The Good Ole’ Yellow Pad

The key to staying sane while running your own business

Let’s be honest, life is hectic, especially in my line of work. So how do you cope when you feel like you’ve been overloaded and buried under a pile of to-dos? Some may say “there’s an app for that”, but I have tried many different productivity apps and even the reminders function on the iPhone, and none of them could win back my sanity like a good ole’ yellow pad.

When I was 18, my dad got me hooked on the yellow pad. I did my best to be the rebellious son and tried for the longest time not to use it. Eventually, after hearing “if you had a yellow pad, you would’ve remembered” on a daily basis, I was convinced.  To this day, he hasn’t been wrong. Something about being able to literally cross an item off the list makes the yellow pad powerful.

I asked him once where he got the yellow pad idea, and it seems it runs in the family. He told me my grandfather used one when he was starting out in business. My dad watched his father cross success after success off his list over the years, and became a believer at a very young age.

Now I go through a yellow pad in a week or two, filling the pages with steps towards my own successes— Documenting insane schedules, brainstorms and client breakthroughs. Something tells me that the tradition will continue to run in the family, leaving our legacy smudged within the lines of yellow paper.