As we’re closing in on the year, it’s always fun  to reflect on the “best of” and this morning I heard something about things that have become obsolete in the last 10 years.

The two items that caught my attention were the answering machine and the Rolodex.  If you’re still using either one, my question to you is, “are you being as efficient as possible?”.

I think we all really have come to the point where we are less resistant to technology solutions to make our life easier.  So many clients of mine over the years have let go of the “Rolodex” and converted to Outlook or having all their phone numbers on their mobile phone.  Although, I still do see some clients with the old Rolodex on their desk and I wonder?  I’m trying not to judge, but the reality is maybe they’re just too busy to convert it to an electronic format.  If that’s the case, hire me!  I can get it done in so little time and give amazing options to access that information quicker, easier than you’ve had available for… well, let’s say ever!

The answering machine.  Holy cow, does anyone use that anymore?  If you do, then you’re probably not reading this blog and you only leave the house to go to minor errands, church, or I’m not sure where.  It’s all good, your life is probably so simple, we all can learn from you.

That brings me to the landline.  I struggled for a long time to let go a my home office landline.  Today the wireless penetration has transformed this concept.  So many people are using their mobile phone or internet voice service like Google Voice as their primary way to connect.  I still recommend that if you can afford the extra expense, keep your landline — unless you have phenonmeal acoustics.  Test out your sound quality.

Long distance charges..kind of similar now to data packages.  Watching how long you talk was the way we could rank up fees.  Today we watch data packages because even unlimited data is becoming a thing of the past.  Skype and various internet chat services make even international calls free.  I remember when I first got my cell phone, we had to have packages of who we spoke to long distance and we’re limited to those 5 people.  Thank goodness we don’t have to micromanage long distance fees any more.  Hopefully, data packages will catch up and be on this obsolete list soon.

With life evolving and now it feels so quick, I wonder how many other things are obsolete.  You can get a great laugh talking to a kid about things you’ve used in life and you’ll realize what’s no longer plentiful or useful.  Hmm, I’m thinking about that 8-track stereo I had when I was at Katherine Gibbs School in Boston.  I knew it wound’t last!

That reminds me that a few years ago I visited the Denver Art Museum and had a great laugh.  I saw a Olivetti typewriter, produced in 1979.  Why did I laugh?   When I was graduating from high school in 1979, I really wanted an Olivetti typewriter.  It was beautiful, sleek, and fast!  It was a pretty ivory color with a bright orange golf ball with all the keys on it.    I dreamed about how I could really excel with that typewriter and my 85 wpm typing skills.. thank you Ms. Charlotte Fulton for all those typing drills.   While I was at the museum, they had my Olivetti typewriter!  Now I felt obsolete.   By the way, my parents bought me luggage.  I got the message that I was moving out soon and on my way to my life journey.

Today’s  message is that if you have items hanging around that are obsolete and you’re not using them daily, it may be time to get organized and let them go.  Vintage museums, thrift stores, eBay are all happy recipients of such items.  Apparently, I could have sold a special item to the Denver Art Museum.  Darn, I knew I had visions of great business foresight in my life.

Does anyone get film developed anymore?  What are you doing with all those panoramic pictures, have you found frames for those extremely long photographs.  Disposable cameras…gone!

One thing that has come back around, remember that trusty stylus?  The once innovative Palm Pilot could only be operated with a stylus.  Of course the touch-screen smart phone screen has superseded the need for a stylus.  Funny, though, I’m finding myself buying those new soft tip pens that can be used as , yep, a stylus to work faster.

Printing out directions or using maps.   When I started my business in 2002, it was critical to stop and add a printout of my client’s address.  If I didn’t have a map, oftentimes, I would get lost or have to call (from a payphone) to remote addresses.  Today with GPS or a smart-phone, you’re good to go.  Punch in your destination and your off to success and epic road trips.

Speaking of getting lost and possibly needing a public pay phone.  Crazy, ever notice even the homeless people have cell phones.

Blockbuster I never understood.  Why go out, hang out in a store for an annoying amount of time and then find a movie, only to have to run back the next morning!  The massive popularity of Netflex and Video on demand has made it virtually unnecessary to go to a store to rent movies.  Long overdue in my opinion.

DVD players overtook the VCR market, outselling them 40 to 1 in 2004.  Today the shift to digital movies and the development of the DVR, the VCR will inevitably disappear.

Dial up static has been replaced with, “I can’t hear you, you sound like you’re underwater”.  Have you heard anyone been completely frustrated with hearing you from your cell phone.  Personally, I have a soft voice and I’m always looking to improve the sound quality of my work environment.  Bad acoustics slow down productive.  We may have faster speeds with internet and VOIP but keeping the reception clear will improve the effectiveness.

Are you still printing a fax number on your business?  With the emergence of scanners, you can let go of the annoying sound an sending a fax.  Ever call a phone number and get that screech in your ear as you dialed the wrong number?   People using faxes are needing to upgrade their systems to be more paperless and streamlined.

Encyclopedias, dictionaries and phones books!  I have a lot of good childhood memories of reading these.  Seriously, I loved the pictures in encyclopedia Britannica, challenging myself to words in the dictionary and the annual treat of finding my name or business in the phone book.  All replaced by, of course, the internet!

Calling “411”!  Paying to find information for phone numbers.  I thought it was a big deal when they started charging for the calls, now when was the last time you even thought about calling information for a number.  LOL!

Are you still hanging onto your CD’s?  I’ve seen relic collections of music albums over the years and now they have been replaced by the poor CD.  The worldwide adoption of the iPod has made CD’s a segment of times gone by.  There’s probably a place for the music industry die hard music lovers.  If space is an issue, for cd’s, albums, or electronics, there’s no need to keep these old collections.

For a nostalgic experience, you can visit a record store!  Since records have become obsolete replaced by the internet and iTunes, you may not even know that a record store sells music.

Floppy CD’s.  Tiny thumb drives, the cloud, and external hard drives can store all your data.  Flimsy floppies are corroding in filing cabinets, storage boxes, and odd piles.

Ever since I started my business, I’ve recommend to clients to use online bill pay.  Getting bills is almost a thing of the past.  How many people still have boxes of envelopes to send their mail out.  Not so much.

Losing touch and boundaries.  My love of social media has practically eliminated losing touch with anyone.  Today I can connect with anyone without having to use the old telephone or writing a letter.  I can get online with my social media networks and get caught up.  Personal boundaries are a thing of the past here.  Putting it all out there subjects us to boundaries that were once unapproachable to now being open game.

One more that I’m glad to say is finally becoming obsolete is an effect of the green movement of going paperless. With the ever increasing popularity of communicating online with business, magazines, newspapers, paper is becoming a thing of the past. Having less paper also has made many changes in the office.

I started my business helping people create file systems to manage their piles of paper.  Today, I find that the focus is organizing their electronic files.  If you are still dealing with paper and want to make that part of your obsolescence, contact me and we’ll give you a Miracle in a Day.

To your productivity,
Anne McGurty

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