Some things just go together…like peanut butter and jelly. Each one is good. Each one is different. Together, they make a great combination. That analogy is the thought behind today’s post.
When we released Get Organized! Time Management for School Leaders back in 2008, it resonated with many people. It was quickly named an Eye on Education “best seller.” The few reviews on Amazon were 5 stars. The reviews in professional journals were equally as positive.
Then, I read this one review, one that received 4 stars:
This book represents something rare in the market — a specific system for organizing your space, time, and workflow as a school principal. There are lots of books about time management, organization, and personal productivity in the business context, but few that touch on the unique demands of school leadership. Buck’s offering is based on years of experience as a school administrator, which brings a lot of value to his perspective. Although the system he described for organizing using electronic tools was outdated, it’s easily generalized and adapted for today’s tools. He describes both paper-based and electronic systems side by side, which helps. I find that I return to specific chapters of the book for occasional reminders. I have and will continue to recommend the book to colleagues.
As positive as this review was…all I saw was one word: “outdated.” The bad part is..he was right, and I knew it.
Reading that review was the first step towards a 2nd edition, the one which has just released. This book is an honest effort to give readers a system that will make every day easier. It presents the “big picture” and shows how all the parts fit together.
But how do we keep from being “outdated” all over again?
The process of publishing this book took a little over a year. First comes the proposal. The publisher accepts or rejects the project. Sample chapters are generally submitted to reviewers. You revise. You revise the revisions. You proofread again and again, never ceasing to be amazed at how many of your own errors you continue to miss. Constructing the figures presents its own share of challenges. Choosing a cover and securing endorsements for the rear cover are just a couple of the details to be handled. The manuscript for this book was ready five months before the publication. Putting ideas on paper is but element of the process.
A book that addresses technology in any significant way can become obsolete before it reaches the shelves. What is an author to do?
The idea for this post occurred to me this morning. My goal is to publish it today by 11:00 AM (40 minutes from now). This blog allows me to give you what is new. You and I are probably using goods and services right now, important in our lives, which did not even exist a year ago.
This blog allows me to take what I learn today and share it you today.
For example, in the book, I advocate using a digital task list. I list 7 things you should look for when choosing a digital task list. However, I stop short of recommended a specific piece of software by name. On this blog, I wrote a 6-part series on using my favorite tool: Toodledo. In the sidebar, search for “Toodledo” using the search window at the top. Or, scroll to the bottom of the sidebar and choose “Toodledo” from the list of categories. (Note: In October 2018, I left Toodledo in favor of Remember The Milk due to changes made by a new owner.)
Software comes and goes. Principles of time management are eternal.
The book provides the principles and attempts to be as specific as possible, yet general enough to be lasting. The blog aims to provide the details.
The book and the blog…peanut butter and jelly. My hope is that you would benefit from either one. Te real treat is when you put them together.
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