Evolution of Organization

Penelope unzipped her leather day planner, slipped her index finger under the photo bookmark and flipped the pages.  She scanned her agenda.  Budget meeting at 9AM, project meeting at 11AM, lunch with Dennis.  She groaned.  She had forgotten about Dennis Stroebel.  He was pompous and chauvinistic, but was responsible for her generous bonus check.  She couldn’t afford to lose this client, no matter how annoyed she got.

“Are you coming to the meeting, or what?”

Speaking of annoyed.  “Of course, Sarah.”  Penelope flipped her planner closed.  She stood up and slid the book into the crook of her arm.

“You’re bringing that dinosaur?”  Sarah rolled her eyes.  “You should consider joining this century.”

You should consider minding your own business, Penelope wanted to say.  Instead, she stopped to grab her coffee, giving Sarah a several step lead.

By the time they reached the boardroom, there were only two empty seats- right next to each other.  She’d have to endure Sarah for the next hour.  Penelope took a sandstone coaster from the holder in the middle of the table and placed her insulated coffee mug on it.  She sat, then opened her day planner and slid her favorite pen from the leather holder.  She glanced around the room.  She saw touch-screen tablets, a Blackberry or two and several iPhones.  Instead of pens, rubber-tipped styluses rested on the table.

“Dang it!”

Penelope turned toward Sarah, who’d just spilled her coffee.  The creamy mocha spread across the table toward the chorus of gasps.

Sarah plucked her tablet off the table and attempted to dry it with her skirt.  The screen went black.  She tried to power it on, but it didn’t respond.  “Ohhh, it’s ruined!” she moaned.

Penelope grabbed the leftover napkins from the last business lunch.  She lifted her planner and wiped the leather cover dry; the paper pages were unharmed.  “Well,” she looked at Sarah, “I guess it’s not extinct after all.”

Sarah glared.

Penelope smiled.  “I’d be happy to take notes for you.”


This is my entry in the Trifecta weekly writing prompt challenge.  This week, we were asked to write a 33 to 33 word response (mine came in at 333 words) using “dinosaur” with the following definition:  one that is impractically large, out-of-date, or obsolete.

If you want to submit your own entry to the challenge, click the Tricycle picture to view the complete instructions on Trifecta’s website.

One final note:  I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to read (and vote) for my weekend entry.  It took second place in the community-voted challenge.  (I thought first place was funny…it got one of my votes :))

75 thoughts on “Evolution of Organization

  1. jaymsjags06 August 27, 2012 / 10:44 PM

    Nice! 🙂

  2. Tessa August 27, 2012 / 11:01 PM

    I still use a dinosaur myself. Well if I use one at all LOL! I have an alarm on my smartphone right now that I have no idea where it is to turn if off. It is a weekly one. My phone is smarter than me. 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 7:06 AM

      I don’t use the big beast of a planner anymore because I don’t have many meetings to track at this job, and the pages were nearly $50. (ouch!)

      On my phone, there is an alarm app in the Applications folder where I can set it…maybe yours had it too? Thanks for stopping by, Tessa 🙂

      • Tessa September 11, 2012 / 7:32 AM

        Thanks, found the spot to turn it off LOL!

        • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 8:06 AM

          Yay! It’s so frustrating when you can’t make it stop 🙂

  3. diannegray August 27, 2012 / 11:37 PM

    Congratulations on your second place, Janna!

    This is a great story. It reminds me so much of my work. I sit in a boardroom and people come in to speak to the exec and all the exec do is tap on their laptops and fiddle with their phones. I find it quite rude. Notice I never say where I work? Lol 😀

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 7:11 AM

      Thanks, Dianne. I was excited to place this week. I’ve been around so many gadget people like you described. What’s worse is when they start laughing at something they read. They could at least share the joke!

  4. Ruby Manchanda August 28, 2012 / 3:17 AM

    Congratulations. After reading this, I guess even I belong to the times where they use a dinosaur. Lovely writing here again. Hoping for another win for you.

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 7:18 AM

      Thanks for reading, Ruby. I’m glad you liked the story. I don’t use the dinosaur anymore, but i do have a smaller monthly calendar, and I try to update my phone calendar since I usually have it with me. It sure it’s easier too just write something down, though!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 7:20 AM

      There’s a whole lot of something going on there, Carl. Disorganization is probably the nicest way to put it 🙂

  5. pattyabr August 28, 2012 / 5:21 AM

    The dinosaur stays at home and my smartphone goes to work but I don’t take notes with it. Luckily we all live by computers at work and when we have a meeting I can pop onto a computer and take notes on a shared drive folder. I am such a klutz at work I spill water, coffee, food onto myself, the keyboard you name it. I can’t be trusted with a coffee mug near anything. ha ha.

    congrats on your 2nd place finish over the weekend!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 7:25 AM

      You’re funny, Patty! I confess, I use a cup with a lid at my desk (and it’s just water) I don’t drink coffee, but if I did, I couldn’t chance having it at my desk 🙂

  6. lumdog August 28, 2012 / 5:57 AM

    The moral of the story is grab your i phone and let the scalding coffee pour on to your lap! 😉 Yes, we are all too tied to technology and this is a good lesson. But, just the same, I can’t be without all that stuff! Great story!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 7:35 AM

      Ha ha ha! That’s right, Lumdog…I’m glad the moral came through so well 🙂 I’ve only had a smart phone for a couple months, so I’m still training myself to use the calendar…it seems I’m a slow learner 🙂

  7. braintomahawk August 28, 2012 / 6:41 AM

    Wonderfully done. You had me at sandstone coaster; small descriptive elements like that are gravy for me!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 7:39 AM

      Glad you liked the sandstone coaster, Braintomahawk. Those things are great for absorbing water. I guess that’s not really a point of the story, though. I get side-tracked easily 🙂

  8. rebecca2000 August 28, 2012 / 7:40 AM

    Great job. You’re too good at this. 🙂


    Lady or Not…Here I Come

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:33 PM

      Thanks, Rebecca! I appreciate the compliment, but there are so many other who write better responses than me 🙂

      • rebecca2000 August 28, 2012 / 11:17 PM

        Now don’t downgrade yourself. Writing is subjective.

        • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 11:27 PM

          That is true, Rebecca…and I subjectively think that there are better writers out there 🙂

          (I know, I’m impossible…my husband and friends tell me so quite often :))

        • rebecca2000 August 28, 2012 / 11:29 PM

          lol I subjectively disagree. I am not impossible but I am stubborn 😉

        • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 11:44 PM

          Hmmm….I’ve been told I’m stubborn as well, but I refuse to believe it 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:33 PM

      Thanks, Lisa. I’m glad you enjoyed the story 🙂

  9. Debbie August 28, 2012 / 8:06 AM

    Good one, Janna! Filled with descriptive elements and a wonderful tongue-in-cheek poke at the dangers of too much “keeping up with the Joneses”! I remember planners, but I’m afraid I, too, wouldn’t be caught in public with one, ha!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:37 PM

      Yeah, sometimes newer isn’t always better. That planner was a beast. I may not use it anymore for its intended purpose, but posing for the picture with this post made me realize it could be re-purposed as a workout tool – I could end up with some decent abs 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Debbie!

  10. Annabelle August 28, 2012 / 9:55 AM

    Ha! As a technology resister, I found this very satisfying.

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:38 PM

      I’m not first in line for new technology myself, Annabelle. I have a sticky note program on my smart phone, but I still prefer a good ‘ol post-it 🙂

  11. newwhitebear August 28, 2012 / 11:29 AM

    I like using the dynosaur. Techonolgy? It’s useful but pen and paper are better.

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:39 PM

      There are some things where pen and paper work better. I tried to go digital, but I just can’t do it! Thanks for sharing your comment, Newwhitebear 🙂

  12. Jeanna August 28, 2012 / 12:52 PM

    I loved the dig at the end: “I’d be happy to take notes for you.”

    Good job!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:40 PM

      Glad you liked that part, Jeanna. I appreciate you taking time to read the story!

  13. RogRites aka BetaRules August 28, 2012 / 4:09 PM

    Well written. and all too true. Doesn’t need batteries, won’t run out of power or require connectivity. Sometimes the dinosaur is the best solution.

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:41 PM

      Thanks, RogRites! Sometimes older is better. Except when it comes to cassette tapes. CDs really are better 🙂

  14. Widdershins August 28, 2012 / 4:43 PM

    Isn’t revenge wonderful when you don’t have to do a thing for it to work? … great story … and well done on your 2nd place!!!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:42 PM

      Yep, she has no guilt because she didn’t do anything (except enjoy the moment :)) Thanks for stopping by, Widdershins!

  15. Tina August 28, 2012 / 8:41 PM

    I am still between worlds–I have a smart phone, but I carry a “planning” calendar with me, too. Just in case of spilled coffee!

    • jannatwrites August 28, 2012 / 10:43 PM

      I do exactly the same thing, Tina. My problem is that I don’t have a complete calendar in either one so I’m constantly double-booking or forgetting appointments. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. jcosmonewbery August 29, 2012 / 2:59 AM

    Someone once tried to sell me a digital Data Recorder. “Do you mean a pencil” I asked.
    For some reason the sale didn’t go ahead.

    • jannatwrites August 29, 2012 / 10:33 PM

      Ha! A pencil costs a lot less, too 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Jcosmonewbery.

  17. Tara R. August 29, 2012 / 7:36 AM

    Occasionally I’ll make a note on my iPhone, but usually I jot everything in my leather-bound notebook, using my favorite ink pen. There is just something about putting pen to paper that is more satisfying.

    • jannatwrites August 29, 2012 / 10:34 PM

      I agree. I’m trying to at least get my calendar items in my phone so I have it when I have to make appointments. I’m a slow learner, it seems 🙂

      Thanks for reading, Tara.

  18. Sandra Tyler (@SFiberworks) August 29, 2012 / 7:45 AM

    lol, love this! Fact is I’m still a dino that way. I don’t have a planner since I’m home, but I rely on a big wall calendar with masses of scribbles (I have terrible handwriting) I find it much quicker and simpler to keep a calendar in writing than the 2-3 steps it at least takes to enter a date on a digital device.

    • jannatwrites August 29, 2012 / 10:37 PM

      Wall calendars are great for keeping schedules, Sandra. We have one, too. The only problem is that if I don’t also add appointments to my phone, I forget what I’ve scheduled.

  19. jesterqueen (@jesterqueen) August 29, 2012 / 11:18 AM

    Ooooh, a SMUG dinosaur! I was expecting the rich client to take notes in the same way and be thereby impressed with Penelope and give her the bigger bonus.

    • jannatwrites August 29, 2012 / 10:41 PM

      Yeah, she got to gloat a little there, Jesterqueen. Your idea would’ve made a fun tale, as well. That scenario didn’t cross my mind!

  20. Annette Mickelson August 29, 2012 / 4:06 PM

    I take meeting notes in a leather journal with my favorite pen — surrounded by iPads and the like. I have the gadgets, but I prefer my journal at work and my moleskin at home.

    • jannatwrites August 29, 2012 / 10:43 PM

      My favorite thing to use tablets for is games. Not a great idea to play during a meeting. Thanks for visiting, Annette!

  21. FKC August 29, 2012 / 8:47 PM

    Very cute!! I see my old day-planner in a drawer every now and again. So beautiful and elegant, but definitely gone the way of the dinosaur!

    • jannatwrites August 29, 2012 / 10:51 PM

      I about pulled a muscle holding my old planner up for a picture. It had to be retired 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, FKC!

  22. Linda Vernon August 29, 2012 / 9:43 PM

    Ah yes! Revenge of the dinosaurs! 😀 Enjoyable read and congratulations or your weekend challenge!

    • jannatwrites August 29, 2012 / 10:52 PM

      Thanks, Linda…I was excited about the second place. I appreciate you reading this one 🙂

  23. Renada Styles August 30, 2012 / 10:10 AM

    as much as i love technology, having grown up with it handily at my side, i do prefer the good ol’ pen and paper when it comes to taking notes and keeping a schedule. it’s easier to read, short-hand and change about. or maybe i’m a little old school, but my generation of 20-somethings is finally getting to be the dinosaurs with how quick technology changes these days!

    • jannatwrites August 30, 2012 / 9:54 PM

      You’re right, Renada. Technology does change so quickly. It makes me feel, well, like a dinosaur, to think that in elementary school, we had three tower computers at school that we all had to share, there were no cell phones and my Sony Walkman with a cassette player was portable! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on technology.

  24. Carrie August 30, 2012 / 10:55 AM

    sometimes it takes paper and pen to do the job. When the world ends in December, remember to stock up at Staples 😉

    • jannatwrites August 30, 2012 / 9:56 PM

      Hahaha! Good one, Carrie. I’ll have to stock up after Thanksgiving, then. When I go, I want to be surrounded by Post-It note pads of all different colors 🙂

  25. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) August 30, 2012 / 5:18 PM

    Your writing here is clear and crisp with nice flow and tone. You have a way of seamlessly integrating thoughts and dialogue into your work and this piece is a great example of that. Thanks for playing along with us this week. We hope to see you back soon.

    • jannatwrites August 30, 2012 / 10:07 PM

      Thanks, Trifecta editors. I appreciate the feedback 🙂

  26. Eric Alagan August 30, 2012 / 8:28 PM

    This post reminds me of the millions spent developing a ball point pen that wrote under water, in space (no gravity), etc…the Soviets used a pencil

    • jannatwrites August 30, 2012 / 10:16 PM

      Ha! That’s funny, Eric. A pencil is a great tool…even better is the mechanical pencil. I love not having to sharpen my pencil. I’m glad you’re back tot he blog world and had time to stop by!

  27. Sandra August 30, 2012 / 9:03 PM

    It took me a long time to convert because I love the pen and paper feel, but I finally have switched over because of all those ‘repeated events’ throughout a school year! Also, electronic sharing of a family calendar is great. So my beautiful leather-bound dinosaur just sits there and gathers dust, but I refuse to put it away since I think I’ll take notes in it, yet I can never seem to find a pen…

    I love your writing, as always. Your pieces are always so succinct and well-done! This was a great response to the prompt!

    • jannatwrites August 30, 2012 / 10:20 PM

      I retired my dinosaur, not only because of the bulk, but the $45 Franklin Covey refill pages. Ouch! I had to laugh that you can’t ever find a pen. It seems that lately our pens have grown feet and walked away. Not sure what’s up with that!

      The electronic calendar is a handy thing…one which I’m attempting to discipline myself into using. It will be so nice to have everything in one spot at my fingertips.

      I’m glad you stopped by, Sandra!

  28. Christine August 30, 2012 / 9:22 PM

    *snicker* Very amusing, and a great, satisfying conclusion. (I type this on my iPad, of course. *smile*)

    • jannatwrites August 30, 2012 / 10:29 PM

      Glad you liked the ending, Christine. It seems we can’t live without technology…can’t exactly blog with pen and paper, now can we?

  29. Neetika August 30, 2012 / 9:59 PM

    I loved how the story ended…. I’m myself a big fan of the good old pen and paper. I think writing is much more gratifying this way 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 30, 2012 / 10:30 PM

      I agree, Neetika. Unfortunately, I often skip the paper and go to the computer just to save time. Thanks for stopping by and reading the story!

  30. pattisj August 31, 2012 / 10:06 PM

    I could see that happening! I’d be the one with the day planner!

    • jannatwrites August 31, 2012 / 11:09 PM

      I’d hope so, Patti. It’s much better than being the one with a soggy tablet 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 9, 2012 / 11:48 PM

      Thanks so much for the link, Yvonne!

    • jannatwrites September 9, 2012 / 11:52 PM

      Thanks, Yvonne! I checked out your post tonight (and bookmarked your page so I can check your site again.)

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