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My Analog Toolkit

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Seems like the entire world of business is digital these days. And I have to admit I spend a great deal of time running my business with laptop, mobile device and the Internet.

Email is digital, contact is digital, lead generation, education, and advertising has all gone digital. Heck, when I’m working in my office, my tunes are even digital.

That’s why I cherish the handful of analog things that keep me grounded to the fact that no matter how high tech we become, so much of what’s rewarding about being in business, whether it’s around town or around the globe, is found in things that are high touch.

Today I’m sharing my high touch or analog toolkit in hopes that it reminds you a bit of things that keep you unplugged, balanced and using our sense of touch.

Sensa PensSensa Rollerball Pen – I love the feel of writing wiht the Sensa X400 Rollerball Pen. I use a pen so infrequently that my handwitting is pretty bad unless I use a high quality ink and take my time, but that’s a big part of why I wrote this post. One of the values of clinging to analog things in our lives is that they make us slow down and feel more of what we are doing right now.

moleskinMoleskine notebook – I know you’ve heard me go on about this product, but I use it every single day, even on weekends. I use two sizes – one that I carry with my whenever I leave my office and the larger size that sits at my desk for the creation of my daily to do list. I love having the past weeks and months worth of lists there in the notebook. I have stacks of both of these sized filled from years of doing. It’s kind of fun to go back and page through them.

business cardBusiness card – The real need for a business card – a tool that delivers your address, phone or email – is pretty limited in business these days. For the most part people can either find the info online or zap it to each other electronically. In a way this shift has made the business card an opportunity to make a statement. With the functional need removed you can put your energy into producing something that makes people go wow, that’s cool. Since people aren’t using them that much you have the ability to stand out by doing so.

note cardNote cards – I’ve been sending handwritten notes every Friday for as long as I can remember. I also keep a stack of simple, branded cards on the corner of my desk for the purpose of sending thank you and just thinking of you kinds of notes. I can’t tell you how many referrals and nods of appreciation this little habit has drawn. People don’t write cards to each other any more and you stand out in a very positive way when you do.

file foldersMulti-purpose plastic file folders. I got this idea from David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I have a set of folders for each month and then another one for travel documents and things I need to read and review when I can. The plastic folders take any amount of abuse and just make me feel more organized. Of course I put typed out labels on them as well.

I would love to hear about your most cherished tactile analog tools.

Weekend Favs December Eighteen

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr.


Image credit: Søren Cosmus

Good stuff I found this week:

Mailing List Finder – Search over 60,000 mailing lists based on your criteria to come up with just the right list.

ccMixter – a Creative Commons music tool – Find exactly the music you’re looking for to use in videos, podcasts and more using dig.ccMixter Music Discovery tool.

Montage – Montage is a flexible web-based service that makes it fun and easy to create and share a visual album of the web on the topics you care about

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