Try It - You'll Like It
I attribute a lot of my success to the use
of an electronic organizer. It's important, as you grow, that
you find ways to do more with less time. I firmly believe the
use of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) is one of a few main
reasons I was able to grow to such a large sales volume auto
recycling operation, with 150 employees in 6 locations. In my
book I devoted a lot of discussion to PDA's as a high priority
In the late 1980's, I had a pocket electronic
organizer that was primitive by today's standards. Many of my
friends started using them but always poked fun at me for my
fanatical approach to that Rolodex. In the late 90's, I required
each of my mangers to carry one, which the company purchased
for them. Men and their toys! It was rare not to have everyone
beaming the latest core buyer's phone number or a key employee's
new home phone number to another manager at a meeting. We also
created one record with all of the latest employees' contact
information, which all managers had at all times in their shirt
Other significant uses of a PDA for me included
• I used it for all of my scheduling; it allowed
me to maintain and schedule lots of appointments and meetings.
It can also serve to reconstruct that information for accounting
or tax purposes, and to help you remember when something happened
• All my friends always called me for a number;
it was the joke that I had everyone's number. I had the lake
house number for my manager, who only went there occasionally.
(It wasn't always a blessing having everyone rely on me for
numbers, however!) I never needed to wait to handle something
and to leverage that contact list and my cell phone into results.
One of my good friends, Steve Gronow (Kensington Motors, Detroit),
once joked in a meeting that he had never seen anyone use a
cell phone in the restroom, but I am not one to waste time.
I suppose that is real muti-tasking.
• When I did a private stock offering to recapitalize
my business in the late 90's, I had over 1,000 names and addresses
of old friends, business acquaintances and bankers; that allowed
me to quickly get the offering document out to a comprehensive
list of "friends and family". (Many in the securities business
call such an offering.) I oversubscribed the offering in less
than 2 weeks and then moved on to other projects.
• I used it as a virtual notepad. When you
use your MBA (All of you do that, Manage By Walking Around.)
to gather notes on to-dos, it is a powerful tool. Things get
• I used it for a weekly company meeting. We
always had an agenda for such a meeting. (Don't you just hate
preparing one?) I made one agenda in the PDA, and each week,
as new things came up that needed to be addressed in the meeting,
I entered them. Just before the meeting, I'd cut and paste the
list into a Word document and print it out! After the meeting,
I'd edit and remove items addressed, and cut and paste it (right
in the PDA) to the next week's meeting, and the process started
over. A small aside here, weekly meetings with an agenda are
highly effective at getting results. If there was an assignment
or to-do for a staff member, they knew it would still be on
next week's agenda, and it had better be complete by then!
Next month-Why are some of more successful
Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!