My boss asked me to make a schedule that would show him when in the week I was free. But when I sat down with my schedule to figure out when I was free, I found that I couldn’t actually read it. The schedule for Monday is radically different from Tuesday, which is radically different from Wednesday, which is… you get the idea.
So, I humiliated myself for a few hours trying to plug class times and study halls and weekly team meetings into my calendar program, and finally gave up. It didn’t make sense. Instead, I called up a spreadsheet program.
Then I used it to make a spreadsheet that showed the days of the week broken up into five-minute increments, from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, and then I plugged my classes in to the whole schedule, in order to SEE where and when my free blocks were, and how long they were. And then I made it into a PDF and printed it out. It’s not perfect — what sort of schedule is? But now I can look at it, and see what the frame of my week is. Wednesday is really busy, Tuesday much less so. All my days look crowded.
But I could cut holes in this sheet of paper now, and they would tell me EXACTLY how long my free blocks were, and where in the schedule they are. The blocks are larger or smaller based on the amount of time they represent, too, which wasn’t true on my standard calendar. And I can see them now, where I couldn’t before.
One of my colleagues does all of her planning in paper now, rather than try to use her computer. “It’s easier,” she said, “Especially when I have to line up my school calendar with home activities and the kids.”
I did more. I got a paper plan book today. I’m thinking about going back to a paper grade book.
Where are the places where you’re finding that technology isn’t serving you well? Where are you going back to more basic methods, like pencil and paper? How are you planning differently?