View Full Version : Going away from digital back to paper


gnbeg
04-22-09, 07:38 PM
In the last few months, I've started doing less note taking (for work, home, etc) on my computer and more note taking on paper.

I have gotten a "lab" notebook for work notes. It's a hard bound "heavy duty" notebook. Rather than capture notes from meetings, issues, etc, on my computer, I've been writing in my notebook. I've also been printing out key emails and keeping them in a folder. Every morning, I review the previous day's notes and print outs. Sometimes I do this at Starbucks as a way to chill out before starting the work day! I don't worry about my handwriting which is usually chicken scratch. I can decipher it and that's all that matters. I keep the notebook either on my work desk or in my computer bag. So far no issues with misplacing it.

I've found that it's too easy to be distracted when I take notes on my computer. I end up surfing or answering unrelated email. Many times, I do not remember most if not all of the meeting that I just attended.

Anyway, hope this helps someone out there. I understand that trees are suffering due to my new work habits. I do recycle the paper. :)

firstdesserts
04-22-09, 09:50 PM
Paper grows on trees. Trees produce oxogen, shade, home for bugs, birds, animals, etc.

gnbeg
04-23-09, 10:48 AM
Paper grows on trees. Trees produce oxogen, shade, home for bugs, birds, animals, etc.

I'd love to hear ideas on how I can make changes to my new process which are more eco-tree friendly.

I'm already...

Using recycled paper
Printing 2 or 4 per page

firstdesserts
04-23-09, 07:10 PM
A bit of a disclaimer: I'm not particularly 'earth friendly,' but I am neurotic about wasting stuff and I like being out in the countryside. Alot.

I've bought and made my own recycled paper, made stuff out of scrap lumber and sawdust (being a carpenter). I try my best to use only what I need - writing notes, lists, and plans on scrap lumber, cardboard, wallboard, etc. But it does seem to work best when my planning and organizing material is most like my brain. Compact, (nearly) always accessible, and complex enough to be effective. No point in using half sheets of 18lb paper if you can see the print from the bottom and the print is too small to work comfortably.

It would seem to me that what I ('carbon footprint') with my planner is worth being able to function well enough to notice when I am wasting something - like my time.

Enough rambling. Time to go walk around the lake.

flipnfly8
12-20-09, 10:13 PM
I don't know about total reversion, but after years of attempting to keep to-do lists, tasks, and other notes electronically, I've stopped.

Oh, I keep my calendar in outlook and it syncs to my smartphone and it gives me great reminders and all that. So why not just use the tasks on there? Simple answer is that system doesn't work for me.

I've gone back to making to-do lists on paper. I remember them better that way. I keep a pad on my desk at work, I just have to make sure it's cleared before I go home. I have post-its, paper pads, scraps of paper, you name it, I've written on it. (ThinkGeek.com has an excellent tear away mousepad: http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/supplies/a462/. It's still paper, but it serves 2 functions so you are conserving...)

But I think the key for me is that my "to-do" list is in multiple formats. It's on post-its, until I estimate an amount of time I need to do the job, then schedule it on my calendar. It's in a word document on my home computer. It's in emails I email back and forth from work to home, or voicemails to work. It's in post-its on my desk or pushpinned into the bulletin board wall in my home study. It's on full fledged sheets of paper that roam from the study to the family room to the kitchen table to the fridge and the trash can.

Part of me still has this nagging feeling that I should find a way to organize it. I've managed to structure and organize a lot and it has greatly improved my sense of success, accomplishment, and confidence. However, I've realized that with my to-do list, I just can't. Use I use paper or any creative means necessary to remind myself of the things I need to do until I can schedule them and finish them.

However, from this, I've gained a lot of confidence. Writing it down, whether I eventually find the paper or not, helps me remember more all on my own. So I definitely feel that over the last year since I've gone to this multi-faceted paper "to-do" list approach, I feel that I've gotten better at remembering things all on my own. And having the confidence to do that, to know that if something is important I won't totally forget it, is such an awesome feeling. I spent a lot of my life not knowing whether or not I could actually count on myself to take care of myself. Once I found that I could, in fact, take care of myself without screwing up using this system, it was such a relief.

I guess I just feel that I can organize my calendar, set reminders, organize my files, my house, etc. But I can't organize my brain. My brain is as organized as it's going to get, and I have to accept that. A to-do list is just a physical extension of my brain, so it will be just as random, and in different places and constantly changing formats. *shrug* It works for me.

No matter what, the key to any system is using it. If you don't use the technology, it's not going to help no matter how great it is. If the paper system works, use it. As for the killing of trees...maybe just take the time to go plant some more every year. It could just be a one day thing. Regardless, use the system that works for you. You can find many other ways to be eco-friendly.

StoicNate
12-23-09, 04:36 PM
I too, have gone back to paper.
The whole writing it down "process" with a pen and making the connection in my brain helps me remember more than using electronics.
If people were truly "eco-friendly", then we would be using hemp paper instead of using standard tree paper.
Hemp paper would be cheaper to make and buy. It won't harm the environment either.
I don't get why "eco-friendly" is so much more expensive than it should be. Only wealthy people can afford it..which I am not.

Cacho
01-09-10, 01:57 AM
I like writing stuff down on paper, but how to you keep track of all the sheets?

I tend to lose or mangle notebooks.

I manage to usually have my cell phone w me, so I take notes and have my lists on there.

I do my art in a notebook and I write down story ideas there and assorted random notes... then I scan them into my computer for easy access.

There definitely something good about the tactile feedback from writing on paper, but it just gets too messy for me.

misterfelix
02-17-10, 06:09 PM
I too, have gone back to paper.
The whole writing it down "process" with a pen and making the connection in my brain helps me remember more than using electronics.
If people were truly "eco-friendly", then we would be using hemp paper instead of using standard tree paper.
Hemp paper would be cheaper to make and buy. It won't harm the environment either.
I don't get why "eco-friendly" is so much more expensive than it should be. Only wealthy people can afford it..which I am not.

Staples offers "begasse" eco-friendly paper. It is made of sugar cane bio waste and it works brilliantly, even with saturated fountain pen inks. I've used it in legal pad, mini legal pad, and comp book formats. Hemp would be nice too, but this is good stuff...

jacob.und
03-09-10, 05:19 PM
I too have been using paper more and more. However, computers still have a use in the process. I'll write my list, mindmaps, to-dos whatever on paper first, and then transfer them to the computer. As mentioned in earlier posts, writing things on paper just seems to work!

XR,SR stoneyend
03-09-10, 05:23 PM
all the sheets, all over the floor, they get sticky and ripped and creased.
- but if I had a book for me to write in, then wouldnt happen, im gonna try it

Pushing40Adder
04-12-10, 09:43 AM
I'm glad I found this thread as I was just about to post the same thing as a tip...

I, too, have gone back to a paper 'To Do' list. Oh, I still use outlook calendar for appointments, and for the 'popup' reminders if something needs to be done at a certain time....but for me and the way I work, it helps me be more productive with at least having a paper 'to do' list.

I work in a small IT department and I am kind of an 'IT Generalist' (a nice way of saying 'Jack of All Trades....Master of None!' ) so I do pretty much everything from testing, to tech support, to database/data maintenance, to spec'ing out requirements, to programming/web development. It can get somewhat hectic, and I may have as many as 10 windows open on my PC at any given time, so in my ADD mind going back to outlook to keep me on track just doesn't happen.

I find it helpful for me, I keep 2 tablets next to my keyboard. I have a 'To Do' list I keep on a letter size tablet which I write out every Monday on a new sheet of paper with what I hope to accomplish for the week...and I add things as they arise. I have a 2nd tablet that's 5x7 size that I keep next to that for note-taking and such if I get a call, or need to jot down an idea I don't want to lose...kind of a 'scratch pad' if you will. This has helped immensely in keeping things organized for me and keeping me on task. An added bonus to doing this, it gives me a sense of what I accomplished during the week, because it's one of those jobs where you always feel like your busy but sometimes just don't feel like you accomplished anything.

I started doing this about 2 months ago...and it's really helped.

meridian
04-12-10, 10:10 AM
I found this cool Index Card system at Levenger and when I have a spare $60 I'm gonna get me one of these cool Note Card Bleachers (http://www.levenger.com/pagetemplates/product/product.asp?params=category=16-901%7Clevel=2-3%7Cpageid=2502).

There is also a $9 solution. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sempai/sets/72057594088364910/)

BTW, paper is probably "greener" than digital. :eek: