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09 Dec

You do not have to only work digitally

Datum: 2021-12-09 10:00

I have noticed that hav­ing and using papers in your work, espe­cial­ly a lot of papers, is by some peo­ple regard­ed as being old-fash­ioned. Some­one shame­ful­ly con­fess­es how they have many piles which clut­ter their desk and some­one else express­es their dis­sat­is­fac­tion with that they still” make notes using pen and paper dur­ing meetings.

With a risk of read­ing too much into this, it sad­dens me a lit­tle to hear these sort of state­ments. You see, I think it is a shame that we feel shame about some­thing for no good rea­son. The prob­lem is not that we are using papers, but pos­si­bly how we do so.

Not so bad after all
Paper in itself a mate­r­i­al and medi­um with many ben­e­fits. Per­son­al­ly I pre­fer mak­ing notes on paper dur­ing my meet­ings since I feel that a dig­i­tal screen becomes a kind of bar­ri­er between myself and the per­son I am meet­ing with. This text is being draft­ed in a notepad since the Fas­ten Seat­belt-sign is lit and I am not allowed to have any dig­i­tal devices switched on, but still want to catch my thoughts and ideas as they emerge.

With a small risk
But if the notes are left lay­ing unprocessed some­where in a notepad and we then miss some­thing we promised we would do dur­ing the meet­ing, there will be trou­ble. If the piles take up so much space that we even­tu­al­ly have dif­fi­cul­ty find­ing space to work in, then papers will have become an obsta­cle to your progress. If I had for­got­ten the lit­tle note­book behind the Inflight mag­a­zine, you might not have been read­ing these very words.

So, instead of think­ing that you should be work­ing only with dig­i­tal devices, think about what you need to refine in order to allow your­self to use papers in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions and still ben­e­fit from using your dig­i­tal devices and dig­i­tal work­ing methods.

Do this

  1. Ask your­self; in what sit­u­a­tions are you par­tic­u­lar­ly sat­is­fied with using pen and paper as your pri­ma­ry tool?
    • Is it when mak­ing notes dur­ing meetings?
    • Is it when you think of some­thing you mustn’t for­get to do and things are so hec­tic at the moment that you risk for­get­ting the insight, and hence write it down as quick­ly as you can on a piece of paper?
    • Is it when you are brain­storm­ing the devel­op­ment of the new project by cre­at­ing a big mindmap on an A3-paper?

  2. Think of a way to dig­i­tal­ize the cen­tral con­tent of what you wrote by hand quick­ly and easily.
    • Do you take pho­tographs of the notes made dur­ing a meet­ing with the app SwiftScan, e‑mail them to your­self and then save them in the project fold­er (after adding any to-do-tasks you made note of to your to-do-list)?
    • Do you use White­lines’ con­ve­nient Link-notepad and ‑app which auto­mat­i­cal­ly dig­i­tal­izes you notes and sends them wher­ev­er you want to send them?
    • Do you add all the next steps to your dig­i­tal to-do-list before putting away the mindmap con­tain­ing ideas for the new project, so that you can get start­ed with doing con­crete things on the project right away?
    • Do you keep a portable inbox-fold­er in your bag where you put all the notes and pieces of paper which you will process and turn into to-do-tasks when you get back to the office?
    • Or do you need to do some­thing else to close the leaks in your flow of infor­ma­tion and communication?

  3. If you are not able to exe­cute the refine­ment imme­di­ate­ly, then write the first step of this struc­tur­al improve­ment as a to-do-task on your to-do-list right now.

Have the cake and eat it too
If you build a sta­ble bridge between the phys­i­cal and the dig­i­tal, you will get to enjoy the ben­e­fits of using pen and paper as well as the smooth ease and sim­plic­i­ty of using dig­i­tal tools. You can let go of the belief that you have to” do things in a way which is not in accor­dance with your actu­al pref­er­ences, and it will feel good to know that you at least do not have to change much more in this par­tic­u­lar area.

What meth­ods do you use?
What is your favorite way of bridg­ing the phys­i­cal and the dig­i­tal? Do you use an app, a cer­tain method or have you estab­lished a habit that helps you? Tell me!