The productivity tip that will never fail you: the notebook

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A pencil never runs out of battery.  You don’t need to think about how to securely access the local WiFi network before you can add a scribble to your notepad.

Despite the best efforts of technology companies, nothing really comes close to the simple, uncomplicated use of the notebook.

Our favorite digital devices even seem to emulate that most effective of productivity tools!  Pencils on flatscreens and “paper” apps with optical character recognition suggest that the effectiveness of a pen and paper is hard to beat.

Jotting on paper has many benefits

We’ve discussed in previous posts how notetaking on paper has unparalleled benefits.  From the scientific research that shows that, when we write by hand, we retain the information better, and for longer – to the simple joy of unwrapping a brand new journal, the Business Optimizer team must confess to be a fan of the notepad and pen.

Then there is the tactile joy of good quality paper.  And the mental health benefits of journaling.  And the calming influence of simply picking up a pencil and doodling.

But the productivity advantages of the notepad are, perhaps, its most compelling.

How does a notepad make you more productive?

Productivity guru David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, says, “The easiest and most ubiquitous way to get stuff out of your head is pen and paper”. 

The productivity approach that made Allen famous is predicated on the notepad as the best productivity tool.  In it, Allen advocates a five-step process: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage.  Essentially, this requires you to jot all your ideas in a notebook and gradually refine them until you have a list of clear and actionable tasks.

Alternatively, the notepad affords you the possibility of following another highly acclaimed productivity approach: bullet journaling.  By sectioning off your notepad into four sections – a main index, a future planner, a monthly planner, and a daily planner you can keep track of your ideas, inspirations, goals, and immediate to-do list.

This productivity tool is favored by some of the world’s most successful people.  Richard Branson favors paper notetaking in meetings.  While Bill Gates has a notetaking style all of his own.

The infallible productivity tool

Slip a pen and notepad into your pocket or bag and you need not bother with chargers, power bricks, lightning cables, or the myriad of other paraphernalia you might need to keep your digital device taking notes ad infinitum.

Your trusty notepad doesn’t require an Internet connection or updating with the latest security patches.  Instead, you have the best productivity tool always at your fingertips and always ready to be used immediately.

It’s not going to crash.  Or fail to connect.  In fact, that’s one thing you can be certain of the tactility of paper means there’s always an instant connection with you and your notepad and your pen with the paper.