What tools do you use to stay organized?
Are you a die-hard paper planner user? Or are you devoted to your digital products?
Both systems have their own advantages. And when you harness the power of both paper and digital tools, you can take your organization to another level. Let's take a closer look at these systems to see how you can benefit from both of them.
The benefits of paper tools
If you’re the type who swears by paper tools, it’s because you love the flexibility that planners and notepads provide, as well as the tactile experience of putting pen to paper. In a world of screens and apps, a planner can help you block out the distractions and digital noise. You’re less likely to be distrubed by an incoming text message or social media update, and can stay focused on the task at hand.
You also like documenting things by hand because it helps you retain information and visualize data more easily. You like having all your tasks and goals in one central location, never having to toggle between multiple apps to find what you’re looking for. And you like having a daily record of your progress, at your fingertips.
The benefits of digital tools
If you’re a die-hard fan of digital tools, you love the freedom and efficiency of online project management tools. You can find a different app or tool for the specific task you need. You can set different digital alerts so that you never miss a meeting or deadline. You can easily share project status updates and assign tasks with different team members. And you can easily search for data. You never have to worry about leaving your planner at home, you have the convenience of referring to your phone or computer.
You also like that you can automate tasks and meetings in your digital calendars without having to write down every single one.
As you can see, both paper and digital tools offer a variety of ways to help you succeed. If you’re looking to improve your organization, time management, and productivity, you’ll want to align your paper products with your digital tools so that both tools complement each other, and you maximize the best aspects of both approaches.
Here are ways that you can integrate your paper and digital systems so that you can be more efficient and productive.
How to sync your favorite paper planner with digital tools
We all know that paper planners have proven to be effective tools for goal setting and productivity. While planners help us stay focused on our goals and give us the flexibility to brainstorm and measure our progress, we also want to make sure that we’re not relying on our memory alone to keep track of deadlines and appointments. That’s where digital tools can help us. When combined with digital tools, a paper planner can have even more impact. Here’s how we can use our planner in tandem with a digital tool.
Step 1: First, use your favorite planner to conduct a weekly planning session. Review your accomplishments from the previous week and then identify what needs to be done in the upcoming week. Here’s where you’ll want to write down your weekly goals.
Step 2: Then, make a list of all the tasks and activities you have to do that will support your goal. So if your goal is to set up a website, your tasks can be: reach out to site designers, review websites you like and get inspiration, draft a bio.
Step 3: Afterwards, schedule out your tasks, appointments, and deadlines in your planner. These can be related to your goal as well as to your personal and professional life. You can include doctor’s appointments, personal errands, meal prep, etc.
Step 4: Stay on top of your tasks by using digital reminders. Add important events and deadlines to your Google calendar or phone calendar. Set alerts for important meetings and assignments so that you never miss them.
If you share a public calendar or project management tool with office team members, you can block off your schedule for deep work or important meetings so that your team knows not to disturb you during this time. This can be helpful when you’re going through a busy time at work and need extra help managing work boundaries.
You can also utilize this strategy with our Ink+Volt Dashboard Pad.
Using your Dashboard Pad, set your top 3 priorities and define your focus areas for the week. You’ll have a clear sense of what you need to do, when you see your projects all lined up, at a glance.
Then, share relevant project details and targets with your team using a digital project management tool like Asana.
Working with the Dashboard Pad and an online project management platform can help you manage multiple projects and organize lots of details and moving parts. You can find even more project management tips here.
How to sync your favorite digital tool with paper tools
Our devices contain troves of data and information. From how many steps you’ve taken to gauging how long you’ve been scrolling on social media, it’s never been easier to keep track of your habits. Combining this data with a paper tool, can be hugely effective when you're trying to incorporate new, positive habits.
Here’s how you can utilize your devices and paper tools to help you achieve your personal development goals.
Let’s say you have a goal to run 5k by the end of two months. Use the Ink+Volt Fitness planner to help you design your workout and stay on track.
Step 1: Make a list of daily and weekly targets you want to hit, create a schedule, and identify potential obstacles and challenges along with solid back up plans. So for instance, if you identify “rainy days'' as a potential challenge, then have an alternate plan in place so that you stay committed to your goal. Maybe it can be an indoor workout where you do a series of YouTube fitness videos. Or maybe it means adjusting your running schedule so that you can run during an optimal time.
Step 2: Then, use data from your phone or smartwatch to log your progress. Record the duration of your run and how many miles you covered. As you start to chart your progress, you’ll feel more motivated to keep pursuing your goal.
Step 3: Reflect and readjust as necessary. You can also use your data to help you adjust your game plan. If you’re noticing a drop in miles run, maybe it means lowering your target. It’s good to be realistic about your benchmarks so that you don’t lose faith and give up. See what your average targets are and maintain them, then gradually increase your targets as you build energy and endurance.
Syncing up your paper tools and digital devices can help you stay on track of your goals and keep you organized and motivated. Feel free to let us know your favorite ways to combine paper and digital tools and the systems that have supported your goals.