View Full Version : deciding on paper or palm planner
01-23-2005, 02:31 PM
I am tired of carrying around my big heavy planner. I am thinking about trying a palm. Is there something on the site that helps with that decision? It's an investment of money and time and I don't want to risk too much. Thanks. By the way, my in box is piling up. Has been so for a long time. I haven't worked processing into my schedule.
01-23-2005, 03:01 PM
I think you can use the palm desk top stop software directly from palm without buying the handheld. If so, you might try that as it is way faster to enter by real key board. anyweay and you can see if yu ike it and if it makes things easier. Once you have a system you like to support your GTD methodology, then buy the handheld.
What is going to be important is to decide how you are going to use your palm handheld or the spftware itself. I started with a mistake, projects listed in TO DO (now called TASKS I think on Palm ) and contexts were in memo but memo will sort A-Z and To Do won't. So my recommendation is don't put anything in TO DO that you want to retrieve by name.
Use TO DO for your areas of focus and responsibility, inspiration, goals, etc.
Use Memo as follows:
one category: Projects-use a short heading for each so they are alphabetized and grouped if similiar.
one category: Lists--this will grow and gow-it is your reference system for all kinds of things and agin by using headings they will be alphabatized.
Use the remaining 13 Memo categories for contexts--starting each with @ and if you get ony a few items in one and too many inn another than combine them, taking advantage of the automatic sorting by a to z.
My categories are:
@com/cal/plan which means things I need computer, calander, or planning time to do
@errands/anywhere which means things to do at various places or things I can do some place other than at home, office, or while traveling.
@home --I have six categories that begin this way for different parts of the house
@travel-by destination I have things I want to do, need to take, etc.
INDPROJECTS--these re small projects that I can do without having to work step by step-or that I might be able to delegate.
Finally don't put off processessing while ou get your system perfected, it takes a lots of cycles to get the system working. As you get things going on the Palm softeware, print it out and put it in your planner. Gradually you will thin out the planner.
If you already use technology to manage information or projects, then don't listen to me-go to other posters who are using add-ons, outliners etc.
01-23-2005, 03:10 PM
Thank you so much! I will be reading this in more detail tomorrow, and these are good ideas.
01-26-2005, 12:30 AM
Maybe it's because I had a system similar to GTD at my first job back in the mid 90's, where I was responsible for a factory's production schedule & making sure it matched dozens of building projects around the US - a high stress job for sure, but I've always preferred paper to digital.
Paper is more permenant, items don't disappear when you conclude them.
Since I'm on the computer all day for work, I'm more likely to look at a piece of paper when I have a spare moment than another computer screen.
By writing things down, not just things to-do, but things I did, at the end of the day I have a complete list of things I did that day, which feels really great.
Data entry is simply easier and more flexible. With a palm you're likely to want to take shortcuts to writing things out because of the clumsy way you enter information, but with a pad of paper, you can write things out as much as you want.
I prefer a trade-paperback sized spiral bound notebook. I date each new day, and everything is in there.
It's shortcomings are obvious, though. There's no real calender function, no alarm clock, no contact list.
Palm style PDAs are cheap now. You can get one in the ~$100 range. I think the best way would be to use both. Palm for contacts and calender functions, paper for next actions.
Just my humble opinion....
01-26-2005, 02:57 AM
I think that if you are comfortable with using a computer, and like the idea of a paperless office, and want the flexibility and 'neatness' of software, then use a computer-based system.
If you feel much better with a piece of paper in your hands, then use a paper-based planner.
I prefer the computer myself. I've never 'stuck' to a paper organiser - ever!
If you don't have much to organise, then you could use a paper-based system, but as you say, your planner is getting rather thick and heavy...
Do you work a lot away from your desktop computer?
01-26-2005, 03:14 AM
I think you can use the palm desk top stop software directly from palm without buying the handheld. If so, you might try that as it is way faster to enter by real key board. anyweay and you can see if yu ike it and if it makes things easier.
Personally I did exactly this and came back to paper.
01-26-2005, 05:08 AM
I too have gone back and forth over the years. My current system is a PPC Phone / Slim Paper organizer. I us the Dayrunner weekly paper format which gives me a snapshot of the weekly appointments / must do's. I also keep my appointments and contacts in my PPC. I keep lists, such as errands, and personal lists on my PPC, but I keep calls, notes and projects on paper. It may seem like some duplication, but I am a visual / tactile person (paper), but I love the convienance of my PPC (Imate Jam ). For what's it's worth!!
01-26-2005, 07:29 AM
I think paper has many advantages but one important drawback:
It is not automatically searchable
If you want to find something that you know you had written on paper you must plan in advance and have a good manual indexing scheme. Palm PDA on the other hand has powerful inter-application search engine so you can even throw all your notes into one category and still be able to find required information. There are search engines for desktop too.
01-26-2005, 11:59 PM
Oh... hold on here. I never said your notes should be on paper (well, exept meeting notes, which it makes sense to have chronologically anyway), all my notes are in digital format. I use a program called Treepad, and there's another called Tranglos Keynotes, or you can use a Wiki if you know what one is. All my notes are in there.
But all my to-do stuff is on paper.
I outline my system in a bit of detail here (http://www.marktaw.com/blog/GettingThingsDone.html)
01-30-2005, 12:21 AM
I prefer paper for the collection phase, and the Palm for the organizing phase. I use a Treo 650, which isn't a bad capture tool. Its qwerty keyboard is faster than a stylus. But since purchasing a notetaker wallet (actually a less expensive Wegner version) and the Rotring pen from DavidCo, I've realized that nothing beats the speed, spontaneity and flexibility of paper. I can even do rudimentary mindmaps on the wallet's notepad. Having a clearly segmented collection and organizing protocol has been much more effective for me than trying to input everything in the Treo the first time.
Being able to write verbose notes is a wonderful luxury. Since using the notetaker wallet I've realized the extent to which I was unconsciously editing my thoughts to minimize data entry. With paper, you don't think in terms of "data entry," just "writing" -- a less self-conscious mode of collection. In the organizing phase, data entry seems more appropriate. But at the office I use Outlook for capturing and organizing, since it has a full-sized keyboard.
I've been tempted to go all-paper, but I still want an organizing tool that I can keep comfortably on my person at all times without having to constantly hold it in my hand. Since I always carry a cell phone on my belt, having an integrated PDA seemed like the logical approach.
01-30-2005, 05:06 AM
I had trouble with my Palm and went back to paper for three weeks. I got the Palm fixed but I'm struggling with returning to it. The paper method, though messier, helped me be more in touch with my schedule and long list of Action Items. I can't beat the palm for portability but do love the benefits that paper offer. I will use a combination of paper/palm for a time and see how it works out.
01-30-2005, 08:39 AM
I've always ended up working with one system for a few years, then move to another system for a while, etc, etc. Seems like my mind likes changing every once in a while.
I recently came across an old Palm (IIIe) my brother had given me. I was recently using a paper planner plus Outlook and KeyNote. I'd print my schedule and Action Lists and paper punch them into Outlook. The only real downside to this was that each week I'd update my planner during my Weekly Review and sometimes I had to add info sooner than that. I'd handwrite it into the planner, but it became a minor issue with synchronizing.
My printer ran out of ink, so I figured I'd just try the Palm for a while just to see how it goes and I've really enjoyed the ability to keep both my PC and mobile unit synched more efficiently. I feel like I spend less time updating and synching both systems. I'm feeling like I'm capturing my data & thoughts more effectively.
I don't think either one is better, but it's more of which way is more effective at the time. I think my mind needs to change systems every so often to keep things fresh.