The big question in productivity today is often whether to go fully digital, choose part paper and part digital, or risk being an organising dinosaur by doing nothing digitally. Then there are also the lucky ones of us, who seem to have a hard time choosing, thereby jumping from tool to another without ever truly sticking to one. Because the latter can be frustrating at best, we want to explore a few pros and cons to each option.
Digital Notebooks And Calendars
Most of us have a smartphone with us these days and they are small miracles with regard to how powerful they are made in comparison with Nokia of ye olden days. The number of apps available means there’s something for everyone, which in the other hand translates to too many options at times. Decision fatigue, anyone?
Security is becoming a serious issue now that news of listening in to private conversations (only to offer ‘suitable’ ads in an out-of-place context a day later) is the new normal. Are businesses prepared for real for various security breaches or do we smugly think we are?
And did it occur to you that someone can look at you through your front camera on your smartphone right now? If they know how to break in and enter like that, don’t you think they also know how to read your emails, rummage through your project-management app, and check the status of your bank account?
With that said, team work has been made smooth in a way nobody could’ve anticipated fifteen years ago. Real-time updates and constant internet means we can work whenever and wherever we want to, in good and bad.
Personally, I love how I’m able to tweak my Asana projects into increasingly strong tools to help me work both in and on the business. And I’m excited for the moment when I can bring along outside help such as a virtual assistant to collaborate with me in Asana. While this is no notebook per se, I’d still call it a calendar in a sense, as at least my Editorial Calendar puts a smile on my face in terms of how much it can do.
On the other hand, I’d cry crocodile tears if I were to lose my iPhone. It’s become an extension of me. How do you feel about this part? Anything you’ve given thought yet?
The Paper Counterparts
Of course you can lose a paper calendar just as easily. In such a case the catastrophe is more real, because who takes photos (regularly) of their scribbles? We’ll talk risk management later this year so this is the perfect introductory example, I think.
As for working with others, paper isn’t conducive to high productivity. Imagine keeping one paper calendar in the middle of an office and people running back and forth to check the latest additions or changes.
Then again writing things by hand can be a key to unlocking a shrinking to-do list. Have you tried the Bullet Journal Method? I tried it but the numerous symbols felt uninspiring to learn, so I made a tweaked version of it and combined with elements from Getting Things Done. An all-time favourite is the Moleskine squared, large black notebook, which I keep returning to.
A ‘pro’ tip is to buy a Leuchtturm pen holder to stick to the inside of the Moleskine back cover and you never use your pen. My love affair in the pen department is with uni-ball micro deluxe, UB-155 black, as it writes beautifully and doesn’t bleed through with a wide stroke like uni-ball eye micro, UB-150 black. They have discontinued the deluxe pen here and it’s a bit of a devastation, so I’ll have to check online.
A Combination Of Paper And Digital
If you insist on digital everything, remember a few no-no. Passwords in legible format is never a good idea and the same goes for various sensitive personal information.
The only tip I have is to stick with whatever you choose for a longer time. Be consistent for a while before you switch ‘back.’ And try not to scatter notes everywhere, if mostly paper is your thing. Or if you do, have an organising session frequently enough that you perhaps transfer the information to a larger collection bucket such as a calendar.
I tend to prefer pen and paper for random to-dos, but my Mac Calendar is (horrifyingly) fantastic in showing through time blocking just how little time I have available each day. The travel time in particular is a useful feature in that I usually underestimate when I should start preparing to leave the house aka change from nightwear and so on some days. Productivity and productivity tools, oh how I love and hate thee…
What’s your preference? Have you stuck with it for long or do you keep jumping between options?
Photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator.