Not all applications. Despite the large number of to-do apps and note-taking apps available, pens and paper can still be valuable productivity tools. In fact, in recent years, as we strive to solve the technical problems in life and try to avoid the interference caused by the Internet, paper notes and task management systems are resurging.
You don't have to choose a method. Both applications and paper notebooks have special advantages, and they can be combined into one of their own great, productivity-enhancing systems.
Notebook Productivity System
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of paper is that it is free-form by default. This is a great choice for making paper to write and sketch ideas in any way you want, but it also makes it difficult to organize these ideas.
That's where the paper productivity system comes in. Although you don't need a pen and paper system for making lists, it can be a convenient way to add some structure to the open flexibility of a laptop. These systems are designed to provide you with enough structure to help you complete your work, while still enjoying the various pen-style methods to keep you organized.
Here are some effective ways to get you started:
Bullet notes have been around for several years and are currently welcomed by thousands of members.
In addition to the daily page, the "bullet log" method has several other sections to help you stay organized. Each month there are two pages of pages for recording important events, as well as a monthly task list. In the next six months, there will also be a two-page page called the "Future Journal" where you can write down future deadlines or events. There is also a list of collections or topics, such as books you want to read or items you need to buy.
If you like the idea of a segmented notebook that is still flexible, Strikethru may be a better system for you.
The segmented notebook divides the notebook into multiple parts: one for the daily task list, one for the topic list (similar to the Bullet Journal collection, but these are executable tasks), and the other for brainstorming and taking notes .
Strikethru ’s daily page setup is more specific than Bullet Journal, which allocates a full page each day and recommends that you list up to nine tasks.
If you want to separate each task list, and want to leave a dedicated space in your notebook to store daily tasks and take notes.
If these two systems seem a bit complicated to you, then autofocus may be a better choice. Autofocus is based on a task list, so there is no need to set up various parts of the notebook or update the index page. If you want, you can even use plain paper pads instead of notebooks.
The autofocus method works as follows: you have written a list of everything you need to do. Then, when you are ready to work, just read the list, and only read it at the beginning, without planning to do any work. Then you read for the second time, this time to find the task that jumped out.
This is why it is called "autofocus": it aims to strike a balance between your rational mind (which should know what you should do) and your emotions (these emotions tell you what to do). Reading the task list, you will find one or more of them jumping out of you, and waiting for you to complete the task. Some things will excite you, some will jump out, because the rational mind knows that they are important.
You are looking for balance. The task that attracts you is because you want to manipulate it and because it is important. Of course, sometimes you have to do important things that are not fun, but what you want to pursue is the balance between the two.
Once you decide to perform a task, the autofocus system only requires you to perform some work. You don't have to complete the task. If you no longer want to deal with it, you can cross it out of the list and rewrite it at the bottom. Eventually, you will complete a task enough times so that you can complete the task without having to rewrite it.
This system is useful if you do n’t need to classify tasks and want a way to ensure that tasks are always pushed forward even if they are too large (or too boring) to complete in one go.
The benefits of the notebook
Each of these systems can help you maintain productivity, but it is difficult to imagine an application that can provide the same benefits with less work. Why choose a simulated productivity system instead of just searching for another app in the App Store?
Compared to digital tools, one of the biggest benefits of using pens and paper is that you can use them at will. Most software is designed with the ideas and opinions of its manufacturer in mind, so you cannot bend it exactly as you wish (unless you make digital tools yourself).
On the other hand, using a notebook and pen, you can use any of the simulation systems mentioned above to switch from one to another, or pick up each part and piece them together into your own system.
Using the simulation method, you can continue to use the same tool in different ways. If you are tired of spending too much money on new tools and want to find a miracle tool, that may be the most important benefit. If you try the Bullet Journal method and think it is not for you, you can try another method on the next page of the notebook. No new consumables (or fees) are required. No need to wait for the application to provide updates or bug fixes.
Speaking of power supplies, one of my favorite things about analog systems is that they allow you to use any tool you like. Whether you prefer high-end pens and leather notebooks, or ordinary pencils and sticky notes, you can use the most comfortable and affordable tools, and still benefit from these organizational systems. And, usually, you already have the tools you need on your desk.
Some people just like the tactile experience. I am one of them. I like the feeling of putting the pen on the paper.
However, in addition to enjoyment, there is a good reason for handwriting notes and making lists. Research shows that when we write by hand, we tend to remember things better. When taking notes on the keyboard, we tend to copy the content directly (it is too easy to be told not to do so).
However, on paper, we usually take notes slowly, which forces us to rewrite, doodle, and shorten notes. When writing notes by hand, we will spend more time thinking about what to write, because we must understand and explain the information so that we can quickly write down the most important parts.
Digital functions that pen and paper cannot provide
All these, paper is not perfect. It is still an analog tool without any digitized details of the application that we are used to. This is one of the many factors driving you to achieve paperlessness, and only these digital tools can provide these functions.
There will be no paper bells to remind you to pay or send invoices. Paper relies on your own time and effort to keep track of deadlines. If you have been checking a paper diary or calendar every morning for the past 20 years, you may be able to rely on writing important reminders, but if you are not 100% sure you want to check what you have written, you may miss important deadlines It depends on paper.
On the other hand, it is difficult for digital tools to push notifications to your phone, computer or even watch.
The search function provided by digital tools is unmatched on paper. From searching information for many years to searching task names and notes attached to calendar events, this is a built-in feature unmatched by a paper notebook, even when using index or sticky tags to mark frequently used pages.
If you have ever worried about the safety of important paper forms, documents or souvenirs, then you will know how tricky it is to ensure that they are not lost. Although you can often scan and digitize paper, it still takes a lot of effort to maintain a digital copy of all content.
However, after using the software, the backup is usually done automatically for you, if not, it is easy to set up. Moreover, it is much easier to physically distribute various backup copies during digital backup to make it more secure.
Sync and easy access
Most digital tools provide synchronization with the Web, mobile applications, and desktop applications, so it is much easier to always carry the tool with you. Most of us are used to carrying mobile phones with us, so if our to-do lists and calendars are synchronized with these devices, no extra effort is required to ensure that we always have the information we need.
How to get the best from both worlds
Obviously, both digital and analog methods have advantages-you do n’t have to choose one. Instead, you can use the best of the two methods to maintain high productivity while still being able to find what you need and stay organized. This is the method of managing planning and organization to utilize both analog and digital tools.
Use paper as your daily task list
In the daily task list, there is nothing more focused than a piece of paper. Writing your to-do list on paper is very urgent, even if your computer screen is full of other things, you can always see it on the table.
You can also use convenient techniques in the to-do list on paper, such as using sticky notes to put tasks at the front and center to avoid being forgotten, or use the technique to focus on one task at a time. For example, using a sticky note rule, you put all your daily tasks on notes, and you only get one note per day, which forces you to prioritize.
First write notes on paper
Writing notes by hand will remember them better, so please bring your notebook and pen to a meeting, class, or meeting. This will force you to focus on the most important points raised and ensure that you know everything, so you can explain it in your notes.
If you want to make notes more interesting, you can also try to use sketch annotations-use charts, doodles and various forms in writing to make notes interesting. In addition, painting can help us remember them better, so this method will further increase your memory.
Use digital tools for future planning
If you have ever tried to go all out with pen and paper, then you know that planning anything in the future may be tricky. The analog calendar is only applicable to the current situation, and Bullet Journal requires you to write the next few months. If you have more than one year, it may become messy and time-consuming.
However, digital tools can handle almost any date you want to use. Your calendar or task manager may set the date for the next two years, five years or even ten years. You do n’t have to worry about migrating events or tasks to future notebooks or calendars. Just enter it once to relax.
Use digital tools for events, repetitive tasks and timely reminders
For anything that needs reminding to complete on time, digitization is the only way. It is more reliable and it involves you. You don't have to rely on your memory to complete work or display events.
This is also the best way to deal with any important recurring events. You do n’t have to remember to rewrite these tasks or events every week or every month, but you can enter them into the task manager or calendar once, set them to repeat, and enjoy the convenience of regular reminders.
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