For years I have teetered between using a notebook and pen or some sort of electronic device for capturing ideas, and for a productivity system. My first exposure to a productivity system was a letter sized piece of paper turned into a weekly planner. You could fold this planner up and put it in a shirt pocket. Then I had a Franklin Covey Catalog come, and I purchased my first planner from them. I still have that binder, and I have used it for several systems. After that I discovered the Palm Pilot. I have had several models of Palm devices. Since the days of the Palm devices I have I discovered Moleskin notebooks and planners and other paper systems. I also discovered the fun of Do It Yourself design. I tried using several setups for my iPad for this, but I went back to paper and pen.
I wanted to share my story with you because it illustrates an issue facing a lot of people, not just me. We are a dichotomy. We like technology, but we also like pens, pencils, and paper. This leads us to duplicate what we can do by carrying both a device and a notebook. That is where I am at. I carry two notebooks, and an iPad . I also know I get the same thrill out of a new pen, notebook, or a tech toy. I bounce between digital and analog systems regularly, and I decided that I needed a balance between the two, so I could have balance within me.
For me the balance was to find a use for my pens, a Waterman Phineas and a Faber-Castell rollerball refill in a Pilot G2 body, a disc bound notebook made from Staples M by Staples Arc system. This is my planner, and writing notebook. I have also kept carrying my iPad, but I use it for its digital abilities, internet, and media playback. That was the first part of my balancing act; decide which tools for which job.
Why not just embrace the technology? I find that while I am proficient at entering text into the iPad via the keyboard that it is a slower process than the palm and PDA era of the stylus and handwriting recognition. I will admit I had to learn the Graffiti alphabet for the Palm, but it is still quicker than the iPad keyboard.
Why not abandon the technology altogether? I enjoy the ability to carry video, music, audiobooks, ebooks, and a way to use the internet around. I do not want to give that up.
For me the balance was to create a notebook as my productive center, and to use my mobile device for what it is really good at doing. I am now enjoying my two notebooks, my pens, paper, and iPad.