Evernote, Clear, OneNote or pen, pencil and notepad… are you a digital note taker or a pen and paper kind of person? If you’re like most people you have a preferred way to write your task list, either by typing it using software and your computer or other electronic device, or writing it by hand in a planner or notebook.
I have found that quite a few people who prefer keeping their to-do lists with pen and paper are apologetic for what they consider to be a low tech system. Some seem to think that using pen and paper is less sophisticated than using an electronic device and software, so must not be as good or effective. But that is a notion I encourage people to discard right away. There is not one right way to be organized or keep track of your tasks; the right way is whatever works best for YOU.
If writing on paper and crossing items off your to-do list with a pen feels like a better way to organize and remember things you need to do, then that may well be the best system for you. In fact there are many good reasons for writing by hand. Studies show that people retain information more effectively when they write by hand rather than type. Some studies also indicate that writing and taking notes by hand helps you learn. I read about a recent study that found that people who write down their tasks and goals are 33% more likely to achieve them. Not just that, writing tasks, to-do’s, thoughts and ideas down helps you recall them, engages the brain and focuses your subconscious on the success and immediately begins to create that reality.
I recently came across a task management app for iPad called Manage that looks interesting because it provides a sort of hybrid solution – a small iPad is much easier to carry with you than a laptop or computer, but it supports writing with a stylus so if you like to write rather than type you still can.
Regardless of which tools you use for noting your ideas and keeping track of your to-do’s, an important thing to remember is that you should have just one point of collection — that is one place where you keep your list of tasks and things you need to do. Whether that is an electronic system, a leather bound planner or a spiral notebook, keep just one master list, from which you can create your daily to-do list. Maintaining one point of collection will help make sure you don’t lose track of things and forget something you wanted to get done.
Do you have a task management system you love? We’d like to hear about it.