Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Digital and Analog

It’s possible I have a commitment problem. Not the usual kind, involving another person, but one much more serious: I can’t commit to either a digital or an analog organizational system.
Earlier this evening, Kirasha tweeted a picture of her new planner, prompting me to reply, "Don’t get me started. I think I’ve finally kicked my planner addiction.” That, of course, is a lie. No one ever really kicks that addiction; one merely keeps it under control. Mostly.

I’ve always had an unhealthy collection of notebooks, both spiral bound and three ring. At one point I invested in a Filofax, which still seems like a great idea - except the paper is terrible. I finally realized I didn’t want to tote the thing with me all the time, which led me to a Palm Pilot. The Pilot begat a Palm III, which begat a Palm V, which begat a Compaq handheld, which… well, you get the idea. This culminated in my current iPhone 6S with Day One (for journaling) and OmniFocus (for my task lists).

But I couldn’t stay faithful to my digital system(s). For one thing, I have far too many fountain pens to keep them un-inked forever. For another, it’s just not satisfying to poke at a phone to do anything more than dash off a quick note. So it was back to Rhodia pads an the wonderful Rhodia bound notebooks, with the occasional dalliance with other systems and brands. I’m now halfway through a Piccadilly bound notebook, which is good in many respects but whose paper will let wet ink lay on the page seemingly forever. As a left-hander, this results in page after page of ugly smears.

Piccadilly notebook. Note "Independent State of Caledon" mouse pad.

Nonetheless, I seem to be fated to keep alternating between the two formats.


Kirasha Urqhart said...

I shall plead the fifth on how many journals/notebooks/binders/composition books/pens/etc. live in my house. LOL

My coworker and I were actually talking about this yesterday while she was flipping through said new planner (and I was checking out hers LOL). We've both gone back and forth between digital and paper for the last few years. We decided that part of the problem for us was the assumption in our company that digital was better. We're a cloud services company, so digital is what our business is. But, on the other hand, it's easy to dismiss or remove reminders. Not so easy to dismiss the big red DEADLINE sticker on the paper calendars. Plus, writing things down helps us remember it more than filing a task into a virtual folder. So, we end up in the midway point between the two because our company tracks everything digitally through Outlook and JIRA. But, we track it for ourselves on paper on top of that.

Still, I have at least four other composition books of time tracking logs, project notes, release schedules, and plans sitting on top of my desk at all times. My boss has said in the past that whenever he looks over and I'm face down into a composition book, he knows not to disturb me because that's why I'm always on top of all my projects better than anyone else. I'm pretty sure he jumped for joy when I walked into the office on Monday with David Allen's Getting Things Done in my hand. LOL

Rhianon Jameson said...

I envy your organization. I'm incapable of that level of detail. Heck, one of my big problems with going all-digital is that I simply forget to look frequently enough at the tasks and projects that I've carefully assembled. At least with paper, the list is staring at me!