You may recall, I recently wrote a piece on the 5-Day Analog Challenge, where I challenged myself and all of you to appreciate paper once more to enhance our productivity. Well, here’s another reason to appreciate paper.
I travel a lot on airplanes, and there’s generally about 20 minutes or longer that you need to turn off all electronics until you hit 10,000 feet. In that 20 minute timeframe, my mind ignites with thoughts about projects, commitments and tasks. I can’t help it! It’s like the moment they say turn off your electronics, my brain turns on! But, when you really think about it, it’s actually of no surprise. When we finally allow ourselves to go offline, the magic of our brain goes “online”. We become more focused because there’s no ringing, dinging, pinging, buzzing, tweeting, et cetera. You can’t distract yourself with status updates or e-mails. We become focused. So, during this time that I can’t open Evernote or Springpad or Drafts to get these thoughts onto something bigger than a 4×4 US Airways cocktail napkin, I pull out my journal.
I see the convergence of both analog and digital tools such as the Evernote Moleskine, Whitelines LINK, and the Livescribe pen as ways to reinvent how we use paper and our digital devices. Our thoughts can now live in both the analog & digital world, allowing us to capture and collect our thoughts to process, organize, review and act on at a later date. Fellow productivity guru, Mike Vardy, has posted before about why paper just works (and here, here, and here!).
If you use Evernote and have neat enough handwriting, you can leverage the OCR technology to search your handwriting.
As an added bonus, you can email your hand-written notes directly from your Moleskine, Evernote, Penultimate, or any other application directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and your notes will be transcribed by a live person at iDictate for just a couple cents a word! And as an added bonus, when you create your iDictate account, enter “GOLD” as the promo code and your account will be credited $5.00.
In fact, not only was this entire post written in that 20 minute timeframe from runway to 10,000 feet in my Evernote Moleskine, but iDictate turned it into a text document for me!
Your Next Actions
Are you using paper like this? Let me know your experiences in integrating paper and your digital tools together in the comments below.