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Vigilante

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I told the story to a new employee as I gave her a legal pad. She looked at it like it was a foreign object. Millennial.

Several times I sent her back to her office to get it before she came to a meeting.

She lasted less than 30 days before I fired her. One of the main reasons she got fired was she couldn't keep herself organized.

Ironically, I just realized as I was writing this that I used a legal pad to create a checklist of the reasons I was firing her for her termination meeting.
 

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G-Man

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I told the story to a new employee as I gave her a legal pad. She looked at it like it was a foreign object. Millennial.

Several times I sent her back to her office to get it before she came to a meeting.

She lasted less than 30 days before I fired her. One of the main reasons she got fired was she couldn't keep herself organized.

Ironically, I just realized as I was writing this that I used a legal pad to create a checklist of the reasons I was firing her for her termination meeting.
I had to come to Jesus with my boss some time ago about my lack of organization.

Basically went like this:

Boss: You're very talented, but you're disorganized. No amount of talent matters if you don't even know what you're supposed to be doing. What have you done to get more organized?
Me: I've been working on it, I use evernote and trello, blah blah blah
Boss: I use a notebook and I tear the page out every day and rewrite the stuff for the next day on the page. Do that.
Me: I think I could mange more using apps on my phone blah blah blah
Boss: Who's more organized, you or me?
Me: You.
Boss: Who's more effective, you or me?
Me: You
Boss: So just do what I do, idiot.

Bastard was right. A 99 cent notebook from Wal-Mart and I'm more organized than I've ever been in my life. Also, kept me from getting fired.
 

MidwestLandlord

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Both the threads right now talking about legal pads and whatnot really reinforces the "KISS" principal.

People like to get fancy with their onenotes, "common places", day planners, schedules, time tracking apps, etc, etc, etc, etc.

But how much actually gets done?

During the height of my action-faking pursuit of organizational nonsense, I actually bought books on how to be organized. (in my defense, it felt productive lol)

"Buy multiple colors of highlighters and prioritize by color!"
"Make mind maps to discover what is important to you!"
"Make action plans for each topic!"
"Now that you read our book, buy our app that allows you to have 183 different tabs for individual projects so that you never miss an important task!"
"How to create a task funnel!"

Action. Faking. Bullshit.

1) write it down
2) get it done
3) cross it off

Simple.
 

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I use mini-habits rather than a notebook. But might add the notebook in for more specific tasks.

I agree with you @MidwestLandlord, all these tracking and "productivity" apps are nothing but navel gazing/time-sucking devices.

One of the strangest things I've implemented lately that is slightly O/T, is carrying around a piece of card with 1 large goal written on it. I can't remember where I picked that tip up from, but damn does it work! It sounds dumb, so dumb I didn't bother doing it when I first read about it. Now I wish I'd done it sooner.
 

andyhaus44

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One of the smartest guys I know is the owner of a distribution company in Los Angeles, California.

20 years ago, he gave me a $2 discipline I still use daily. The discipline survives technology changes, strategy changes, and location changes. It survives business wins, and epic losses. It is a crutch, but a self created crutch.

The discipline? A legal pad.

He keeps one. He lives in the 2 block radius of Beverly Hills that every Californian is aware of, but most can't afford.

There are two critical tasks for the legal pad.

Task #1
  • When he meets with someone, he has his legal pad handy.
  • He takes notes
  • When I was in pre-law, they taught me to take notes with a legal pad. Split the page by drawing a line down the first 1/3 of the page. Use the right 2/3 of the page to take notes (on whom ever is speaking) and use the left 1/3 column you made to write your questions so you can address them when the speaker is finished speaking.
  • Even if you don't want the notes for later (you might...) the discipline of taking notes helps you concentrate on the speaker, and/or helps you appear to the speaker as if you are concentrating on the speaker

Task #2
  • Every day, he uses a fresh sheet of paper as the "to do" list for that day
  • We all have many things thrown at us throughout the day... put them on the "to do" list
  • Put your milestone goals on the list
  • Put your "sh*t I have to do today" things on the list
  • Cross things off the list that you get done
  • Carry over things to the next day's clean sheet that have to stay on the list
This inspired me to start writing in my 10X Planner again. Thank you!
 

Intax

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One of the smartest guys I know is the owner of a distribution company in Los Angeles, California.

20 years ago, he gave me a $2 discipline I still use daily. The discipline survives technology changes, strategy changes, and location changes. It survives business wins, and epic losses. It is a crutch, but a self created crutch.

The discipline? A legal pad.

He keeps one. He lives in the 2 block radius of Beverly Hills that every Californian is aware of, but most can't afford.

There are two critical tasks for the legal pad.

Task #1
  • When he meets with someone, he has his legal pad handy.
  • He takes notes
  • When I was in pre-law, they taught me to take notes with a legal pad. Split the page by drawing a line down the first 1/3 of the page. Use the right 2/3 of the page to take notes (on whom ever is speaking) and use the left 1/3 column you made to write your questions so you can address them when the speaker is finished speaking.
  • Even if you don't want the notes for later (you might...) the discipline of taking notes helps you concentrate on the speaker, and/or helps you appear to the speaker as if you are concentrating on the speaker

Task #2
  • Every day, he uses a fresh sheet of paper as the "to do" list for that day
  • We all have many things thrown at us throughout the day... put them on the "to do" list
  • Put your milestone goals on the list
  • Put your "shit I have to do today" things on the list
  • Cross things off the list that you get done
  • Carry over things to the next day's clean sheet that have to stay on the list

By the way, if someone comes in for an interview, or for a business meeting, and they don't have something to write with and something to write on, he assumes (maybe correctly) that they are not organized. This quick value judgment may or may not be fair, but perception is reality when he is the deciding factor in his sandbox.

After reading James Altucher's book Choose Yourself and his AMA thread on the forum, you probably have more need for a legal pad than just the above two things.

This strategy works for a multimillionaire who runs a hugely successful enterprise. It has kept me organized for the past many years. It might work for you.
Because of this thread I bought myself a legal pad and took it with me everywhere. In important conversations the notes helped me to take a lot from the conversations. - thank you for the advice.

Mainly I used it in another way which worked wonders for me. If I had an important thought or question for myself I wrote it in my legal pad and thought about it more deeply. I did the same if I had an interesting recognition in a conversation with my friends.

Writing down my thoughts and thinking more deeply about my behavior or values helped me very much to understand myself better. It really worked wonders in term of developing myself generally!

Thanks for the advice and I can totally recommend it!
 

Ocean Man

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Although this thread was started on Jul 27, 2013, I think it's still valuable. I found this thread while I was in the states and after reading it, took it upon myself to actually buy myself a legal pad... or a couple. So far, I've recorded dates for 2019-08-02, 2019-08-05, 2019-08-06, and today... 2019-08-07. I'm not really sure what happened between 02 and 05, but although I've only tracked a few days thus far... I really see the benefits.

Because I don't have many meetings at the moment, I kind of use my legal pad as a to-do checklist. Marking down the things I need to do that day. And ever since I started, this little purchase has been keeping me accountable. I highly recommend this small investment.
 

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