Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Most Useful Tool Ever

The Leatherman Wave is gone! Of all the tools I have owned, this one has been the most useful. Not for a project but just a tool that is there when you need it and does so many small things. A couple of months ago after a stay at a hotel, it came up missing. The only person who had access to it was the parking attendant at that hotel and the Leatherman was in the glove box before. It was secure there in its little case waiting for the next job to help with. So many little tools in its stainless steel shell. Screwdrivers, both regular and Phillips, needle nose pliers, knives, wire cutter, scissors, etc. I gave one to my Dad and each of my sons and sons-in-law for Christmas many years ago. My Dad continues to mention it. It will be one of the first things to acquire when we get back to the states.

Max with His Leatherman

Google+ is now available to everyone in its Beta mode. While I was able to become a new user, we are still exploring its uses a little at a time. Family members have been invited and some have posted photos but we will be using it more as we discover how it may be most advantageous. We have never liked Facebook other than watching some posts from family and grabbing photos not otherwise offered to us. If you have experience with this new internet facility I would like to discuss how you are using it. This whole area of personal internet usage is still in its infancy.

Posting on this Wayfaring blog will become more and more useful and important next year when we enter a new and different phase of our life seeing the beautiful USA and not ready to settle down yet. As topics present themselves I will post them if they seem relevant to others. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Time & Organizing

Time and Value are the determinants of billing for professional accounting, tax and auditing work and so tools that help allocate time wisely are often used in the profession. The first exposure to these tools for me came in the 70’s in a seminar given by a great presenter demonstrating his system of planning, prioritizing and recording important items in a schedule. It changed my view of the use of time and was very helpful. Later, other systems came to the fore and I examined them. The tool in vogue at the beginning was the DayTimer, a convenient sized notebook with pre-printed pages. Then others expanded the ideas creating the Franklin Planner then the Franklin-Covey system, each one seeming to add complications such as choices of sizes and times covered such as daily, weekly, monthly, etc. They were well publicized and become popular and relatively more expensive. Over those years, after trying many of the “improvements” I found the systems eventually were put aside, probably for the most part because of the extra “time” necessary to follow the systems. 
Probably My Last Franklin-Covey Organizer (Classic Size)

When there are things that need to be done that involve mental engagement such as accounting, writing and blogging, etc. It is good to have a plan and approach to avoid the discouragement of procrastination. I have run across a simple approach that is working well for me now. It still requires some daily organization time but gives you a way to create and track packets of time which the creator calls pomodoros. Since the use of this system does not require you to go to a seminar, buy a planner or even pay for the information, it is easy to get started using it. If it might be useful to you, go to the website and learn more about it. You can google the name, Pomodoro or just go here: and see for yourself. By the way, pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato which is the shape of the timer the author, Francesco Cirillo, used when he created this approach to help him study in college. 
For your curiosity this blog post took one pomodoro to create and post. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find a tomato shaped timer here in Brazil so I’m using an inexpensive digital one. You can see here my second day using the new system. I created this form on the computer and will print them as needed.

September 9, 2011