The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Shawn Blanc shares how he mixes pen & paper with his digital task management system. OmniFocus is where everything goes, but it's the paper where the most important things go, both as a reminder and as a focus.

There is something concrete to the act of using a pen to write down my most important tasks onto a piece of paper. And there’s something ever-so-slightly less distracting about coming downstairs and having a notebook open and waiting, listing out in my own handwriting what it is I need to get to straight away.

I love what Shawn does here. It's very similar to my own process. This has changed slightly for me over the years, but I still write down the most important things on paper. I use it less for capturing tasks these days, but when I'm too far into the weeds, nothing clears my head better than brainstorming or outlining on paper. Attempting to gain clarity in front of the screen is a futile endeavour.

As Justin Jackson put it:

Nobody does their best thinking sitting at their desk. Your desk is for executing; do your thinking elsewhere.

My desk works just fine … but it's the keyboard where things get messed up. That's when my screensaver goes on and I revert to the pen and paper.

For the nerds who care, the current toolset is OmniFocus, a Confidant, a Hobinichi Planner, and a Muji Gel Ink pen.