I’ve always liked to check out the latest gadgets and ideas in trying to find improvements in my time management systems. I’ve tried a variety of hand-held devices, computer programs, and online applications but I find myself primarily relying on paper to stay productive. My high-tech friends will disagree but paper is better for so many reasons, provided you keep yourself organized. Here’s my reasons why:
Paper boots instantly. I keep a small notebook with me to jot down ideas and things that randomly come to mind. I’m more apt to record these ideas if I can do so in an easy way. When I had my hand-held organizer, I had to open a program, start a new file (or add to an old one I had to open), type or write the info down with a stylus and then close the program. Even on today’s smart phones, the process is similar.
Paper never dies out. Once I lost some key data when the battery in my hand-held device died. I immediately sold the thing on Craig’s List and went looking for a more practical alternative. I found it. Paper! Paper is always handy, never needs to be recharged, and is cheap. My first hand-held device ate batteries like candy. My rechargeable model had to be “docked” every night. If I forgot to do it before I went to bed, the next morning was chaos because I couldn’t rely on it for information for fear it might die out. I wound up giving away the batter model to a friend.
Paper is still there when the hard drive crashes! The only online productivity tool I really use regularly is a calendar program to track long-range items. The rest of my tools are paper based. I’ve used Zoho and Google Documents to track a few mailing lists but nothing substantial. I could pay a monthly fee for a fancy backup program like those I hear advertised on radio but I really don’t need it. I have an external hard drive to back up some important files and the rest of my work tools are stored conveniently in either my Noguchi files, my tickler files, or a customized Rollabind notebook i use to track things.
Paper is durable. You can bend it, crush it, smash it in your pocket and it doesn’t lose its effectiveness. With my tech gadgets, I had to be careful of rain, heat, and dropping it. I also had to protect it with some pricey case. Paper needs none of that. You customize it as you go and when you’re done with the task or project, you can throw it away. (recycle when you can!)
There you have it. Just a few of the reasons why I switched from tech gadgets to paper to handle my productivity system. Your feedback is welcome!