Humour

Hypocondriac's Disease Checklist

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Greetings and welcome once again to Steve's Weekly Column of Insanity, which, quite frankly, kind of gives the game away in the title. I mean, you're not going to tune in to Steve's Weekly Column Of Insanity for help with your taxes, or painting your house or anything, are you? Anyway, it's been said and can't be unsaid. See, I'm feeling a bit disjointed lately, a little incoherent, so my apologies if this article has less than my normal quotient of cogent wisdom. I have something wrong with me and I don't know what it is. It may be serious or it may not be, but I've waited around two weeks to get into the doctor and my mind has been working overtime in the meantime, whilst I lay in bed. I think I have a bad case of Medical Student's Disease, which you get by reading about terrible diseases and then thinking that you have all of them. Yes, I've become a bit of a hypocondriac lately and it's getting me down, but I thought I'd turn my pain to good use, so I decided to come up with the Hypocondriac's Disease Checklist.

Classically Storyboarding My Day

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Greetings and welcome once again to Steve's Organisational Column Of Insanity, where we discuss all things related to classical art and paper-based planning. Last month, I published a column in this space about using the D*I*Y Planner Storyboard template to organize your life. I thought I was being silly. I was not. A number of people took it quite seriously and I was informed by our man in Jerusalem Avi Solomon that I had stumbled on a terrifically useful organisational system. Well, I certainly didn't mean to do that, but, hey, go with the flow, that's my motto. I was thinking about my previous post, which was mentioned in LifeHacker (ahem, *self-satisfied smirk*) and I think one of its major drawbacks is that I can't draw my way out of a paper bag. I do have some art history training, however, and I thought that I might be able to apply that to my storyboarding idea. So, without further ado, here's my attempt to bring some culture to this space, my Classical Storyboarding Template.

Steve's Extreme Planner

Steve's Extreme Planner

Greetings and welcome once again to Steve's Weekly Column of Insanity (tm), where we discuss all things related to Paper Based Planning. As I discussed last week (let's not go there again), I've recently come to see myself as a proponent of extreme planning, paper-based planning, on the edge as it were, and this week's topic explores another aspect of extreme planning. I was looking at Doug Johnston's post where he detailed the contents of his planner, as well as where others did likewise. There are indeed many different and very specific adaptations of the basic planner, and it made me think that I should share the contents of my own.

I believe that a person should be ready for anything, and so should their planner. In this crazy world, you never know what you might be called upon to do, and so you never can be sure what you might need. This being the case, I take just about everything a person could ever need. So, without further ado, I present my extreme planner.

Fetish Checklist Template

[Disclaimer: For those people of delicate constitution who turn ablush or swoon at the glimpse of a bare ankle, may I suggest that you read yesterday's post about Ben Franklin's virtue chart instead? Don't say I didn't warn you.... -DJ]


My picture nameGreetings all, Steve here. I’ll be your MC today and I’d like to hereby welcome you to the first day of the rest of your weekend. When we started this little venture, Doug Johnston, chief cook and bottle-washer of this operation, asked me if I could write something humorous every Friday about paper-based planning. I hesitated. 'That doesn’t sound like an innately humorous subject,' I noted with some dismay. It seemed that it would be easier if Doug was to start a site about a troupe of acrobat plumbers or dyslexic cashiers or some topic that promised to lend itself well to humour. 'That may be very difficult, finding something funny every week,' I said, 'but I'll give it a shot.' Three weeks later they put me on LifeHacker.com for my suggestion of using the movie storyboarding templates to organize your life. Since then, my feelings about my role in this site have been gradually shifting. It seems that there is nothing I can suggest, no crazy idea I can come up with, from storyboarding your day to singing your schedule to an old Elvis Presley tune, that one of the relentlessly, violently practical people who frequent this site will not successfully use to actually organise themselves. This shocks no one more than me. In this light, I have started to see myself less as a humorist per se and more as a proponent of what might be called extreme planning, or planning on the edge, if you will. This brings me to today’s topic, for all of you embracing an alternative lifestyle: a fetish checklist planner template.

Enter The Matrix... Of Your Relationship

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Greetings and welcome once again to my weekly examination of all that's current in the world of paper-based planning and giant pumpkins. Today I'm going to be talking about how to solve one of the worst relationship problems guys have, how to remember important dates, such as anniversaries and birthdays. I will discuss in detail how to use The Matrix template to remember anniversaries, birthdays and other assorted stuff that will keep your girlfriend from shaving off your eyebrows while you sleep.

Sing Your Way to Efficiency

My picture name Greetings, welcome once again to Steve’s Paper-Based-Planning Column Of Insanity, giving you everything you need to enter the weekend as willingly as possible. To begin with, I’d like to thank everyone for their interest in last week’s post, on storyboarding your life. I was astonished at the response and even more astonished when it was mentioned on Lifehacker. Yes, Lifehacker! I was mentioned on Lifehacker. I’m not sure and somebody might want to go look it up, but I think that may be one of the signs of the apocalypse. I owe that bit of unlikely publicity to Avi Solomon: Thanks Avi . You’ve always believed in me, ever since last Friday.

Storyboarding My Day

My picture nameGreetings. Well, today is truly dedicated to thinking outside the box. I saw Doug's new Storyboard templates and I was very interested, being a budding filmmaker myself. I used them for a film project and then I started wondering whether they couldn't be used for other organisational projects. As a test run, I decided to use them in place of my normal planner to see if I could schedule my day with pictograms instead of words. Below you'll see how my experiment turned out. My apologies for my poor drawing skills. It's a problem of genetics: I'm ambidextrous and dyslexic, so I can't draw with both hands.

About Process Control (or, "Herding Hung-over, Grumpy, Horny, Undergrad Gerbils")

My picture nameGreetings. I have just been through one of the most painful experiences of my life and, since I lack a uterus and therefore will never have to experience childbirth, I think there's a fair chance it will remain in the Top 3 forever. After several thousand years of university, I am starting my very last semester, ever, honestly, and I decided to work at the campus bookstore for 'rush week' to make a little extra spending cash. The bookstore employs the humourous euphemism 'rush week' to describe what happens when upwards of 18,000 students try to cram into a smallish room to buy textbooks for outrageous amounts of money. They say you can't put a price on education, but the university bookstore is certainly going to try.

'Rush' is used in the same sense as 'rush hour', in the sense of nobody going anywhere and everybody wanting to impale their fellow man on a sharp, rusty object. Rush week is pretty well equivalent in terms of relaxation to riding through New York Monday morning traffic with someone who has given up checking his blind spots for Lent and is facing backwards and driving with his feet, while someone in the back seat serenades his pet lobster with Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacht Musik played on an air-raid siren. Add to this that many of the people involved are first-year students away from home for the first time, and so are all hung-over and horny (not necessarily in that order). Clearly, you can see the need here for some sort of extremely tight, logical process control to process that many hot, grumpy, horny customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. We didn't get it.

Is the Internet Making Us Less Efficient?

Mooooo! Duuuude! Mooooo!Slashdot recently ran a story saying that a company called Websense said in a press release that the Internet has made workers less efficient and that web surfing at work results in losses to American companies of $178 billion every year. I found this report quite disturbing, and I decided to take a look into the situation myself. I'm a firm believer in going straight to the source, so I decided to spend some time looking around the Internet to see if I could determine whether it actually reduces efficiency.