Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Organizing Myself on Paper: Update 1

It’s been about five weeks since I started my three-month experiment to try to organize myself on paper. I promised you updates, and here’s the first one.

So far, the experiment has been going well. Paper and pen have been my only tools for organizing my tasks and appointments. Nothing has slipped through the net.

I did have one bad week, where I got very little done. That had nothing to do with using pen and paper, and more to do with some wackiness that was going on in my life. That passed, and I managed to get back on track quickly.

Something I’ve noticed is that using pen and paper has imposed a bit of discipline. When I was using digital tools, I could be kind of free form: I could set my tasks for the next day, or mark the current day’s tasks as done, at any time and using any device. With pen and paper, I have to make a deliberate effort. I mark tasks as complete once I’ve completed them. And I have a set time in the evening to set my tasks for the next day.

It hasn’t been as difficult to transition to pen and paper as I thought it would be. The shift was smooth, although during the first week I found myself about to use digital tools out of habit.

I’m still undecided about whether I’ll keep using pen and paper exclusively once this experiment concludes, or if I’ll use a hybrid analog and digital system. Which actually might be my next experiment …

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