How to use a paper planner to survive a computer crisis

  1. Pay attention to the warning signs. For better or for worse, our lives today are intimately connected to technology. Unfortunately, my trusty companion, my 2012 MacBook Pro, has officially died, but it was never very healthy to begin with, a “lemon” as we say. I should have known something like this was coming…
  2. Accept that your computer has moved on to a better place, and open up your paper planner. Hope that you had the foresight to use it before your computer crashed.(Sidenote – really though, thank goodness for my trusty Filofaxes. I would have been totally and completely lost without them.)
  3. Check your daily routine, so you know what to do even without your normal customs. Don´t let what happened to me happen to you: my first computerless day, I happily sat down at my desk to work away, when I realized that I always start by opening and turning on my computer, and silly as it may seem, without that first step, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I was aimless, and though I got things accomplished, I was left with that awful feeling of not knowing what to do next, or if I had done everything. Solution: I´m writing down my usual daily routine and filing it in my Malden for reference whenever I need it.
  4. If you need to reference something (accounting information for your business, a list of students), check the references that you´ve handily filed away in your A5 reference binder. You didn´t print out and punch all of the basic information necessary to run your life/family/business on a daily basis? Oops.
  5. Finally, check your appointment and to-do lists. Since everything is written down in one place in your paper planner, not on your computer, you can put complete trust in your system and know that nothing is lost or forgotten. Hopefully.
  6. Make an appointment to get your computer checked (and hopefully fixed!), or take a look at your bank accounts and decide if you can afford a new one. Start your research, and write everything down – in your planner!

In 20-20 hindsight world, this mini-crisis has given me some good perspective on my system. I´m doing some things well, and other things that need to be fine-tuned, or carried through to completion. This has been a wonderful reaffirmation, though, of the importance of a paper based system, or at least a paper-based copy.

So, sorry for the lack of updates. Once I get my computer fixed, and/or a new one, I will get back on track with regular updates, photos, and such. In the meantime, start thinking about what you would do if you suddenly were left without your computer/tablet/mobile phone…and what information you would need or want to have in your planner in that situation. 

 

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2 thoughts on “How to use a paper planner to survive a computer crisis

  1. This is one of the best posts I’ve read in quite some time. Kudos to you for the fabulous paper organization. My computer caught on fire last year. Although I was able to get it fixed, the process took 2 weeks. Most of what I needed had been backed up in my planner and external hard drive, but a recent revamp of passwords had not yet been printed out. NEVER AGAIN!

    I’m in my 3rd week of a new job. It is all computer/cell phone. My supervisor looks at my planner like it’s an ancient artifact. I do not care. My life is covered.

    Thank you for a post with some truly needful insight. Wish you the best for getting your computer up in a timely manner. Off to make a few tweaks of my own thanks to you!

    1. Thanks!! It’s really amazing how much not having your computer makes you thankful for your planner! I’ve handed my computer over to the technical wizards at my local Apple shop, here’s hoping for a quick response! 😉

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