Which Is Better: Paper or Digital Productivity Tools?

We just finished a series over at the LifeDev Tools blog that asks the question of which is better: paper or digital-based productivity systems?

While everyone has their own opinions as to which is better, we’d argue that it’s best to combine both. Both types of tools have certain unique features that are awesome, and both certainly have failings as well. Yet I haven’t come across many people who have tried to fuse the two together.

If you’re interested in seeing how to fuse a paper + digital productivity system together, be sure to check it out. (A good place to start is at the beginning.)

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Susan December 30, 2019, 4:41 pm

    I think digital productivity tools are better. I use kanbantool.com and I think it’s really good, it helps me a lot. It’s especially good for those who travel a lot, like me, and don’t want to risk losing a piece of paper with an important plan or to-do list on it.

  • dada May 4, 2007, 10:55 pm


  • Thomas May 4, 2007, 5:52 am

    I’ve tried sooo many web based tools and I think paper works best for me as there is no load time. :) Todoist is a pretty good one though as it’s dead simple.

  • glen May 1, 2007, 7:22 am

    Thanks for the demo Dave. Yeah, another benefit to using index cards: the joy of crumpling a finished task and throwing it away. :)

  • Dave May 1, 2007, 6:04 am

    Good job. I use a hybrid system as well, consisting of a hPDA and a Backpack account. I must say, tough, I consider Backpack my “backup” iteration, as I rely on the index cards most heavily.

    I used a Moleskine for a while, but went back to cards. I felt that the Moleskine began to feel “cluttered” after a while, when I couldn’t remove heavily marked pages, plus my “inbox” page would eventually “move” further away from my context pages as I filled those.

    Conversely, I can easily remove “spent” index cards. While the Moleskine is certainly more attractive, I found it less functional (for my own needs).

  • glen April 30, 2007, 12:47 pm

    Hey Mike. Great usage. I haven’t much gotten into the PDA-mobile world, but I think there is lots of potential. It seems like the moleskine is a must have tho.

  • Mike April 30, 2007, 11:38 am

    Thanks for this post- I too favor a “hybrid” system that utilizes both paper and digital tools. My palm and iambic desktop software handle the “hard” data while my planner and moleskine are more agile and enable the creative moments.