After spending several days awaiting my new Rolodex, Staples just informed me that I need to wait a little bit longer.
Why on earth am I buying a new Rolodex when office software makes our lives more efficient?
Because having a Rolodex works better for me.
Yes, it’s true. I had two Rolodexes but was convinced that having my contacts in electronic address books was better. So I entered in my contacts and pitched the Rolodexes about 10 years ago.
Electronic address books are not working for me because they force my contacts in a stifling format that does not suit my needs. But this is secondary to the feeling of impending doom if I electronically lose all of my contact information.
When I was a full-time workers’ compensation reporter in the 1990s, my Rolodex cards were color coded. Each type of source, including insurance companies, self-insured employers, vendors, actuaries and others had a magic marker-highlighted color.
It was great because when I was starting to work on an article, I would pull sources by color, line them up on my desk and start contacting each one. When I was waiting for a response, I kept the cards in the front to remind me to re-contact folks if necessary. Can Microsoft do that…?
Times have changed. I have so many different types of clients representing a multitude of specialties and industries that color coding will help me jog my memory. Once again, I will be able to pick out sources by grabbing cards of the same color.
When I was a full-time workers’ compensation reporter in the 1990s,
my Rolodex cards were color coded.
My color categories will likely be prospective and current clients and subject matter that include topics including technology, actuarial, workers’ compensation, medical management and others. When a client asks me to do a project, I will be able to pull from my Rolodex cards and off I go.
Yes, maybe it sounds silly considering how much I write about technology. But I know what works for me. I am a tactile person who gets tired of sitting in front of a screen all day. When all contacts have the same format, the ones I am looking for are buried in more easily than 500 names and honestly, I remember details about people more than their names.
Perhaps I just process information differently than others. I still like to read books or pick up a magazine because it is easier on my eyes. I also like to forego email and pick-up the phone and call people. It seems more human and personable.
People laughed when my husband bought me an IBM Selectric, but they now sell for two to three times more. Other people are envious and tell me how they miss the Selectric because there are still tasks better done on the typewriter. (And by the way, I use the Selectric at least once a week.) In fact, typewriters are becoming more popular, thanks to hipsters. They’re also malware-proof.
Given all the security and spying issues that concern companies and consumers, perhaps more people will find themselves unplugging a bit more. Who knows, maybe the Rolodex will make a mini comeback just like typewriters.
Do you secretly miss your Rolodex or never let it go at all? Let me know in the comments section.