Are you a list maker? If so, you have a lot of company.
We’re living in the era of the list, maybe even its golden age. The Web click has led to the wholesale repackaging of information into lists, which can be complex and wonderful pieces of information architecture. Our technology has imperceptibly infected us with “list thinking.”
Remember Day Timers? Those fat loose-leaf notebooks in which you organized your work, not to mention your life?
Then to-do lists migrated to PDAs and more recently to Siri, but paper is making a comeback.
I don’t find this strange because I never migrated to digital.
The reason is simple—“out of site/out of mind.”
I can write to-do lists, reading lists, all kinds of lists digitally, but they have no staying power—and it’s not just me; experts are finding the same thing.
Paper, says the productivity expert David Allen, is “in your face.” Its physical presence can be a goad to completing tasks, whereas computer files can easily be hidden and thus forgotten, he said. Some of his clients are returning to paper planners for this very reason, he added.
Further, the idea that a person can grasp the complexities of a multi-part project plan by reading it on a smartphone screen or tablet is just plain laughable.
So the next time you are chided for writing (with a pen or pencil) a to-do list, making notes (in the margins) or reading hardcopy you can email or text the above URL and tell your tormentors that you are being efficient and they might try doing the same.
Flickr image credit: Jayel Aheram