What is a system?

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18/04/2019 11:18

 

 

My role has recently changed, and I have more responsibility for others in my team. This has meant I am trying to find ways to manage my own workload and keep track of those I work with.

I’m struck by the fact that my smartphone is not only something I carry but is also my mobile office when I am away from my desk - which is a common event. There are many apps out there to help you manage your day, and yet I really can’t get on with any of them, so I have resorted to a good old paper diary.

I feel a pang of embarrassment at saying that, I work in IT after all, is such a thing allowed? Part of me thinks, “write your own app, you have the skills!” But why when the A5 book I have is doing such a perfect job? Just this week I purchased a new notebook for meeting notes, I did consider a tablet device for the job, but you know what, I just won't use it, I like the idea of a pad and pen.

Thanks to my new colleague, I have gone slightly high-tech with a Rocket Wave notebook. This is so I can keep electronic copies of my notes and reuse the book itself a few times, making it a very worthwhile purchase, even if it does seem to reinforce my own perception that I am a dinosaur.

As you hopefully know, I work for a company which specialises in scheduling, producing software for that purpose, and yet I rely so heavily on a wall planner and my new diary. I’m not sure if that is just a sign of my age or my resistance to the temptation of IT. Please let me know I am not alone here. What methods do people use, do these methods work?

Yes, I use an electronic calendar to manage my online meetings, and as I work from home my wall planner only works for me and my family. So I must ensure my colleagues can see where I am electronically. But somehow, that’s just not enough for me, I like the safety and simplicity of just looking the wall in front of me, or my diary sat next to me on my desk.

This leads me to the question, what is a system? As an IT person, I automatically think that a system is software and hardware, but that’s not always the case…a system can be anything. How many of us have used “systems” which are Microsoft Access Databases or Excel spreadsheets?

Wikipedia says, “A system is a regularly interacting or interdependent group of units forming an integrated whole”. Wait, this must mean “systems” existed before computers, that’s crazy talk I know, but bear with me.

I’m going to step out of my professional comfort zone here as a software developer, from now on I accept a system can be non-IT, my diary, wall planner, notebook, and faithful pens are a “system”.

Will you join me in the new revolution, (assuming I’m not the last one to the party!)?

 

 

Seddon Kirk

Seddon Kirk - Systems.png