Dynamic Business Logo
Home Button
Bookmark Button
To-do list, written on post-it note

Why putting pen to paper is still powerful

There’s something so satisfying about putting pen to paper and writing a to-do list, but according to one productivity and time management expert, sometimes they should come with a warning. 

As I was admiring the array of beautiful colours and breathing in that delectable smell of fresh leather and new paper that was on display in Kikki-K last weekend, I found myself arguing over why I desperately needed a wonderful-looking leather bound journal with matching travel wallet.

Surely I would put it to good use? It would take pride of place in my study, I would carry it everywhere and what’s more, look fabulous doing so. And I am due to travel (next May), so surely the travel wallet would come in use too. Surely!

Needless to say, my head started to hurt and I decided I needed a coffee break to mull over my decision, so I left the store empty handed. No decision was made before I left the pre-Christmas madness of the shopping centre, so I decided I mustn’t need it. And yet as I was planning out my week last night on my scrappy $2 notepad, I really wished I had bought that new $100 journal. It seems that putting pen to paper is far more powerful than I had assumed.

I thought back to the last time I had used my notepad on my iPad or iPhone. I couldn’t remember when this was, because it turns out that I’m a huge fan of writing lists. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What is it about having a pen in our hand and paper in front of us that gets us so fired up and ready to rock and roll, compared to looking at a computer screen all day?

I believe it’s because it’s a powerful and solid reminder that the list you’ve taken the time to agonise over and prioritise, then it’s something that deserves to be taken seriously.

Think about it: there’s something strangely satisfying about unloading everything that’s in your head on to paper. It’s even more satisfying when you can physically draw a big red line through something you have managed to accomplish.

But, beware! Consider this while emptying your head to paper before rushing off to the nearest stationary store to arm yourself with beautiful but expensive stationary: As satisfying as it is to empty your head of idea’s and to-do’s, it can be scary to see just how much stuff you have to deal with when it is laid out in front of us. So once your mind is empty and your notepad is full, don’t feel overwhelmed and let it all get on top of you. Simply divide your list by prioritising and make it manageable for you.

Then get your red pen out, and start crossing those items off one step at a time.