I’m struggling again with productivity, I have too many proto-articles and as such when I sit down to write I get struck with something called Workload Paralysis which is basically the inability to begin because there are too many places to start. I also forget what I could write about as my notes app and notebook have too narrow a window to show me my options, I can’t see everything in one glance – I need an overview, a priority schedule – which is something that technology isn’t brilliant at.
As I can’t find space for a full size whiteboard I’ve bought a white clipboard and some fineline whiteboard pens – onto this clipboard I will write one-liners – article titles that is, not quips. This way I’m hoping to be able to get some inspiration without having to scan through pages of paper or lists of notes on a screen.
This is why I’m still a firm believer in the physical and tangible media in concert with technology rather than as a replacement across the board, just sometimes it’s easier to deal with words on paper, they’re often much quicker to access, handle or process. And in my case having the ideas list on a screen doesn’t just mean I can’t see the forest for the trees, I often can’t even see the tree.
(Photo credit: Arvid)
The paperless office is still a way off for many companies, at ours we produce invoices, jobsheets, delivery notes and of course orders, most of which I still write out, by hand on paper with a Parker Slinger pen that hangs round my neck like some kind of modern silver and lime talisman (though it is really there so I don’t forget where I’ve put it down, and also so nobody wanders off with it).
At home too I write, between me and my monitor right now is a notepad that I scribble things on when the computer’s not on or if I really need to remember them. Like many people I find that the act of physically writing something down helps with processing and remembering the information.
It seems though that, according to online stationer Docmail that I’m becoming part of a minority. In a survey they found that on average people, on average, wrote only every 41 days. One in three only wrote something once in six months – usually along the lines of “Happy Birthday, lots of love xxx”. Possibly even with a smiley face to make it feel a bit more like Twitter or Facebook. LOL.
Saving paper is one thing, though much paper comes from renewable and recycled sources today, but could people one day actually lose or not even bother to learn how to communicate text without a computer? Perhaps only if technology becomes so ubiquitous and user-friendly that you could replace every use of pen and paper, right down to the scribble pad by the bed that you use to jot down the thought you had just after you switched out the light. Until then my extensive collection of pens is safe.
I forget things, regularly. I also find that I want to make a note of something I need to buy or do but haven’t got access to either paper or a computer. I have found the solution to both these issues in a website.
Huh? I hear you ask.
Ok, the solution is in the picture above, it’s called PocketMod and I’ve known about it for some time but kept forgetting to make one. And that’s not actually a pun either.
PocketMod is a origami-style notebook that is folded, after you’ve printed and trimmed it, to form a small notebook without the need for staples or glue. It’s been around a while and the website contains templates to print out and very good flash-based designer tool that lets you put together your own mini notebook with exactly the pages you need – including lines, diary, squares, formulas and emergency information about you.
Put your mobile number on it and someone can contact you if they find your wallet, and you can easily find your own number too.
Just need a small pen now…