This is a guest post by Geoff R. of Gearfire.net
A year ago, if someone asked me “paper or digital?” for just about anything, I would say digital. Today, I will probably still say digital in many situations, but I am trying to make an effort to embrace paper and pen productivity.
Paper offers distinct advantages over digital, such as better portability, no fatal system crashes, and ease of data transfer. However to me, these have always been overshadowed by the advantages of digital. While writing is linear, digital has no limits, as it can be copied, re-organized, or deleted with ease. It can also handle large amounts of data easier, offer more advanced features, and you can backup your data without spending time copying it out, or running to the photocopier. On top of that, I am a fast and accurate typer, but my writing is not so great.
Recently though, I have been craving some of paper’s advantages, such as portability, and ability to transfer to other people quickly and easily (rip it out and hand it to them). On top of that, I discovered Myndology notebooks, which allow you to add, remove, and re-organize sheets using a cool disc-bound system. Think
3-ring binder, but with 10-rings or any size you want it to be. It’s like paper 2.0.
I can now see the importance of embracing both analog and digital media. Even though the world is getting more and more technologically advanced, paper isn’t leaving any time soon. Here are my 3 tips for embracing analog productivity.
1. Find what you like about digital, then apply that to paper.
For me, the big problem with paper was that writing is linear, where as type is dynamic. However, using a disc-bound system such as Myndology allows me to add, remove and re-organize pages. It may not be as good as completely dynamic text, but it is an extra advantage that I enjoy. You can check out my review on Myndology here.
2. Spend money on your system, and make sure you like it.
If you can warrant dropping $400 for a cool new PDA gadget, then certainly you can invest $50 into notebooks, paper, or whatever else you need for your personal productivity system.
3. Try out new concepts and technologies with your paper productivity system.
As with computer software, paper will evolve, and you may be interested in trying new concepts. The saying goes “Evolve or die”, and I don’t think you want your productivity system to die!
Geoff R. is a student of productivity, organization, and GTD writer from Canada. He blogs at Gearfire.net, with a group of other high school and university GTD writers. You can subscribe to their RSS feed here.