Sunday, February 09, 2014

Why I Stopped Carrying a Wallet

Memo padSomewhere around 14 years ago, I stopped carrying a wallet. Since that time, I have not had the slightest urge to go back.

I guess I had always thought of a wallet in the back pocket as being something that went along with being a member of the male species. Never mind that sitting on the thing was uncomfortable or that the bulky wallet was unattractive. Furthermore, the wallet in the back pocket is a target for the pick-pocket. The wallet working its way out of a back pocket is also a possibility. Talk to any cab driver, and you will hear stories about wallets left on back seats.

One day I stopped, cold-turkey. But what about all of the items I had been carrying in that wallet? What was I to do with all of them? Permit me to share how I have navigated life wallet-free for almost a decade-and-a-half.

The key centers around a pocket-sized memo pad. It fits in a shirt pocket or inside suit jacket pocket. I have been a huge believer in always having pen and paper to trap ideas, to-dos, and other commitments. The memo pad includes several pockets. Those pockets hold my driver's license, several major credit cards, medical card, and a few business cards.

Hardly a day goes by that I do not charge some purchase on a credit card and now have credit card receipts to handle. One pocket of that memo pad allows collection of those credit card receipts, business cards from other people, or other miscellaneous bits of paper. At the end of the day, that little memo pad gets thrown into the Inbox. The bits of paper collected during the day and notes jotted on the memo pad are handled. The memo pad is ready for the next day.

By the way, those who are in the habit of carrying that small pocket notebook are in good company. You can read about the notebooks of 20 famous men.

In my right front pocket, I carry a set of keys. These days, the set consists of only two keys: one to my car and one to my house. School principals are famous for carrying huge rings of keys. As a former principal, I was the exception. In my life and yours, probably 5% of the keys in our possession account for 95% of the use. Keep the 5% on the key ring in your pocket. Put the other 95% on a larger ring which lives in the center desk drawer.

I used to carry a flash drive along with my key ring. That flash drive allowed me to copy a digital file when I was out of the office. Now, with a Dropbox account, I can upload a file from any computer to Dropbox, and it is waiting for me when I get back to my own computer.

We all need to carry cash. Mine is in a money clip in the left front pants pocket, along with a handful of change.

Calendars, address books, and photos are often the culprits when pockets are bulging. A smartphone in the jacket pocket houses my calendar, to-do list, address book, a wealth of reference material, and tons of photos.

If you are tired of sitting on that wallet, are constantly checking to be sure it's still there, and wish there was a better way, look no further. Get a money clip and a nice memo pad. Say good-bye to the wallet once and for all.
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