Many years ago, I trained and managed fundraising volunteers for United Way. This contract work ran on an annual (campaign) cycle, and there was a point in the spring when you’d pull out the previous year’s campaign plan and update it for the coming year.
My two favorite places to brainstorm for the update were the old lunchroom at Nordstrom (now long gone) and the ferry that runs between downtown Seattle and Bremerton. Both were places where I could spread out my papers on a table and be left completely alone to think.
In the past few years, I’ve done some of my best “big picture” work on airplanes: No officemates. No emails. No phones. No iChat. No Google. No UPS deliveries. No cats. No errands. And, yes, it is possible to do certain types of work without access to the web.
Tomorrow I’ll be flying to the East Coast for the Saratoga Dance Flurry. I’m looking forward to eight hours of quality thinking and writing time with a 12-inch PowerBook and a pair of noise-cancelling earphones. (I’ll be trying to forget that my husband just bought the latest model of Bose noise-cancelling earphones and they’re smaller — and more effective — than mine.)