My Tax Man said: “Get a day planner.”

“But, but…Spreadsheets! And, and…the Cloud!”

“Hard copy,” he replied with all the grim persuasion of an old school master. “Trackable, chronological hardcopy.”My old system

It seems my efficient digital worksheets are great for tracking my expenses, but would not be so great for an audit.  My new children’s book, “Misho on the Mountain,” is in its formative stages, and like so many babies, it is an expensive proposition to raise it right.  My expenses this year skyrocketed.  My Tax Man says that can alert the algorithms and other arcane creatures lurking in the IRS computer system, and I may need to be able to pull instantaneous proof from places where the sun doesn’t shine to prove where I was on Mar. 13, 2013, and why I spent $242.13 on widgets and called it an expense.

So last night, I pored over organizers online well into the wee hours looking for what I wanted: configurable, changeable, with places for creative writing, notes, and receipts.  I mean, I can’t carry around a tablet and paper notebook (just in case) and a receipt journal all the time. That would be too reminiscent of book-laden backpacks in high school. <Shudder> I loved the books, but the attention garnered from carrying around that many books was not good for my social development.

Where was I?  Online.  Nada. I found nothing that bespoke creativity, flexibility, and efficiency all at the same time. I love shopping online.  But I need to touch and fondle something that would probably end up being chained to my body so I wouldn’t keep misplacing it.

Pink Arc System BinderSo I walked into Staples today and asked a very cordial young man who directed me to an aisle laden with everything I could have asked for:  The Arc Notebook System. (Can you hear the trumpets?) You can change the ring sizes to make a bigger binder.  Insert what you want: graph paper, calendar, note pages, pocket pages for receipts. (Graph paper?!)

And, it felt good in my hand.  It has weight.  Importance.  It will make me keep track better. I could feel the rush of transcriptor proteins gently activating the dormant efficiency genes as I popped in the project planning modules into my new, Mexican pink binder.   The Arc System will turn me into an organized person.


The binding is proprietary, but, hey, you can buy a punch (at a hefty price) to turn ANY paper into Arc paper.  But it’s way closer to my budget than the Stephen Covey system.

I’ve got the tools. There’s no stopping me now.  Move over mindfulness modification and exotic cross-training.  There’s a new self-improvement maven in town.