The analog method of task tracking just works. Here’s how to make it better
There are digital methods to managing your workload, for sure. And those have their place. For instance, tracking a project across teams is best suited for digital tools that allow simultaneous users, updates, and task completion. But we’re talking about your individual to-do list. The one you write down every day on a notepad anyway. The analog way. The best personal productivity practices are analog, not digital.
Why does the pen-and-paper productivity method work?
Our brains are hardwired differently for analog. We have more thorough thought processes. Plus you get to use an awesome pen.
According to Scientific American:
“Whether they realize it or not, many people approach computers and tablets with a state of mind less conducive to learning than the one they bring to paper.”
By design, the analog productivity method helps you decide what matters and what doesn’t. If it’s not important enough to track, it’s not important enough to your success. Simple but effective.
Here are two epic methods to the analog to-do list approach.
The bullet journal method
This office productivity method actually uses a journal. But, give it a chance. It’s called the Bullet Journal because it literally uses symbols to help you find what you are looking for. You’ll get in the habit of brain dumping onto the page, giving each entry a marker. This sorts tasks visually, which is super helpful.
It’s a great tool for daily, weekly, and monthly task logging. The best part? It’ll change your life. Here’s a re-cap of setting up this epic productivity method.
Want to learn about the benefits of using this system? Take it from this productivity maven.
The other analog method
Here’s another pen-and paper method developed by a digital marketing consultant for AppSumo. The benefit of this system versus the one above is that it hones in on one day. Literally. It’s all the room you have on your sheet of paper. So if you are easily distracted, use this method.
The thing about this office productivity method is that it leverages our psychological itch for marking things off a list. We humans like to be rewarded for getting stuff done. Take a look at the set up below and give it try.
- Write the date at the top of the page. Include the day of the week so you don’t need to think what “June 29th” is.
- List all tasks for the day. Stick to a realistic task load so as to not overload yourself. If you know that you can get 7 tasks completed per day, than stick to that.
- Write down your meetings and appointments for the day. This will help solidify what your day is going to look like.
- Keep track of your hours. At the end of every hour, jot down what you accomplished. At the end of the day, you’ll see how your day slices. Did you waste an hour of your day on social media? How many hours a day do actually spend doing work? Or following-up on email? This is will help you track that.
- Include a summary section.At the end of the day, write a single sentence recapping your day to get a feel of your productivity level. Did you have a slump? Have a slack day? Or did you kill it?
There are other ways to increase productivity too, such as watching out for your health and maintaining a balanced diet. Combining healthy practices with the methods we’ve discussed will help you stay on top of your work!