Around 15 years ago, I was introduced to the concept of a 'day book'. A small, A5 pad, and a less sophisticated version of the Filofax, each day was given a page. Down the left hand side I would input the day's meetings and calls, and down the right, my 'to do' list for the day. The reasons the day book was a superior choice to using my computer's task manager and calendar were:
1: Get Organized Now - Tip 1 - Portability:
My day book was always by my side. I could take it into meetings and make notes without undocking my laptop. If I was traveling, I could see at glance what I needed to do that day. No more lugging my laptop around. Plus, if I was working in another application, with my daybook by my side, I could still see what I had to do and when. There was no hiding from what needed to be done.
2: Get Organized Now - Tip 2 - Creativity:
That 'always open' book also gave me space to make notes at the back, and so any ideas and thoughts I had through the day. Those scribbles became plans and ways to help me achieve my objectives and goals. And, by the time they made it onto my computer, they were already fully formed and shaped, which, in the long run, saved me time and rewrites. For me, a pen and pad unlocks my creativity in a way that typing simply can't. Meeting notes written by hand are also more comprehensive than those typed up - not to mention being fixed on a computer screen in meetings with a keyboard tapping away is bad meeting etiquette and distracting for everyone.
3: Get Organized Now - Tip 3 - Achievement:
There is an inherent sense of satisfaction and achievement in taking a pen, and striking through a completed task.
4: Get Organized Now - Tip 4 - Easy Reviewing:
I could, at the flick of a page, see any uncompleted tasks from earlier in the week and add them to today's 'to do' list. And with a pen and pad, it's far easier to prioritise what needs to be done first.
5: Get Organized Now - Tip 5 - Create Focus:
At any stage, I could see exactly what I had done, and when. when I'm working on my computer, I'm focused on what I am supposed to be doing, rather than being continually interrupted by task reminders and calendar events.
In my office, I still juggle 2 computers, a Blackberry and goodness knows how many more devices, all to make my life more efficient, make my workload more manageable and to get organised now. But overall, for me, paper beats PC every time.