Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Important Things I Write Down

Important Things I Write Down

Technology has completely changed the way we live our lives, we either are typing something down, setting a reminder or using social media to remind us of somebody's birthday. I love the benefits of technology, but in my experience I cannot always trust it enough like I do with a pen and paper. Numerous occasions my phone has run out of battery when I needed to use it to check something, my laptop has decided to start loading updates in the middle of me working or worse has completely died on me. Hands up I rely a lot upon the internet, but the technology items I have always tried not to rely on completely. Here are a list of things that in my experience have helped me a great deal from having them written down some place safe rather than just stored on my phone or set up as a memo. 

Pin Numbers
Several times I have been queuing for a till point, maybe just casually looking at my phone, getting my purse out ready, or if I am on my lunch hour reading the magazines near the till. Then a part of my brain kicks in and realise I cannot remember my pin. I feel the anxiety building in my brain whilst working hard to remember and instead of wishing the queue to hurry up, I am thinking, "Pleaseeee I need more time to remember my pin". The numbers somehow after maybe even a couple of years of having the card suddenly jumble up and I start to panic. After two attempts of trying and terrified my card will be voided if I get it wrong again, I admit defeat and have to tell the cashier my situation. I vowed to myself I would never go through it again, and they always say you shouldn't have pin codes written down, but they are very easy to disguise. I must stress the point that I never just write- Pin Number ****. I have the code written down safely as a prompt to remind me if I ever do forget again and it saves me from an unwanted visit to the bank.

Phone Numbers
Now say for some reason you are phoneless, you manage to maybe borrow someone else's phone, but can you remember the phone number of the person you want to ring? We add new contacts to our phones all the time, but we never bother to learn off by heart the new number. I know only two numbers imprinted into my brain, my parents home and my mums mobile. Probably from how many years I have spent calling those numbers, but nowadays you just have to press the call button and not even give the actual phone number a second glance. I have friends phone numbers written down, family members and work numbers, just anyone who you consider to be a good number to have written down some place as you never know when you might be in a situation without your phone and you need those contacts. 

Ever since the whole hacking situation became a problem and most websites ask you for your password to include different characters, a certain amount of numbers, or will just tell you if your password is considered "weak". I took it upon my self to have a different password for everything. It might seem ridiculous and over the top, but I have long grown up from the days where I would have the same password for everything, meaning that all my friends could access my social media accounts (back in the day of Bebo and Myspace, who else used those?) and change everything around. The problem with this is that I can sometimes forget them or mix them up, so they are all written down in a safe place for me to check up if I might have forgotten. I have them written in a notebook I leave at home. The ones I use daily are never a problem, but sometimes if you create a Paypal account or even an ASOS account and not used them for a while you might have forgotten the password. I hate clicking the forgotten password link because all that usually does is ask you to create another password. It saves me a lot more time having them written down somewhere safe.

Usually as a Christmas gift most people are giving a calender for the new year, or a diary. What always shocks me is how little people use them, they might just be hanging up some place as a decoration but they can serve a purpose. This is what I meant earlier about not being reliant on technology because when writing birthdays or upcoming events in a planner or calender, you can see exactly what you might have coming up. Same goes for any appointments, just have them written down some where other than your phone or tablet. I love writing on my calendar, I can see exactly whose birthday might be coming up, how many weeks I have to prepare for it and that means I don't leave everything to the last minute. 

Public Transport Times
Mainly I use the train, but I have written down the occasional bus times before. I have been mocked plenty of times for being a person who writes down train times, but it is something I always have done. Apps are fantastic to use for public transport, which are even more amazing for telling you if a train is delayed or cancelled. But firstly the lack of service/WiFi I get is appalling, plus I want my phone there to be my entertainment tool for the journey for music or game playing, and most importantly if I need to call someone. I hate using my phone to check train times even more when I am running out of battery and have no access to a power point. So if I am doing a journey I am unfamiliar with or even catching a train on a different day than usual, I have the times written down, my stops, what time the train leaves and all that jazz. Life is never as simple as it seems and something can change when it comes to public transport. Whether a train is cancelled, maybe I want to stay out later after work and need to know the last trains. I love having that information on me, so I immediately know where to go and what I am doing when I get to the station. 

Now if you thought I was a little bit OTT with my last point then you really are going to think I am organisational granny when you learn that I write directions down. Let me just get this straight, I do this with new places I have not been before and usually I just write down the postcode and street name to help me out. Things like Google maps and all these apps on your phone are fantastic to use but when I am by myself I never want to look like I am lost. I think it has always been something I have, where I prefer to look like I know what I am doing or where I am walking even when I have no clue. When I was 18 I made my first trip to London alone, now for many that would never intimidate them, especially if you have been brought up in a city. I came from living in remote countryside and any visit to a city I would be with my parents or friends, so for me it was a big deal. I was surrounded by people, there was so much to think about and trying to cross multiple roads safely. I had directions written down in my pocket to the place I was staying at, I just would carefully follow streets and paths until I got to where I wanted. Back then they never had all these amazing apps they have now to help. So even now with new places I might be going, I write a couple of things to look out for, street names/landmarks that sort of thing and always have the postcode so if all fails, I can just jump in a taxi. 

These little light bulb moments come to us at many different occasions and about many different things. Whether it is birthday gift ideas, what to add on your shopping list or a blog post idea, I always have a notebook handy to write whatever I want. I guess this is personal preference because I cannot stand typing twiddling my thumbs writing an idea on my phone. The predictive text drives me crazy and is always so far away from what I want to type, I generally am just squinting and feel like I am unsocial being on my phone constantly. I just feel more on a roll with ideas, getting things out of my mind when I have them written down. Plus when I go back to reading what I wrote it all makes so much more sense to me from my own written words, rather than text or slang language on my phone. 

I love how much phones and computers have changed society and made things easier to communicate at the touch of a button. But what I hate for others and myself is how reliant we become from these things, that everything is so easily accessible that if it suddenly is not there, we feel at a loss and have no idea what to do. Simple little things can be written down some place, stored away safely and if you ever need to know them then you can easily check. Yes I know that it is easy to lose a piece of paper or ironically when you go to use a pen it doesn't work, but in the bigger picture I don't rely on my phone to always be able to help me. They are so easy to break, you cannot always get internet access, they run out of battery ridiculously quick or worse can get stolen. So these are just a few things that in my experience and in general I believe to be important to have written down some place, that can help if I ever need them. But I also think that we kind of forget about writing anything down, we seem to be so used to pressing buttons that we forget how useful a pen and paper can be. 

Do you have any of your important things written safely somewhere? Are you still a fan of a pen and paper? I would be interested to know!

Hope you are enjoying the week so far ☺
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