Paper and Digital – The Best of Both Worlds
Despite the popularity of electronic devices, the love of the paper agenda is not dying down. Writing appointments out by hand without having to follow a set format provides freedom. The agenda also never runs out of batteries, is very easy to use and offers an overview of our week or month (depending on the chosen format). More than just a simple organizational tool, the agenda is fulfilling for stationary-lovers like us who enjoy touching the softness of the cover, smelling the unique scent of the binding and feeling the fibre of the paper under the tip of the pen.
For the vast majority of us, smartphones are part of our lives. They permit us to manage our email, communicate with friends, consult Google for information, discover recipes and read the news. These are all examples of activities that are repeated multiple times daily.
An important question remains, however. Can paper coexist with the digital technology of our era? We think that it can, and more than ever! Here are six tricks to get the best of both worlds.
1. Use a Single Agenda
We strongly recommend not using multiple agendas. When choosing a paper agenda, forego such software on your phone, tablet and computer. Finding your appointments in one place will make everyday life easier to organize and follow.
2. Adopt a Good Strategy
Agendas help to remind us where we must be and when. For appointments, recording all details in them is a necessity. Tasks, on the other hand, should be listed in a notebook or mobile app that is kept updated. Reserve time slots in your agenda to accomplish your tasks.
3. Manage Your List of Tasks Digitally
A list of tasks is never fixed, it is constantly evolving. Apps allow you to not only easily update the status of your tasks, but provide many other advantages, such as notifications, categories, colour markers, archives, the ability to share tasks with others and so on. Some apps can even use your phone’s GPS to notify you when you are close to a location where a task can be complete d (e.g. to buy your agenda when you are near your favourite retailer).
Our favourite apps:
- Reminders – default in iOS and Mac Os X
- Trello (ideal for professional tasks, both through your phone and online)
- gTasks (offers the geolocation of tasks)
- Wunderlist (interesting free version available)
- Any.Do (limited free version, unfortunately)
- Buy me a pie (effective grocery stores listings at last!)
4. Use Electronic Notes and Know How to Organize Them
In 2016, notes contain a mix of text, photos, audio, hyperlinks and drawings. Apps are perfectly suited for taking all sorts of notes. Create better habits by keeping your notes all in the same location.
Our preferred apps:
- Google Keep (text, lists, audio, photos)
- Notebook by Zoho Corporation (text, lists, audio, drawings, photos)
- One Note by Microsoft (text, lists, photos)
- Evernote (interesting free version)
- Notes – default in iOS and Mac Os X (text)
- Note everything – only for Android (text, audio, drawings)
- Adobe Photoshop Sketch (drawings)
- AudioNote – Notepad and voice recorder (free and pay versions – perfect for students to record a lecture or meeting. The audio can be synchronized with note-taking)
5. Digitize Your Loose Papers to Free up Space
Organize your space by scanning/digitizing your bills and loose sheets of paper, should they risk filling your agenda or binder at home or at work.
Our favourite apps:
- Scannable by Evernote (take a photo of a document to digitize it)
- Dropbox (digitize from a photo)
6. Effectively Monitor and Record Your Progress
For all aspects of life, at least one app exists to keep us on track. Here are our preferred ones:
Following your athletic team:
Monitoring your physical condition:
- Workout Plan – Fitness Schedule & Journal
Exclusively for women:
- Monthly Cycles – Fertility and ovulation journal
- My Pregnancy and Baby Today by BabyCenter
Why not immediately start discovering which apps work best for you? An agenda remains the main tool for good organization, but once accompanied by the use of suitable apps, you will be better able to face the challenges of everyday life. Time to start your search!