No fancy PDA


Every Saturday morning when I was growing up, my dad would sit down at breakfast, bust out his pack of rubber-banded index cards, click his mechanical pencil, and set out the day’s priorities. Every job that came across his bow got entered on the cards. Toy broken? Written on the cards. Project you need help with? On the cards. Once it was on the cards, you knew justice would be done. This ritual still plays out each week, and some of those cards are pretty fuzzy. I teased him recently that if I looked at some of the crossed out items I’ll see something like “fresh sand for Mary’s sandbox.”

As an adult (and very much my father’s daughter), I know that I need to have my very own stack of rubber-banded index cards because I’m very absent-minded. If I don’t write every darned thing down, it just won’t happen. Plus, the half memories of what I should be doing will rattle around my head torturing me. So the cards are good for remembering and, oddly, forgetting what it’s okay to forget.

You don’t need a fancy system for organizing your to-dos. You just need a system. I should have known that my dad was a hipster ahead of the curve.

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