Paper Doll & Smead Continue the Debate: Paper vs. Digital for Calendars & Task Lists

Posted on: December 16th, 2016 by Julie Bestry | No Comments

Last week, in Paper Doll & Smead Talk Paper vs. Digital Organizing: It’s Not Either/Or, you got to see the first part of my discussion with John Hunt of Smead about the anxieties many people face when thinking about moving their information from paper to digital. We discussed control vs. convenience, and how the learning curve with technology can be an obstacle to exploring solutions.

We also reviewed the scientific research on learning and cognition related to taking notes by hand vs. on the computer, and even explored the relative merits and drawbacks for reading paper books vs. using digital devices. We even talked about how marketing messages on paper vs. digital can have differing persuasive powers.

I made the case that there were different situations and individuals for which paper might be the right choice, and others where a digital solution could be better. And there were definitely indications that a hybrid system might be best.

Today, in a continuation of that Keeping You Organized podcast discussion, we continue that chat and explore two of the productivity tools that engender the most debate on the paper vs. digital landscape: calendars and task lists.

Calendars — We discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of paper vs. digital calendars, and delve into portability, syncing, visualization, creativity vs. linearity, and personalization. We also got into how comprehension of the passage of time (whether via analog or digital clocks, or using paper vs. digital calendars) can impact how we live our lives.

To Do and Task Lists — With a plethora of to do and task apps out there, some people are overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of options and choose the analog paper list every time, while others live and die by the task app. John and I talk about my hybrid approach to task tracking, and why using your calendar as a task or to do list is really fraught. And because productivity is all about priorities, we had to talk about the role prioritization plays in getting things done, whether you’re jotting those priorities on a sticky note or accessing them from the cloud.

Jump right in:


Remember, you can also watch (or download the audio only, if you prefer an auditory podcast experience) right at Smead’s page for Part 2 of our chat.

And, if you like what you hear, be sure to check out the other discussions John and I have had about organizing, and listen to what my great colleagues in professional organizing and productivity have had to say. Just pop over to the stellar Keeping You Organized podcast archive page.

juliebestrysmeadpodcast

Podcast 041: Secrets to Organizing a Small Business

Podcast 108: Fears that Keep You from Getting Organized

Podcast 153: Paper vs. Digital Organizing: Part I

Finally, once you’ve listened to parts 1 and 2 of our Paper vs. Digital podcast discussions, share your thoughts in the comments sections of either or both posts. What are your thoughts and preferences:

  • Do you have app overload, or do you enjoy exploring tech solutions for organizing?
  • Ebooks or dead trees — how do you like to read?
  • Notetaking — would you rather grab a pen and pad, or put your notes into something like Evernote? Does it differ whether you’re taking notes for academic work vs. meetings?
  • Paper planners or digital calendars: where do your appointments live?
  • Task lists: sticky note/paper pad or task app?

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