I’ve never been a big paper person. In fact I’m fairly sure the stuff hates me. It seems to multiply before my eyes and quickly becomes unmanageable for me. Add the fact that my handwriting is often illegible and you quickly start to see why I lean so heavily on technology for organizing my life.
As I start to get my act together, I’m beginning to see where technology falls short and I am experimenting with how my old nemesis, paper, may be able to fill the gap.
One of the biggest holes in my workflows is dealing with the smallest tasks, the ones that are the quickly accomplished, that you look to do immediately, but often get distracted from. They are the things you easily forget because they seem unimportant. They require no planning, simply action. They are the things you want to go away.
Unfortunately, at any given moment a phone call, a co-worker or a loud noise can throw me off track and occasionally (and embarrassingly) I forget what I was doing all together. To counter this, I’ve gone as low-tech as I can go. I’m not quite using a Hipster PDA, but I am taking a cue from the index-card loving amongst us. It’s a simple three step process:
- Grab a post-it note and write thing you need to do on it.
- Do the thing you need to do quickly so you can…
- Throw the post-it away and move on with your day.
There are a few advantages here. They stick to your desk, so no fear of them getting lost in the shuffle. They are bright yellow and demand even the most fickle of attention spans. Most important of all, they are hideous to me and I want them off my damn desk which makes me do whatever it is that needs doing.
My first instinct is always technology. It comes far more naturally, there is so much more that you can do with the information you create, but every now and again, less really is more. Maybe, just maybe, paper isn’t as evil as I’ve always believed it to be… Maybe.