What if the world’s computers were hacked tomorrow? What if technology broke down, and we had to rely on more traditional methods of communication and organization? I know it’s far-fetched, but our reliance on technology scares me. We depend on technology and the internet for everything nowadays. Imagine if the internet and cell phone towers went down for longer than a day. How would it affect your life? Do not fear, because I have a back-up plan if your PDA dies or your laptop blows up. It’s called the “note card” method. Clever name, huh?
Here are five steps for getting things done using only a note card:
Step 1: Buy a couple packs of 3″ x 5″ note cards. The 4″ x 6″ note card are clunky.
Step 2: Take out one note card each morning, and write two columns on the front side of the card. Then, flip it over and draw one vertical line through the middle of the card and one horizontal line through the middle of the card to create four equal quadrants.
Step 3: On the front of the card, write “Work” in one column and “Personal” in the other column. Write the date somewhere at the top of the card. Write all of your work tasks for the day in the work column and all of your personal tasks for the day in the personal column. If you want to take this one step further, write them in order of importance with the first task written as the most important.
Step 4: Flip the card over, and use the four quadrants to write any important information that you need for the day such as a phone number or address. Dedicate one of the quadrants for a motivational message such as a quote or Bible verse. For instance, I recently started using note cards on a daily basis, and I use one quadrant for phone numbers and addresses, one quadrant to write the words “Determination, Integrity, and Perseverance”. I know, it’s cheesy, but those three words keep me focused throughout the day. Another quadrant contains a Bible verse, and the last quadrant contains a short work-out schedule.
Step 5: Fold the card in half and stick it in your pocket, purse, or wallet. Whenever you complete a task, place a check mark or cross it off to show completion of the task. Keep your card until the next day. For any tasks that you didn’t complete, make sure you transfer them onto the next card to complete the following day.
This method sounds trivial, but it really does work. The psychological aspect of physically crossing off a task is very powerful. Pulling out a note card to look at your to-do list is much quicker than pulling it up in your PDA, iPhone, or Blackberry. Before you mock it, try it out. I know you won’t look as cool as the people whipping out their iPhone, but I guarantee you’ll get some people curious about it. There is beauty in simplicity.