Resolutions 2015: Pick Up a Pen and Get Organized!

by Monica Santi


Part 1 of an irregular series

When asked to write the first Pivot blog article for 2015, I thought why not follow the footsteps of all columnists and bloggers and tackle the subject of resolutions? Since improving the organizational state of one’s personal and/or professional life is a favorite resolution choice, I decided to focus on sharing organizational tips and tricks from my fellow Pivoteers.

I gathered tips from all departments in Pivot. The results: respondents to my highly sophisticated research project use a variety of online tools including apps like todoist, Things, and Evernote. Managing a calendar across multiple devices using Outlook or Google is also a popular option at the work playground we call Pivot. Project management tools like asana and Basecamp are also integral to the work we do for clients.

What came as a surprise to me is that the majority of Pivoteers (six out of ten) who responded to my survey rely on a plain old fashioned piece of paper and a pen to stay organized. We all use technology to manage our lives, but it is clear that longhand still has a place a Pivot.

In describing her list method, one Pivoteer told me, “It’s not the most elegant solution, but writing things out helps me remember a lot better than entering tasks into an app.” From my perspective, she’s spot on, and that’s not because she agrees with my affinity for hand written lists. Studies show that writing versus typing on a keyboard is better for short-term and long-term memory. Why? It seems that writing something longhand makes a hard connection in your brain versus something that is typed.*

An added bonus to writing lists in the eyes of another Pivoteer is that it “Feels so good to cross things off and keeps me on track.” There is nothing like crossing something off a list. It is a much more satisfying experience than using the delete key. Plus, it isn’t deleted. The strikethrough remains on your list reminding you that you accomplished something. We all need positive reinforcement, don’t we?

So the next time you think about adding yet another app to make you work more efficiently, reach instead for a legal pad and your favorite brand of pen.


* I didn’t make this stuff up. Search for the research conducted by Mueller and Oppenheimer, Princeton.

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