Paper or Digital – which is best?

By Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

More than once someone still using a paper system has asked me whether they shouldn’t switch to some gizmo to keep their calendar and address book. Often, they’ve been shamed with labels like “luddite” into feeling that they are somehow missing out. I don’t agree. Whether you use a paper system or an electronic one depends on what works best for you.

Myself, I really like the look, feel and function of paper. However, the urgent need to reliably back up data finally propelled me to move toward a digital system, and I love it.

Over 600 names and phone contacts at my fingertips – fantastic! Recently I was sitting in a client’s office, when they mentioned that they needed an antique table restored. Thanks to my digital gizmo, I was able to give them an immediate referral to someone who does that kind of work with old-world craftsmanship and skill.

And when I want to work with paper, I print out my calendar or task list to carry just one sheet rather than my pda.

Click the “paper-or-digital-table” link below to see some of the needs and wants I hear from my clients who are searching for the best solution to keeping their appointments, contact information, and tasks in one place.

Feel free to add you own by leaving a comment.



4 comments so far

  1. Jeri Dansky on

    Calendar: I want to record recurring events (birthdays, monthly meetings) easily. Digital certainly helps with that!

  2. Jane Campbell on

    Went through the paper-or-digital-table, and it all makes sense. Except that I’m still on paper. And for to-do’s and calendar, at least, I just don’t see that changing.

    God bless the computer age–I just reconnected on Facebook with a classmate from 1972. Those who come behind me will probably never understand that I feel bereft having left a specific (low-tech, 3-inch-long) pencil behind at a client’s yesterday.

    And I can’t say I’m the most organized person I know (who, while knowing or knowing of thousands of Professional Organizers, would say they were?). But I’d enter the contest for most organized person in my county. Probably even in my state.

    Some 75% of all I do, I’d guess, I want to do fast, do now, do once. Scribble a to-do, lock in a piece of temporal hardscape? Gimme that paper datebook, and those sticky notes every time. (The really little ones, in both cases.) Feel free to send me your “luddite” prospective clients. . .

  3. Scott Roewer on

    I prefer an electronic calendaring system and address book system. I find it most functional for my needs. I use a combination of electronic and paper task management systems. I capture most electronically and then print or write my main priorities for the day. I like to have those sitting on my desk or visual while driving in my car.

  4. Deb Lee on

    I rely heavily on electronic gadgets (i.e., calendar & phone book) but use a notebook for my “to do” lists and other reminders. I also use a notebook to record what I’ve worked on with clients during each session. I love my gadgets but could not live w/o my paper based system.

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