I just want to continue my Luddite-esqe rant on technology for a minute. (Please keep in mind my day job and the publishing work that I do heavily uses the very technology I am ranting against at this moment and I’m not unaware of that.)
That said - I went to a meeting yesterday for a new calendaring software let’s just call MeetingSpam. It’s a new program we’re supposed to use for scheduling meetings with fellow co-workers. It also happens to have an email component that runs automatically every time you schedule a meeting in it; but other than those specific meeting-related emails, we’re not supposed to use it to send emails in general. We’re supposed to use a program I’ll call WhatEveryoneElseInTheWorldUses. But we can only use WEEIT-WU for email and not the very robust calendaring system it has. There are valid technological reasons for this that I won’t get into. But this I will say – neither of these programs can be open at the same time because they fight over the same dll file; so we have to keep opening and closing each one all day to send emails and schedule meetings alternatively.
As you can imagine, this complicated half-breed pair of programs requires extra work. But here’s the clincher. For this meeting on how to schedule meetings with MeetingSpam, I was the only one who showed up on time (by about 10 minutes!). All of the other meeting attendees had to be emailed or IM’d after they failed to show up. Excuses ranged from "I didn’t know where the meeting was" to "I never got the meeting invite."
I was coincidentally the only one who didn’t use a computerized product to remind myself of the meeting time and place, either with MeetingSpam, a WEEIT-WU email reminder, or a blackberry.
I often feel like we’re stuck in a quagmire of work management programs that have become over-complicated obligations. I’m often drowning in bugs, passwords and work-arounds. And it bleeds over into our fun time. How absurd is it that our social lives have now found the need for project management? (MySpace, endless mobile social softwares, etc.).
Have bugs, passwords and work-arounds made anybody’s life any easier?
I was the only person able to get to a meeting on time (or anywhere near the right meeting time) without extra technology prompts. How did I do it? How did I avoid being overcome by technology’s swamp of time management tools?
A small note to myself scribbled on day 11 of my wacky websites day calendar.
Nothing beats the technology of paper and a pen.