Issue #56

Sent to members on January 8, 2018

The simplest productivity tool I have

Today, I’m going to share with you a productivity tool that I use. It isn’t electronic. It isn’t software. And it costs just a few bucks. Maybe even just a buck at Walmart.

So, one day I was being the fifth wheel in a store with my wife. You know the drill… she looks at clothes and I walk around like a dunce trying to find something interesting.

Anyway, the store (I think it was Marshall’s) had this little section with some non-clothing items. Always more interesting. 😉 And, they had a section with blank notebooks.

One notebook was small. Maybe 6 inches tall. All black and leather. And all the pages were blank. Total cost about 5 dollars.

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I bought that little black notebook and it has turned into one of my arsenal of productivity tools. While most of them are on my computer, this one is very “old school”. 🙂

Now, what do I do with a blank notebook with blank pages?

I use it as a sort of daily planner. One page per day. And, I LIKE the fact that it is blank! No pre-done daily templates which assume I want to work their way. No, the blank pages allow me to adapt this thing to my system.

So, here’s what I do on these pages:

  • Every morning, I draw my “focus map”. More on this tomorrow. 😉
  • I write out my core tasks for the day.
  • During the day, I may jot down little ideas and other things that come up.
  • At the end of the day, on the reverse side, I jot down how the day went.
  • In the corner, I’d jot down a few business stats for that day. Like, sales, new subscribers, etc. This way I have a running record of how my actions translate into the numbers.

While I could totally do this on my computer, there’s something different when you have that solid thing you can hold in your hand. Sometimes, pen and paper is just better.

I still use my calendar, my lists and all that. But, then I move the stuff just for that day into my daily notebook.

And, when I get an item done, I take REAL pleasure in putting a little line through it. 🙂

So, that’s it. A little black notebook.

You might try it. If you want to pretty it up, that’s your call. 🙂 But, I think blank pages are best. And I like it to be small and able to be hand-held. Not some 8.5×11 spiral notebook. That just won’t do.

Tomorrow, I’ll circle back and talk to you about that “focus map”. It goes right at the top of each day’s page.

In the meantime, if you’d like to catch a video where I’m talking about my little black notebook, check this out. Although, I bought that one at Staples. 😉

See ya tomorrow.

– David

Tech Talk

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