Paper Ain’t The Answer

22 Jun 2007
June 22, 2007

Today I discovered a unique way to mess up my day. In fact, I was almost devastated. What did I do that was so horrible?

I left my notebook that has all my task lists and planning stuff at home on my desk. Words can’t completely convey how lost I was for the first hour or so at the office. I could barely remember what I should be doing!

As facetious as that sounds… it’s very close to the truth.

Is Paper King?

I recently read Mike Gunderloy’s “Where Paper is Still King” article and it caused me to do some thinking. No matter how many time I proudly proclaim I’m going back to paper, it never sticks. One to two months later I’m back to being chaotic and confused and skipping on towards the next program or method. I’m just not diligent or dogmatic enough to keep track of uncompleted tasks from 2 or more days ago.

I try, honest I do. I keep reading and re-reading many books, but nothing ever clicks beyond sometimes remembering to “carry forward” old and incomplete tasks. I think what it boils down to is that just writing something down isn’t enough. It needs to be looked at again. Re-written, compiled — processed. And when that processing is back to paper? I just lose the will to even bother with it for some reason.

I’m somewhat amused to realize I’ve been doing this cyclically for well over a decade! But until I started mentioning it on my blogs I’d never really noticed — until it became a matter of public record.

What Next

Earlier this week I came across the 7Breaths blog and the GTD with OneNote collected links article and was immediately intrigued. I’m a frequent user of OneNote — in fact, I’ve tried to make it work for me in the past as task tracker (with little success). I still use it constantly for notes and such though. I even have a handful of “shared notebooks” that both my laptop and work desktop can use.

Fact is, the 7Breaths stuff has opened my eyes a bit and helped me see some flexibility in OneNote that I’d not really explored before, especially related to managing project and context views. That, combined with forgetting my paper at home today, inspired me to make yet another leap into how I keep track of things and I dug into it this morning.

The paper will still be around — but only in the most transient of ways. Anything that goes on to paper has to go into “the system” or it just won’t be real. Heck, I have these nice little notebooks all over the place — no sense getting rid of ‘em.

So, I’m embarking on yet another adventure in trying to keep myself organized. Will this one stick? Who knows! But at least it never gets dull. Perhaps at the end of July I’ll have some updates to offer…

For now? I’m off to sit in front of the TV (Jame Bond marathon) with my pile of notebooks and the laptop and start dumping everything into OneNote.

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. [...] I can’t do that from my current OneNote system either and at least with Evernote I can see my stuff (a step up). But yeah, some edit options would [...]

  2. [...] almost exactly one year into my “GTD with OneNote” process. I was thinking that this new version of Evernote might help me migrate from OneNote, [...]

  3. [...] so many different ways over the years. Heck, right now I’m several weeks into using it as my primary GTD system (which is going quite well, I might [...]

  4. [...] “Earlier this week I came across the 7Breaths blog and the GTD with OneNote collected links article … [...]

  5. [...] Paper Ain’t the Answer [...]

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