Friday, July 24, 2009

Adventures of a Business-Owning Mama: Day planners are a necessary evil?

I found the magic of having an Outlook calendar when we bought our small business three weeks ago. Suddenly, I wasn't carrying around a big ol' calendar stuffed full of post-it notes and business cards anymore; nope, I traded that it for a 12-pound laptop. Sure, I'm more organized when it comes to scheduling, having contacts with me and instant access to my e-mail ... and that was was nice for about four days until carrying around the laptop, an extra 20 pounds of baby in my belly and a toddler with his stash of necessities for leaving the house began breaking my back.
I questioned whether being organized and on top of my game was worth a permanent shoulder strain and back ache. And then I began thinking about how I plan to carry a toddler and his stash, a newborn and his stash and me and my stash and that nearly sent me over the edge. A mama who has other commitments (be it volunteer meetings, doctors' appointments, kids' schedules or business matters) needs something a little more convenient to keep herself organized than carrying around a big old computer.
I pondered buying a PDA. And I immediately vetoed the idea after realizing I would then have to remember the PDA, its charger, my phone, its charger, the kids' stuff, and, um, don't forget about the kids. Not gonna happen. I can barely keep my phone full of juice.
So then I moved onto thinking about investing in a Smart Phone.
But which one?
Blackberry? iPhone? Samsung? The list of possibilities is seemingly as wide and varied as the thoughts that flood my busy, busy mind. And frankly, I don't want to have to think that hard about buying a Smart Phone. I want to get one that will work, and I don't want to have to worry about it not meeting my needs and spending hundreds of dollars.
So the conversation progresses from just inside my head to the blog. What do you use? Do you have the same frustrations? Are you still carrying around that big old calendar book or did you make a jump to better technology?


  1. After years of practice, it's just all in my head. Or most of it anyway. I have a BB for work that I carry with me, but I don't love it. It was the only thing they offer though. Everyone I know loves the iPhone unless they have long nails (typing issues). Good luck figuring it out. It's amazing how quickly we suddenly start grabbing all sorts of stuff and killing ourselves, isn't it?

    Did you make it to BlogHer?

  2. DK says everyone that he knows that has a iPhone says ATT that you have to have is not good and it's not good as a phone...but it's a great toy. For scheduling and may want to look at the Palm Pre. I love Palm for scheduling stuff!

  3. I have a blackberry and it could be synched up with my outlook, which would be nice but my IT guy is a dork.

    I guess that says a lot about its user-friendliness.

    I say you take your laptop into the ATT store and say, "I want to connect to Outlook and my schedule. What phone is going to do it best and show me!"

    That's what I would do.

  4. I like my blackberry like device with a keyboard. I tried the iPhone but I don't like how typing works on it. You may also be a perfect person for Plaxo a web based organizing app--your "dashboard." Cheers,

  5. I use a blackberry (the Blackberry Curve to be exact) and I could not live without it. I used to carry a blackberry and a cell phone (one business and one pleasure) a few years ago and my head almost exploded. So, about 2 years ago I consolidated into my current blackberry. It houses 7 e-mail accounts, my professional calendar and my personal calendar. It automatically synchs with all of my computers, so if I enter an appointment on my blackberry it appears on my husband's desktop and my secretary's blackberry. It is amazing.

    I would not consider owning a phone that did not have e-mail and calendaring capabilities. I also would not carry around a paper calendar because I am scatterbrained and I would never duplicate it onto my other calendars!!

    It is EXTREMELY easy to use and I can go a couple of days without charging it before it dies. :)

  6. Ahem, I'm still a calendar lugger. *shamefaced*


There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.