I've got a secret: I still use paper all the time. I carry a Moleskine note pad in my back pocket every single day. In the front of it, I write speeches. In the back of it, I write very simple to-dos and ideas. When I get really bogged down, I pull out a note pad like the one in the picture that accompanies this post. I have to say: low tech tools still rule.
Don't Let the Tech Gurus Get To You
I'm sometimes mis-cast as a bleeding edge tech guru. It's not true. I didn't bother with the iPhone until the iPhone 3G came out. And then? I gave it back after a few months, because even though it was "gee whiz," it failed to do a really simple thing: make phone calls. Yep. It would disconnect me at random times. I've since switched to another phone. And this is just the start.
Often times, we tech types like to get you all excited about the next big thing. Meanwhile, you're trying to run a business. So, as often as I can, I try to point out that there are still low tech ways of doing things, and/or that you don't have to run off and try every new Web site and tech gadget you hear about.
Tech in the Service of Business
My notepads serve me well. I can write in them without any flight attendants telling me to turn them off. Also, when we use our hands, a different part of our brain turns on and off. Another way to go low tech? Send paper note cards every now and again instead of an email. It's amazing how people respond to this. But, let's agree that sometimes, more modern technology is useful.
At times when we need something a bit more high tech than a notepad, let's always remember that the technology we choose should be in service of our business. For instance, if you're thinking about blogging, ask yourself whether it's something that you feel will help you build up a voice for the company, encourage relationships, and potentially convert those into more business. And in fact, the more you look around at things you're doing because they seem like the thing to do, the more you might find things that don't really need doing at all.
Simple Always Rules
If you have a smartphone, you WILL check your email more often, at times when your significant other might not want you to be checking. If you have a new camera, then everything looks like a great opportunity to take a picture. Just keep remembering what your business is about, and ask whether new technology will add to the potential to grow and strengthen your business or not. Let that be your guide. It's okay to try new things. It's great to think about the future. Just always try to anchor it to your business goals and your ability to take on new challenges.
Don't let others' actions lure you in. It's okay to take a while to adopt new technologies. They'll still be around. And if not, they were fads and you didn't need them.