

I take about a half hour to an hour every Monday making my lovely lists. Here is what I do:

  1. Brainstorm Cloud or List – Throw everything and anything on here! Just make sure to capture what you want to get done that week or near future so you don’t forget about it. Sometimes I’ll start clumping tasks if they are related to the same report or area (so I don’t run back and forth too much across the site, wasting time).
  2. Leave No  Man  Task Behind – Turn back and search! I look through old lists of yester-week to see what I have not addressed or crossed out. If old tasks are still being relevant or important to do, it makes it to the new week’s list so it doesn’t get forgotten.
  3. List for the Week – I write down all tasks I want to do and throw due dates on them: either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
  4. List for the Day – As each day rolls around, I make daily lists every morning very quickly, pulling from tasks from List for the Week section. I usually dedicate a page per day. It also has my notes and thoughts from the day.

One downside I have with my notebook system is that it’s hard to recall past information, even if I the dates on all my lists.

One notebook system that is similar to my own, but quite a bit more organized and systematic is the THE BULLET JOURNAL. It would solve my recalling issue since it’s designed with an index. I stumbled upon this video on someone’s Facebook earlier this week:

I think electronics are great at saving us paper, carrying less heavy books, or hey eliminating paper diaries and allowing us to blog on the web! But at the very least, I think I will stick to toting around a notebook with me everywhere for my daily thoughts.

Want more reasons to like paper and pen? Go here for an article for “Why pen and paper is still the best productivity tool”

So what’s your stance on the paper versus screen debate?

Newton Nano HexBugs

Considering I was studying til about 3am or so last night, got 4 hours of sleep, took my Metabolism final, and have been grinding through O-chem all day since then, I think an extended break is in order!

So, I went to my end of the term work evaluation at the prep lab, and besides the happy small praise I got for my need to clean everything (I feel loved <3), I got this neat-o toy from my supervisor! We usually get things like a Starbucks giftcard, but I think this little guy blows that out of the water! I can make my own coffee, but I cant make my own nano tech toy!

They are called HexBugs which uses “nano technology” to create realistic critters. They have other types of crawling creatures available on sale, like spiders. And apparently we got the “Newton” series, cleverly wrapped up in a gigantic test tube like apparatus. Oh yes, I feel the scientist in me squeal. This is the type of crap I’m going to waste my money on for my future nieces and nephews (although I have my doubts about how long these things will hold any child’s attention span haha).

My own little video of me goofing off with my buggie. Music added to cover random screaming 😄 Please note the foot that almost squished him 😦

I read some reviews (yes this is what I do during my precious breaks) saying it’s apparently flame resistant and water resistant, but eats battery very quickly (no matter Amazon sells those small watch batteries for real cheap in bulk ;D).  You can also register your little friend online and “learn science!” whatever that’s suppose to mean.

And of course I picked the orange/blue combo ;D Matt had picked the black & green one which looks all too real for me from a distance, but I could see why he didn’t go for the purple and pink one haha.

Tee-hee I think it’s been a little too long since I got a fun little gadget to play around with, clearly. Anyway, this little guy has been helping me destress while doing my intense cramming sessions. I named him Izzy after the Digi-destined  in Digimon who had a bug-like digital monster.

The dinky commercial is posted below. A little fun during finals week never hurt anyone.