Modern technology includes a load of time-saving and productivity tools. A lot of these have grown up as a result of wanting to support some sort of methodology created by a ‘guru’. Dave Allen’s “Getting Things Done” is a great example of this. He designed a well intended means of centralising all your work in a single in-box, dealing with it once and forgetting about it. A lot of tools now exist to support that. Most of these are electronic or web based. They’re all eminently suitable – until you don’t have access to the network. Or until your PDA breaks or runs out of power. How do you then manage to keep working, keep productive and manage your time?

Believe it or not paper and pencil is a great way. It sound archaic and old fashioned, but a simple paper and pencil – along with the right knowledge and know-how – can provide an ideal, functional means of replacing a lot of these tools.

The system is very simple. It’s called Todoodlist and it, basically, is a simple means of managing To Do’s, calendars, and tagging with a really easy paper-based system designed by Nick Cernis:

Half geek, half new-age Luddite, Nick Cernis is a hardened web developer and self-confessed gadget junkie from the UK; an unlikely candidate to write a book about abandoning hard tech in favour of simple solutions. Three years ago he abandoned his PDA and returned to pencil and paper. He combined his experience online with traditional methods to create fun new ways to get things done with paper. Imagine a way to keep a visual track of your tasks – to know at a glance which are your key focus areas, which are your current tasks and which tasks need to be done at the same location regardless of focus area. What about having a cool way of tagging your entries manually, AND a method of tracking calendar items using the “Sudoku” method?

Here’s how it works…

1)The Todoodlist

Mind Maps meets To Do Lists. An ingenious method of combing two very simple principals to crate a very powerful way of visually tracking and managing time and effort

2) The Sudoku calendar

Using the principals defined by top Sudoku players this gives a simple way of visually tracking entries on a calender

3) The Tagbook

Following the recent craze of ‘tagging’, this is a simple way of creating a manual tag cloud’ and using it.

4) Glyphies

Simple codes to use in your todoodlist and Sudoku calendar

5) The Banana Reminder

A brilliant suggestion for using fruit to remind you of something important and urgent (Did you know you can write on a banana?) The key take-away from all this is that you can use modern technology to manage your to do lists, your calendar, your tagging and reminders, but paper and pencil can easily match this and is more than up for the task. Sometimes low tech is better than high tech!