Dallin Crump

Full-time Clark Kent. Moonlighting Superman.

For some time now – years – I have felt the need to be more meticulous in my time management and planning.

I have been using iCloud calendars for years to keep track of individual and family events and schedules, and it's certainly been better than nothing. But as I try to scale back and perhaps eventually eliminate my personal smartphone use, I am going to need to find other means of managing my time.

From December 2000 to December 2002 I lived in Brazil serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Smartphones didn't exist, and PDAs like the PalmPilot were expensive. We used paper planners to plan out our days and weeks in 30 minute increments. It was one of the most productive and efficient periods of my life.

I came across a post on the Moving Offline blog by Jose Briones that tipped me off to the existence of Moleskine daily planners. They're not like my old missionary planners, but I decided to order one anyway and try it out. I can always try something else if I determine this isn't what I need.

Better time management using paper planners is a foundational personal change I want to make in 2023. Foundational in the sense that I hope it will help me to stay accountable and on track as I make other changes to better align my behaviors with my values.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 95) #DigitalMinimalism #intentionism #planning

I'm half-way through a two-week news and social media fast. It's going just as I had hoped it would.

I'm disturbed (but not surprised) by how many times I have absentmindedly tried to open a news or social media website. Thankfully the blocks I have put in place have prevented me from breaking my fast and reminded me just how entrenched I have become in these habits.

I feel like my overall mental state is getting better. I'm less anxious and agitated. I'm able to think more clearly and focus more easily. I have a greater desire to read and write. I know there are concerning and disturbing things happening in the world, but I'm focused more on how I can make the world a better place by influencing circumstances within my control.

Going forward, I think I need to schedule specific times to check news and social media. I'm not sure yet on the duration and frequency. 30 minutes daily might be too much, so maybe 30 minutes every other day. I'll have to experiment and see what works. Outside of those scheduled times, I need to avoid news and social media.

For now, I will enjoy the remainder of this news and social media fast and continue to think of other ways I can align my life more with my values for the coming year and beyond.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 94) #DigitalMinimalism #SocialMedia #intentionism

One last Christmas video. Despite some disappointing turns of events that prevented us from seeing some loved ones, this has been the most joyous Christmas season for me in at least three years.

May we always be grateful for God's incomparable gift of His Son. And may we always be looking for gifts of time, love, and service to give to Him.

What shall we give to the babe in the manger? What shall we offer the child in the stall? Incense and spices and gold we've aplenty. Are these the gifts for the king of us all? 

What shall we give to the boy in the temple? What shall we offer the man by the sea? Palms at his feet and hosannas uprising, Are these for him who will carry the tree? 

What shall we give to the man who was offered, Rising the third day and shedding his love? Tears for his mercy we'll weep at the manger, Bathing the infant come down from above.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 93) #Christmas #faith #music

One thing that smartphones excel at is video calls. Tonight – Christmas Eve – was a perfect example of this.

It's the first time we've traveled to be with extended family for Christmas since 2019 – before the COVID-19 pandemic. My family, along with my two brothers and their families, planned to have Christmas Eve dinner with my mother and step-father and a small gift exchange afterward.

For various reasons, one of my brothers had to cancel his family's travel plans. We were sad that they wouldn't be able to join us in-person and that we would have to go at least one more Christmas without them. But thanks to modern technology, we used my (“ancient”) iPhone 8 to do a FaceTime call with them during our gift exchange. I played cameraman as family members opened their gifts and then passed the phone around to each family member to have a quick chat.

It is true there is no substitute for in-person interaction. But when in-person interaction cannot happen, video calls can be the next best thing.

If and when I decide to stop carrying a smartphone on my person, there will be other ways of doing video calls. A laptop, a tablet, or even a smartphone as a secondary device dedicated for specific functions like that.

Because, as was demonstrated tonight, a video call was able to bridge hundreds of miles and connect our family in a way that I only dreamed of as a child watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. While I lament other technological “advances” that seem to have done more harm than good or have mixed results at best (social media), video calls are one achievement I can wholly and unapologetically support.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 92) #tech #smartphones #COVID19 #family

I took a long road trip today without using GPS navigation at all. It was a familiar route, so I didn't need to use any printed maps. But it gave me confidence that maybe I don't need GPS navigation as much as I think I do.

I feel like with proper planning, a road atlas (assuming they still make those), and some printed maps for specific destinations, I could take a road trip anywhere.

This is how we did it before smartphones were a thing, and we somehow managed to figure things out, right?

Before smartphones, I'd look up routes on my home computer and print out MapQuest maps and directions as needed. Seemed to get the job done then, I'm pretty sure I could do the same now. Except with Google Maps, of course.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 91) #tech #DigitalMinimalism

I couldn't resist. I've been wanting to try the Unihertz Jelly 2E ever since I heard about it. It's already pretty attainable at a base price of $169.99, but right now it's on sale for $159.99 and Unihertz is also running a 10% off promotion. So I figured why not?

Little is the key word, here. It's a little phone and I hope to use it as little as possible in the ways that smartphones can be addictive. I've been wanting to wean myself off of smartphones for a while, and I'm hoping this device will be a step in that direction. I would need to be pretty desperate (or addicted) to want to use a phone with a 3” screen (the original iPhone had a 3.5” screen) for web browsing, social media, messaging, videos, etc. But I will still be able to take advantage of features like maps, music apps, and even snapping occasional photos.

I'm looking forward to trying it out and sharing my thoughts and impressions about it.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 90) #tech #DigitalMinimalism #intentionism

In a corner of the living room I sit in silence writing Silent but for sounds of typing And of three clocks ticking

A wall clock in the family room And dining room wall, too A third clock ticking on the shelf, For only two won't do

And three more silent clocks there are All within my view On both microwave and stove And small stereo, too

Six clocks tick and tick away And cast their timely spell Why we need so many clocks Only time will tell

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 89) #poetry #life

I recently wrote about the first smartphone I ever owned and the first cell phone I ever used. But the first cell phone I ever owned was a Motorola V60 flip phone.

It was early 2003 and I had just returned home to the United States after serving a full-time mission for two years in Brazil. My mother took me to the Alltel store to pick out a phone and add me to the family service plan.

I knew I wanted the V60 when I saw it. Sleek, metal finish. Replaceable battery (of course they all were back then). Extendable antenna. It even came with a belt holster clip and you better believe I used it (I miss holsters and phones small enough to fit holsters). It was a great little phone. Solid and dependable.

And my favorite feature? Programmable ring tones. You could use the settings to create your own ringtones note for note. I had the Star Trek and Star Wars themes, of course. I know I had several other fun tunes but can't remember specifics. Probably popular songs of the time.

And don't forget that satisfying sound and feeling when you closed it after a call. CLOMP.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 88) #tech #retro #nostalgia

For several months I made do with only a desktop. Now I also have a laptop (again). But do I really need both?

Having a laptop again has reminded me of how nice they are in terms of flexibility and portability. Yet I also like the desktop's power and ease of repairs and upgrades. But analyzing my tech use after obtaining a laptop, the only things I use my desktop for on a regular basis are light gaming (dedicated graphics) and data storage (2 TB HDD). Everything else – writing, communication, web browsing, etc. I prefer to do on my laptop.

I'm really feeling the need to consolidate and scale back on the technology I own, so I'm considering getting a laptop with dedicated graphics to replace both my desktop and current laptop. I already have several easy external storage options to take care of any data storage needs.

I would probably get a refurbished laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics, as I don't need anything more than that for my gaming needs. Every so often I get back into more intense gaming, but eventually I step away from it again as I am reminded how addictive and time-consuming it is. Not having the latest and greatest dedicated graphics will be another way to help curb the addiction while still providing for some gaming once in a while (right now I only play Minecraft).

I'd sell my current desktop and laptop to offset the cost of the nicer laptop.

And I should probably go through all the stuff in my office, purge the stuff I don't need, and reevaluate the stuff I do use to determine if I can minimize it.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 87) #tech #intentionism #DigitalMinimalism

I recently wrote about the first smartphone I ever owned. But my very first experience with a cell phone was using an Audiovox CDM-4500 or an Audiovox model very similar to it.

Around 1999 my parents bought a single cell phone for the family that any one of us could take along when out of the house if we needed to easily call home or be contacted. I was attending community college at the time and remember taking the phone with me on several occasions and using it. Although we were discouraged from using it unless absolutely necessary because apparently the minutes were very expensive. I don't know how much they paid for the phone or the service.

So it technically wasn't mine, but it was the first cell phone I ever used. I thought it was amazing to be able to talk on the phone wherever I was. Little did I know how drastically cell phones would change over the next couple decades.

Discuss...


#100DaysToOffload (No. 86) #tech #retro

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