Lessons to be learnt: Notepads are cool

Been feeling a bit manic today. Ever get that kind of twitchy-ness, when you just have so many things swirling in your brain, and you’re not a hundred percent sure what thought to think first? Mmm. Had one of those days a bit today. Then an email from my mum pinged into my inbox with some good ‘Mum Advice’ (not for the first time!), reminding me of something I’ve definitely been picking up since the 1st! I’ve learnt a hell of a lot in the mighty 12 days since I started working here, both about PR and about working in general.

So, lesson number 1: Notepads are cool. Or, in other words, write stuff down. Take notes. Make lists. Use colours. Use bullet points. If it’s on paper, you can’t forget it – and you get to cross things off when you’ve done them. Is there a better feeling!?

I’ve always been a fan of the written word, the diary, the post-it. I had a dream about a Filofax once. But this job’s taken it to a new level! My lists have lists, and I currently have 3 different stacks of post-its in front of me (all of which have notes on). But don’t read that in an ‘aaaah my brain‘, messy/disorganised kind of way. This is how I function. And while my short-term memory impresses me sometimes (I’ve taken a lot of stuff in here as if by osmosis), but if it’s written down, I definitely can’t forget it.

Number 2: NOTHING is open after 5.30! Well, of course some things are. And maybe I’m just a product of my on-the-go generation, expecting Orange or Natwest (curse them both) to be happy for me to wander in at 7. I don’t work in town, so 5.30 closing does nothing for me. Neither is visiting on my lunch break a possibility, by the time I’ve parked, and I’m not always here at the weekends. Hmmmmm. Paying in my wages cheque is going to be frustrating!

Number 3: I appreciate how busy my mum must be. When you’re out of the house from 8.30 – 5.45 every day, your ‘getting stuff done’ window is considerably smaller. And not just because of store opening hours. Tonight for example I’m going to aerobics 6-7, shower, then be at Rob’s before 8 to help him get ready for advocacy tomorrow, then want to be in bed early because have networking breakfast tomorrow morning with a 5.30 wake up call. Being in a situation where I’m not sure I’ll have time to cook dinner is new to me! If I had kids to sort out, a household to run, a longer commute – wow. My mother could teach the military a thing or two.

(Also makes me revisit my inner fear of Being A Proper Commuter Who Doesn’t Have Time To Work Out.  Sorry to be overly aesthetic, but I quite like to move it move it, and would be sad to fall exhaustedly into that group!)

Number 4: Bring snacks.

This is me we’re talking about. I don’t think this needs explanation. Plus you’ll need the energy in order to…

Number 5: Be on it. I’ve seen the importance of timeliness in PR. When things go out by email / go up online matters – and often the sooner the better. Well if not the sooner, the timelier-er. (That isn’t a word, I’m sorry). For example we did a visit with a client to a charity on Friday, but were a bit rushed when we got back to the office and I didn’t get the blog post done. It could still go up, obviously, but would it be as timely? Also, a lot of the time we’re waiting for confirmation or approval on things, and that can set it back.

My little ‘lessons so far’, then. PR Week is sat beside me with a front page about apprenticeships in PR firms… expect a post on that soon!

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3 thoughts on “Lessons to be learnt: Notepads are cool

  1. Hi Sally,
    I love your blog ! Of course filo faxes are cool. I predict their resurgance as an essential item for the cognoscenti. Blackberry’s are all very well, but in terms of making rapid notes coupled with no limit on what you can write, you can’t beat them. A Pentel rollerball is, of course, de rigeur! (Or a Mont Blanc if you work in PR!)

    • I’m so glad you approve! I got a Blackberry over the weekend and am still trying to figure out its marvels, but the QWERTY keyboard is a godsend I never knew I was missing. Am holding out til the January sales (and pay packet) to go mad in Paperchase – wonder if the filofaxes will be discounted then, too?…

      • In all fairness, I prefer my Blackberry’s – plural, I have two;how pretentious/sad am I? – to any Iphone or whatever. BB Messenging – BBM – is really useful,as well as free. As a member of the twitterati, I really suggest you look at UberSocial as the ultimate twitter provider;again completely free.
        As to filofaxes being reduced in the sales? Probably not. I shall just buy a stack of plain white paper pages and a diary 🙂

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