Why paper is better

Three Reasons to Use Old Technology for Executive Function Productivity

Today we are all about using the latest and greatest technology.

Trust me, I’ve got my fair share of digital devices which I count on to make my life work. And, after fighting it for eons, I now have and use an electronic calendar.  I need to be able to share my schedule easily with others.

That said, I still record appointments in pencil on my paper two-page month calendar in my planner.  Why go to that “extra effort” of having two separate calendars?  First, I love the ease and accessibility of my paper calendar. I also love the feeling of a sharp pencil on smooth paper. As an advocate for doing all planning on paper I’ve felt like a fish going against the current. I’ve persisted because it WORKS for me, supporting my executive function deficits which digital planning systems don’t.

Old TechnologyWell, you can imagine my delight the other day when I heard two productivity gurus each say that they had gone back to paper for their planning!  Darren Hardy, publisher of Success magazine was interviewing Mike Vardy, founder of the blog, Productivityist.com.

Mike Vardy pointed out that paper is actually a technology. When you think about it, paper production was a huge world changing improvement over the days when animal hides were painstakingly turned into parchment. And while Mike admitted a love for trees, he, like me, values old-fashioned paper.

Mike and Darren felt paper is better for these reasons

  1. It creates a visual “clutter” that you have to pay attention to, whereas digital lists get hidden on your devices. This matches what I teach in Seeing My Time – Lists and appointments that are out of sight, are out of mind.
  2. The physical process of actually writing something down seems to help it “stick” in the brain better than typing it into a device. By activating all of the touch senses that go into writing you are connecting your thoughts to physical sensations that will help your brain remember.
  3. It’s easy to use. It doesn’t require power, or cords, or passwords, and is pretty cheap. You just pick it up and use it!

Let’s hear it for paper. It’s one of my very best planning and time management tools. And I always use both sides. Be the first on your block to go back to paper!

About the Author Marydee Sklar

Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.

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