The technology queen goes old school with a printout and a notebook. Why I carry my moleskine to class now but I didn’t before.
I used to be someone who only made to-do lists occasionally. I used a day planner all through college and grad school, and eventually that morphed into google calendar. I kept track of appointments and due dates very faithfully, but I only made to-do lists when I was particularly overwhelmed, or had a long stretch of empty time to fill.
This year I got to a point where I was constantly overwhelmed by my responsibilities and demands on my time. I needed a better way to keep track of not only where I was supposed to be at what time, and when projects were due, but what tasks I had finished or what tasks had been assigned during meetings
I began to write my to-do lists on the whiteboard in my office, but I could only add to it or refer to it when I was in my office. I thought about making a daily diary note in evernote, but that was almost too permanent. I really only needed to remember for a day or so, until I could deal with the tasks that came up or transfer them to a more appropriate file. So I took the non-technological route and began carrying a large moleskine notebook to all my classes. I wrote down what each class section accomplished that day, allowing me to keep track of multiple sections in the same course I wrote down questions students asked, or actions I noticed and wanted to follow up on. I wrote a summary of each reassessment meeting, and marked to-do list items with an open circle. At the end of the day, I just looked through for open circles to check off or transfer to an appropriate file somewhere else, like evernote.
I'm known for my technology use, for pioneering class work with google docs and personal filing with evernote. I carry an asus transformer tablet -- but my best productivity tool of 2012 was a paper notebook. I've begun to supplement my notebook with apps like remember the milk, but the humble notebook has found a permanent place in my productivity arsenal.