In My Briefcase

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Not convinced that tech toys like Palm Pilots are as indispensable as some purport them to be, some builders opt for the old-fashioned information carry-all: the briefcase.

September 13, 2000

 

Tom Lewis, president of T.W. Lewis Co.

 

Not convinced that tech toys like Palm Pilots are as indispensable as some purport them to be, some builders opt for the old-fashioned information carry-all: the briefcase.

Tom Lewis, president of T.W. Lewis Co. in Tempe Ariz., is one of those builders. Actually, he claims, he’s not really a home builder -- he doesn’t carry a toolbox afterall -- he’s a businessman. "It just happens that our product is homes."

Lewis says his briefcase is like his Bible -- it contains all the information he needs to get through his day. "I can access information more quickly than anyone I know. It’s all in here." Of course, for that very same reason -- it’s all in there -- he says he has to replace his battered briefcase every other year.

 

1. A standard point-and-shoot camera is a necessity for a visual chronology of projects.

2. Priority lists, Lewis says, make a lot more sense on real paper than on a Palm Pilot. With that, it’s easy to just delete and re-enter, but on paper he says the re-writing helps him to re-assess as he reorganizes.

3. Just a plain old notebook-with an area for business cards-keeps thought, contacts and other info in order.

4. An inbasket and outbasket organize Lewis’ take-home work. "Stuff I can blow through quickly, I do at my desk, but stuff that requires more time, I do early in the morning or late at night. When it’s done, it goes in the outbasket section."

 

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