I’ve been an analog person for a long time, despite having been a tech wonk for a long time as well. The substance of pen and paper is reassuing for me, and it seems to be less disruptive to take notes with a pen than with a clicking keyboard.
For years, it was about the moleskines. I have a series of pocket, quadrille, softcover books, with the dates that they cover written on the paper edges. Years of them. One day, I was at the end of a book, and didn’t have the next one with me. So I grabbed a few 3×5 cards (a la Hipster PDA) and was able to keep doing my analog thing. Then I found that I really like the 3×5 card. I was able to structure ideas more discretely than the forced linearity of the book. Pretty soon, I filled a 100 sheet pack. I did get another book, but I was then struck with it’s limitations. So, I got a pack of quadrille 3×5 cards. And I am enjoying the ability to put content in the order that I need it, and then to re-order it.
Here are a few of the little hacks that I have going.
- I both lead a team directly, and work with many people indirectly. I have a card for each person that I meet with or have asked something of. Some people walk into my office now, and ask “do I get a card today?”
- I affirm the small binder clip, although many times I just grab the stack. No clip really needed – I use the clip of my pen.
- I do the classic box-then-check for tasks. I keep a seprate card for my to-dos, satisfyingly checking them off once I finally get a chance to do real work.
- I like the quad rule. I draw a lot of mini diagrams to make a point. Quad rule helps, as opposed to getting in the way. Also, make it easier to divide a card vertically.