Most physical libraries are closing their doors. E-books are being lent or bought. Receipts and bank statements are nowadays emailed. Technology is at the forefront, while paper has mostly taken a back seat..
Whenever we look at the tools that we make use of to get things done; we find that the line between digital and paper has become thin. Computers use terms like documents, files and folders. There are those who still prefer paper, while others prefer computers. So how do we combine the two to our advantage? Below are advantages of both paper and technology and how you can create an integrated system.
Advantages of Paper
# It’s Fast and Simple
With paper, you don’t have to worry about booting time, passwords or fingerprint scanning. Pens don’t require any charging. There’s no system to learn with paper. The user decides the formatting and it can be changed instantly.
No quick entry system can rival the access that a notebook provides. No virtual assistant can provide us with the same versatility.
# You Won’t Be Distracted
Notebooks don’t ring when someone calls. Paper forces us to single-task, something that has many advantages. Single-tasking enables you to achieve the flow state (being in the zone). Being in the zone means that we burn less ‘brain fuel.’
Most of us are not good at multitasking. What we call multitasking is our brains going back and forth between projects, which burns the same ‘brain fuel’ at a faster rate, resulting in a drop in energy levels mid-afternoon.
# It Assists Us to Learn
It’s not a secret that writing is an effective tool for learning and remembering. There is something about hand-writing that stimulates our memory in a way that typing doesn’t. According to some research published in the Psychological Science journal, student who writes his notes by hand performed better when it came to conceptual questions than those who typed their notes on laptops.
# It’s Healthier
The more time we spend in front of a computer screen, the more we risk our eyes being ruined. We may think that all the text and images we may encounter while using a laptop aren’t moving, but in real sense, they are continually flashing numerous times. The brightness and color from our screens can interrupt with our circadian rhythms, thus disrupting our sleeping patterns.
Advantages of Going Digital
In spite of the above facts, digital technology has its advantages that paper doesn’t have.
# Provision of Backups
Even though formats will become outdated and files might corrupt, paper isn’t the best bet either. Your paper documents or books might get burned in an accidental flame, destroying valuable information.
Moreover, ink remains permanent on paper. If we damage or lose that document or book, then all the information contained will be lost. The cloud guarantees you security. Even if your smartphone gets damaged, as long as your files are backed up in the cloud, you will access them.
# It’s All Over
The internet guarantees that if we forget our tablets at home, we can still access our files and emails from another device. With an Internet connection, you can utilize any browser to access all types of information stored in your Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud accounts.
# It Can Be Organized and Reorganized
You can arrange not only your information but other people’s also in a particular order with the use of technology. Services like Todoist can assist you to organize this information by attaching reference material to respective tasks.
Once the information is arranged in order, the flexibility of the digital format enables easy re-organization of your information as days go by. Even though space, whether digital or paper is limited, a digital file enables us to make additions easily unlike a piece of paper.
# Digital Automates Reminders
Most people can attest to the fact that digital calendars overtook day-planners in almost every aspect. Just enter any event into, say, Google calendar and then it will be stored.
Most people can’t overlook the appealing nature of a lock screen alert reminding them of a loved one’s graduation or a wedding that needs to be planned.
# It is Searchable
Information is useful to the extent that you can locate it whenever you require it. It doesn’t matter how well organized your notebooks are, with indexes and tables of content; they will never be effective as a keyword search.
Digital app search is capable of digging across numerous accounts, notes, photos and even attached documents within a short time, unlike paper whereby you’ll take a lot of time going through bookshelves trying to remember which notebook contains the information needed.
Combining Paper and Digital
What you will require for this system; a travel notebook, one main notebook, post-it notes, a task management app, a pen, one-note app and an online calendar.
# Main Notebook
The nucleus of the system revolves around a paper notebook. You can choose any. This is the book that you’ll use during the day for recording everything. It’s not a must that you adhere to a strict format. Each day may require a different format.
# Travel Notebook
The main objective of this book is to grab stuff on the go. It can be a regular sized notebook or a pocket notebook. When you get back home, you copy the notes from the travel notebook to the main notebook.
# Nightly Review
You can do a review, whereby you take your notebook and look at everything recorded during the day and begin to process it. Look at upcoming events and record them on your online calendar. Check your completed tasks and mark them complete in your task management app.
Moreover, add any new tasks from your notebook to the management app. Then look at your online calendar to see what’s to be done the next day, and add those tasks to your post-it notes.
# Post-It Note
Stick the day’s post-it note on the next new page in your notebook. You’ll be able to view it all day as you write. If there’s something urgent, you can stick the post-it note on your computer’s screen.
We could go on and on trying to prove which is better between paper and technology. However, the best thing would be to use both! Do you have an integrated digital-paper productivity system that works well for you? Feel free to share it with us.