6 Reasons Why I’d Choose Pen And Paper Every Time
Last week I was asked on Twitter what my favorite GTD tools were for getting organized. Did I prefer the hifi or lofi approach? What was my favorite app? My answer was unequivocally that I prefered good ol’ pen and paper. I’ve always prefered the low tech approach and have never really experimented with apps. But it got me thinking, why do I prefer paper? Well, below are my six main reasons…
- It’s quicker
I strongly hold to the rule that if you do something regularly and it takes more than a short period of time to do, it will quickly turn into a chore. Writing something down on my to-do list should take a few seconds. Ticking a task off as complete should take no more than two seconds (optionally with a few extra seconds to bask in your success). Typing will never be quicker in that regard and if you have to scroll through a bunch of menus and options to do it, then you’re just adding even more time to what should be a simple task.
- It gets me off my computer
I don’t like being sat on a computer more than necessary. This may be partly down to my archaic seating setup that’s stuck in the corner of my room but even so, it’s much better to be up and moving than glued to a screen all day. If I want to check my to-do list, tick something off or capture an idea I don’t want to have to run over to my PC every time.
- It’s ultra-portable
Forget your mobile phones and netbooks, a little notepad to doodle in is much more flexible and lightweight than even those portable tools. Plus you don’t have to worry about dropping it either. Getting water all over the paper may still pose a problem but certainly not like spilling a cup of tea all over your Blackberry. I can fold my weekly planner up and stuff it in my pocket if necessary and not even an iPhone is that thin.
- It’s physical
Clicking a button to confirm you’ve done a task just doesn’t feel as definitive as physically picking up a pen and ticking a box off or scribbling it out. In fact, just being able to pick your to-do list up in your hands and see your entire day’s events laid out is much more powerful than scrolling through an arkward list on a poxy monitor.
- I can tailor it to my own needs
If you know your way around something like Open Office you can quite easily design your own templates to suit your personal needs, just like I’ve done with my own weekly planner. However, when it comes to apps, unless you’re a pretty good programmer with plenty of time to spare, you’re going to be much more limited. Sure, there are so many apps out there that one could argue something is bound to click, but I’ve found they all invariably over-complicate and over-offer in an attempt to satisfy as big an audience as possible.
- It’s cheap
Yes, there are plenty of free apps out there but if you want a fully featured one be prepeared to cough up some serious cash. Unless you have a Moleskine fetish, I find a standard notepad just fine and often at a ridiculously cheap price (ironically, it was my very expensive Moleskine that fell apart long before any of my cheaper ones).