There are few tools in the history of mankind that have been used less appropriately than the Notepad tool on my phone. It’s not a matter of simply ignoring it; that would be far less ridiculous.
There have got to be around two dozen separate notes on that notepad, and that’s after I deleted a few. I discovered them the way that I always do and the only way I ever do — I was adding another note.
It’s not the adding of the notes that makes this so wildly embarrassing. It’s my understanding that I do this part correctly. I use it to make grocery lists, to jot down writing ideas, to keep track of books and movies people recommend to me, to make to do lists, and to capture a quote or a moment that was so rich that I want to revisit it later.
Ah, but therein lies the rub. I never revisit any of those notes. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it’s not. If I remembered to visit that notepad for a note every once in awhile, it might keep it present enough in my mind, that I’d remember to look at it more often. The notes wouldn’t pile up, and the stray one here or there may even get used for its originally intended purpose.
You know when you put an important item in a special place and then you forget where you put it because you chose an abnormal spot? That’s a similar type of failure to my inability to use my Notepad tool. I type things into my Notepad so that I won’t forget those things, and then I forget to look at my Notepad when I need to. More precisely, I forget that the Notepad exists at all.
That would be bad enough, but in my classic extreme flake fashion, I also somehow almost always write my notes so that they’re completely incomprehensible when I do eventually find them. I have one note that only says “zebra feet”. I have another that’s just a series of numbers.
Of course, the vague nature of these notes also makes them fairly difficult to delete. Every time my finger hovers over that tiny trash can, a shrill voice in the back of my head screams that I’ll be sorry when I do eventually need that information. In reality, that day never, ever comes.
So why do I bother ever putting anything in my Notepad at all? Because it seems like it has the potential to be a really useful tool if used correctly. I have this ultra naive hope that someday the Notepad can help bring some order to the scattered disaster inside my head. It symbolizes organization to me, even if its at the most basic possible level.
What I desperately need is to be more organized in general. I need to get my shit together, and every couple of weeks I vow that I’m going to do exactly that. I sit myself down in a responsible manner, and I brainstorm all of the ways that I can and should live each day more purposefully. I hone and polish all the steps I’ll need to take with genuine care.
And then, just like I imagine someone who does have their shit together would do, I take out my phone, and I type each and every one of those steps into my Notepad. There are probably about six of those in there.