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4 Old School Tools to Help in a High-Tech World

By Jessica Brown

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We email a document for someone to read on their tablet and respond to on their smart phone. We are technology-crazed and always looking to keep up with the Jones’… or maybe the Kardashians. Sometimes we get so caught up in finding out what the latest and greatest technology is that we forget there are great tools right in front of us that have been helping for decades.

Want the best tool in technology? Pick up the phone!The phone

The web is great. It allows for quick communication AND it allows you to come back to conversations for review and clarification. However, when discussing something important like website design, copy, marketing, and social media tactics, sometimes it really is best to just pick up the phone.

I am guilty of jumping to text or email rather than picking up the phone, but being able to hear my clients’ reactions and get a clear explanation of why they like or do not like something not only helps them express themselves, but it makes my job easier. Do your part to avoid carpal tunnel. Instead of typing that email, dial a number.

You don't need your computer to take notes - use a pen and paper!Paper and pen

There are so many apps out there to help you make lists and notes. In fact, I wrote about some in a previous blog post. When it comes to making lists, nothing will ever replace good old pen and paper. The idea that writing things down helps boost memory has long been discussed, and it certainly holds true for me.

Often, I choose to take notebooks to meetings rather than my computer. Not only does that keep me from getting distracted by the web, but I pay closer attention to details when I write them down. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk with a notebook by my left hand. “Write a blog post for Friday” is written on it. Can’t wait to scratch that one off!

Nothing will ever replace the benefits of face-to-face networking.Face-to-face networking

No amount of connecting on LinkedIn, Googling or @replying will ever replace the relationship building benefits of face-to-face networking. If you have 10,000 Twitter followers but have never taken the time to get coffee or connect in-person with these professional connections, then you probably shouldn’t count on them when you’re looking for advice, guidance or feedback.

The best thing about networking? You just need to come prepared with your individual knowledge, skills, and personality. What is more simple than just being yourself?

Paper calendars and planners help keep you organized.Paper calendars

I carry a planner with me everywhere I go. I keep track of work tasks, personal engagements and finances all in one easy-to-access location. In the office, I like to print out calendars to keep me on track with tasks. Yes, I know I have a digital calendar that synchs my home computer, work computer, and cell phone. But having something in front of me that I can scribble and doodle on helps me stay on track and helps me get a visual for everything I need to accomplish.

Unplug and get to work. There are plenty of tools we can use without draining our battery!