Posted in Uncategorized

What to do when your paper journal disappears

There is a recognition in the analog journaling community that the physical nature of the journal can be a single point of failure when it comes to the information you keep. For some, the chances of losing their journal are slim, for others, much more likely. Personally I have found my challenge comes not only from not having a specific journal with me at a given time but also the frequency at which I prefer to change notebooks (yes, I am a stationery geek.)
Recently I asked the Bullet Journal for Professionals group on Facebook what people would do if they no longer had their analog journal through either loss, destruction or theft. There were a range of responses demonstrating the critical nature of these journals for daily productivity:

“1. cry
2. cry some more
3. sit down with a piece of paper and write down every to do that i can think of that wasn’t completed”

“Curl up into a ball in the corner and sob uncontrollably.”

“Go to the pub!”


What is most interesting is even with these responses of distress, almost everyone had a plan for backing up their journals digitally, by either re-entering information into digital systems or, the most popular way, through digital images of the pages for storage and retrieval.

If you decide you are going to live the analog life when it comes to journaling, I highly recommend you find a method of archiving and backing up your paper that works for you.  Whether it’s digital images, scanning, or just copying things down somewhere else, having a Plan B for your information is the only way you can truly have confidence in your system.

When it comes to a technical method of backing things up I use two different tools: my phone and my printer. I can never be sure when I will have time to capture the contents of a notebook so by using my phone to capture scans to Google Drive (my storage system of choice) I can feel more confident things are there should the worst case happen.  My printer comes into play because when I purchased my printer I specifically bought one that allows scanning directly to Google Drive (see the plan coming together?) With the printer on hand, I can scan page after page of journal and other documents to my library with no risk coming from the loss of the physical materials.

There are many different ways to back up your analog journal.  It isn’t nearly as important how you do it as it is that you do it at all.  Don’t be the person crying in corner of the pub because the dog ate your journal. Be prepared.

Posted in Coaching

Preparing for a lost or stolen wallet

We are constantly reminded how vulnerable our personal information is everyday by the media. With our focus on protecting our digital information we sometimes forget how important it is to protect our physical information. Being productive isn’t just about handling daily tasks, it’s about being able to handle the unexpected in a way that is efficient and effective.

We carry a great deal of personal information in our wallets, from financial to medical to identity. How do we keep track of that information and manage should our wallets be lost or stolen? My recommendation is to leverage a tested technology being used online for our offline information.

Lastpass is an excellent online tool for managing user accounts but it can also be used to securely encrypt personal information for access from the cloud. By installing the app you can create secure notes in the Lastpass system, capturing things such as credit cards, ID cards, and other vital stats.  The best aspect of this is the ability to attach images to the records for reference.

In my own case I have a folder in Lastpass called Wallet in which I have secured notes containing all the different vital items I keep in my wallet. In the circumstance where my wallet may be lost or stolen, I have a record of each item as well as a photo of both sides of the cards so I can quickly have cards and accounts cancelled and replaced.

It took about ten minutes to capture the contents of my wallet into Lastpass, and the peace of mind coupled with a productive plan of action should the situation arise. Planning ahead can make all the difference in your productivity when things are disrupted by forces outside your control.

Posted in Uncategorized

Preparing for a lost or stolen wallet

We are constantly reminded how vulnerable our personal information is everyday by the media. With our focus on protecting our digital information we sometimes forget how important it is to protect our physical information. Being productive isn’t just about handling daily tasks, it’s about being able to handle the unexpected in a way that is efficient and effective.

We carry a great deal of personal information in our wallets, from financial to medical to identity. How do we keep track of that information and manage should our wallets be lost or stolen? My recommendation is to leverage a tested technology being used online for our offline information.

Lastpass is an excellent online tool for managing user accounts but it can also be used to securely encrypt personal information for access from the cloud. By installing the app you can create secure notes in the Lastpass system, capturing things such as credit cards, ID cards, and other vital stats.  The best aspect of this is the ability to attach images to the records for reference.

In my own case I have a folder in Lastpass called Wallet in which I have secured notes containing all the different vital items I keep in my wallet. In the circumstance where my wallet may be lost or stolen, I have a record of each item as well as a photo of both sides of the cards so I can quickly have cards and accounts cancelled and replaced.

It took about ten minutes to capture the contents of my wallet into Lastpass, and the peace of mind coupled with a productive plan of action should the situation arise. Planning ahead can make all the difference in your productivity when things are disrupted by forces outside your control.

Posted in Strategy

Pick a tool and stick with it

One of the most common productivity challenges is finding a tool to keep track of all the miscellaneous documents and information you gather on a daily basis. There are solutions such as OneNote, Google Drive, Evernote, and many others but nothing that is the end-all, be-all.

Here’s my recommendation. Whatever your choice, and this choice comes from looking carefully at the tools and how they work for you (not the other way around), pick one and stick to it. There is nothing that will derail your personal productivity than having to track down that document or electronic receipt you need right now and not remembering what tool you put it in. I experienced that very problem recently looking for an eyeglass prescription and for the life of me wasted almost 15 minutes trying to figure out what system I loaded it into a year ago.

If you’re going to switch between tools, make sure you either move everything or put references in your new tool as to what you left behind. What ultimately saved me was the search functionality in Google Drive (text search of an image no less). Could this be done in other tools? Absolutely. I go back to the core of this post…it’s less a matter of choosing the right tool and more a matter of choosing a tool you can trust.

Tags, filters, categorization, notebooks, searching…they all are factors in being able to find what you stored. Think about how you use the information and how you will go looking for it months from now when you need it immediately. Efficiency is all about having what you need, when you need it, to do what is necessary.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pick a tool and stick with it

One of the most common productivity challenges is finding a tool to keep track of all the miscellaneous documents and information you gather on a daily basis. There are solutions such as OneNote, Google Drive, Evernote, and many others but nothing that is the end-all, be-all.

Here’s my recommendation. Whatever your choice, and this choice comes from looking carefully at the tools and how they work for you (not the other way around), pick one and stick to it. There is nothing that will derail your personal productivity than having to track down that document or electronic receipt you need right now and not remembering what tool you put it in. I experienced that very problem recently looking for an eyeglass prescription and for the life of me wasted almost 15 minutes trying to figure out what system I loaded it into a year ago.

If you’re going to switch between tools, make sure you either move everything or put references in your new tool as to what you left behind. What ultimately saved me was the search functionality in Google Drive (text search of an image no less). Could this be done in other tools? Absolutely. I go back to the core of this post…it’s less a matter of choosing the right tool and more a matter of choosing a tool you can trust.

Tags, filters, categorization, notebooks, searching…they all are factors in being able to find what you stored. Think about how you use the information and how you will go looking for it months from now when you need it immediately. Efficiency is all about having what you need, when you need it, to do what is necessary.