Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Always carry a pen with you

Our brain is a strange thing. It reminds us that we should buy fruits while we are waiting for the bus, but it can't tell us if there's any milk left in the fridge while we are shopping. You have the best ideas at the strangest places, and when you are home again you can't remember any of it. You know you had a good idea, but no matter how hard you try - you can't remember.

There's a simple way out of this dilemma. Capture any idea as soon as it hits you. But how to capture ideas in any situation?

I've tried all kinds of tools to solve this problem. I tried PDAs and smartphones. But in the end, the best tool of all is good old paper and a pen. Even better is the advanced version of pen and paper: The Hipster PDA. Most of you will already know it, but for those who don't: It's basically a pile of index cards used as an organizer. It's a simple but brilliant idea.

Even those modern web applications for making lists, drawings or other documents online can't beat paper. It has lots of advantages over the other so-called advanced tools:

It's instant

No need to boot it up and launch the right application. Just grab it and start writing.

It's flexible
You can do everything you want. Need to write text? Write. Need some drawing? Draw. Need to make a table? Make a table.
You don't have to search for the right application to make a drawing. You could make it everywhere, right there between the text and the table.

It's cheap
Paper and a pen don't cost you hundreds of dollars. Well, you could pay hundreds of dollars for the pen alone - but you don't need to spend that much. For the price of a PDA you can write a lot of ideas on a lot of paper...

It's durable
Drop it on the floor, bend it, throw it threw the room to let off steam. Try that with your smartphone...

It doesn't run out of batteries
Image you want to write down the greatest idea you ever had, and you forgot to recharge your PDA...

The only thing that doesn't work that well for me on paper is my calendar. I don't want to change my calendar everytime a meeting gets rescheduled. I want it to sync with my smartphone automatically. But for everything else nothing can beat my Hipster PDA. If you haven't already, you should give this a try...

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