Productivity Tip: Rethinking The Pen vs. The ‘Puter

posted in: Productivity 2

Here’s some food for thought: are you more productive at completing certain tasks on paper than on the computer screen?

When it comes to increasing productivity, one might think that only using or incorporating technology in the name of productivity is always the way to go.

Certainly, technology can help speed up the time in which it takes to complete a task. Using a washing machine and dryer to do one’s laundry is much faster than doing the laundry by hand, as is typing up a memo and emailing versus writing a memo and having to mail a package.

To be fair, my question above is a bit of a loaded question, as many tasks that were done on paper by hand are now much more commonly done on the computer (calendars/schedules are a good example). Of course there are certain variables that might influence or dictate why or why not you use technology for certain tasks such as for personal/business use, private versus shared information, and even the learning curve or time it takes to learn how to use something.

Yet, regardless of the technology that is used or available today to complete certain tasks, it might just be that you are more productive in one medium than another. For example, you might be a lot more productive planning a project or brainstorming on paper, but at the same time might be more productive drawing sketches on your tablet with a stylus versus using a pencil and pad.

How about you? What tasks, if any, do you find you are more productive at completing on paper versus the computer and why? Or vice versa?

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.

2 Responses

  1. marissafh

    Hmmm … a discussion that’s coming up more and more, with me, anyway … I’m ‘old school’ – when I make my lists, it’s pen and paper (I’m also biased as I collect pens and stationery!). Of course it’s also where I am when I make my lists and most of the time, I’m not sitting in front of the computer for the brainstorming part of the list-making. Then I organize and finalize the list on the computer.

    • theorderexpert

      How exciting to find someone else who enjoys the ‘old school’ ways! Like yourself, I too enjoy making lists with pen and paper, and then “translating” things to the computer later. I’ve made (and make) lists on the computer, but for some reason it’s just not the same for me as writing them out on paper… Also, one of my favorite pastimes is letter writing and doing so with a great pen on wonderful stationery too.