The 7 Best Productivity Techniques with Paper [Infographic]

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Some of our favorite productivity techniques use paper. Now a study by 3M confirms what we’ve always known – and says 62% of workers prefer to manage jobs using an all-paper list. So what’s the best way to do it?

Here’s the Business Optimizer guide to the seven best paper-based productivity techniques…

#1: Make a List

The simple fact of writing something down can help you connect more with the task at hand. Giving yourself thinking time away from the screen can help encourage creativity and remind you of the calming benefits of simply putting pen to paper.

#2: Attention-Grabbing

A paper list, especially when pinned to your desk or wall, is separate from anything else, stands out and is more memorable.

#3: Clarify

Break the items in your list down so you can be specific about what needs doing. Smaller steps are better, because they can be a lot less intimidating to tackle. And…

#4: A Sense of Achievement

There is nothing more satisfying than ticking off one of the items on your list. This sense of achievement can give your motivation levels a boost; incentivizing you to tick off another item from your list.

Paper has a real advantage over digital task management tools here, where items often disappear from view once marked as completed.

Your paper list proudly displays all those crossed-out items – so you can revel in that sense of achievement all day.

#5: Reflect

Take the opportunity, during the small mental break that crossing off an item from your list affords you, to reflect. Reflect about your progress, revel in the renewed sense of motivation, and plan your next move.

#6: Differentiate Types of Activities

As your list grows, it can become too unwieldy. This is counterproductive and may encourage procrastination. One great way to avoid this is to write your lists in a way that differentiates between different types of activities or categories.

#7: Give Bullet Journaling a Try

Bullet Journaling is a technique for prioritizing and organizing the items in your list. Essentially, it breaks your list down into four sub-lists: a main index, a future planner, a monthly planner and a daily planner.

Then use symbols to differentiate between the status of different list items and adopt “rapid logging” techniques for adding items to your index.

Find out more about Bullet Journaling in this Business Optimizer article from 2016.

Do you use a paper list to manage your activities? Or have you switched to online productivity tools?

If so, why not put our ideas to the test: try a paper list for a two-week period and see how the “old school” approach compares…