Analog

A few years back, on a trip to see the Wildbit team in Philly, I had the chance to meet Jeff Sheldon in person. I believe it was at that time that he shared the beginnings of an idea for a paper-based productivity tool. Months and months later, Jeff finally shared that idea with the world. I’ve had the chance to try a few different versions of the cards he designed during those months, and I can say they were good from the start. If you like paper, and you enjoy uncomplicated ways to manage your life, Analog is…

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Do Journal from Baron Fig

When it comes to my pen & paper tools, I came to appreciate a blank canvas over the years. My preference is for a nice grid paper that lets me sketch out a layout that works for me. I’ve shared a few of these over the years. So when it comes time to get a new notebook, the Confidant from Baron Fig is usually my choice. I love the build quality and overall design of these notebooks. However, I have a slew of lesser quality notebooks, and I was determined at the start of the year to make use…

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Frontier Journal Issue #2

Isaac Smith released issue #2 of the Frontier Journal. Like issue #1, there are some great articles. But I most enjoyed the Fuel for the Frontier part — it reminds me a lot of a digest email (like this one). He covers a number of topics, but the portion at the end was the best. Issac shares how using analog tools has been a help, but he can still find himself slipping into reactive mode once he gets in front of the computer. A small change has helped: A subtle but significant difference. Instead of making my default work approach my…

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Nock Lanier

There are a few areas where I tend to keep an eye open for my next purchase. Notebooks. Pens. Bags. There are so. many. good. bags out there! One recent item I picked up has been fantastic: the Lanier briefcase and pouch from Nock. I’ve had my eye on this for a long time and finally picked one up after my birthday this fall. It’s a high-quality item that I wanted to recommend. If you’re not familiar with Nock, it’s the business of Brad Dowdy, formerly of Jet Pens and mastermind of the Pen Addict blog…

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How I use notebooks

Mike Vardy talks a little about how he uses paper in conjunction with his overall digital productivity system. While his overall list of tasks is in an app, he uses paper for a few purposes. One stuck out to me: There are times when I feel stuck, and that’s when I’ll bring some of the items in my task manager onto the larger paper pad/notebook. This gives me a good view at what I’ve got on tap for the day. Then I’ll evaluate those items in tandem with other factors (energy level, whether it is…

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Getting value from wireframes

Dustin Senos shared how getting value from creating wireframes eluded him early in his career. Now, every bit of his work benefits from this practice. What changed? He started using paper. I want to share a simple technique I now use to force myself to explore and validate multiple directions before I dive into visual design. For the rest of this article, a “wireframe” is a sketch on paper. Paper wireframes are quick to make and reinforce that ideas are cheap and safe to throw away. Paper, also allows anyone on the team to take part in wireframing.His approach…

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