How Life Unfolds – Paper vs Tech

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The New Normal

Technology has been a great marvel over the past 200 plus years.  We went from the Cotton Gin, to the Space program, and now 3D Printing that can offer new options in organ transplants. In our current life, technology has afforded us so many options that have made our days so seamless it’s hard to think back when you didn’t have “Google Maps” to get you to the newest and hottest restaurant in town. It is hard to think with all the ease modern technology has offered that the overall production in the global workforce has dropped while overall, businesses operating costs have increased.

Since 2004, missing productivity costs in the United States alone tops almost $3 Trillion Dollars. That number does not include vacation, sick days, or personal time off. That number reflects on the job losses for employees at work and the slower production rate due to distractions on the job. As I write now, my smart watch has notified me of 3 Facebook Messages, 10 emails, and 2 Instagram likes. It is easy to see how Technology has been a double edged sword in our lives.

As a young woman, I embraced technology and the benefits I received from it. There are times however, where old fashioned paper and unplugging offers me so much more. The feel of a book in my hands as I lounge on the beach during a vacation. Enjoying a moment in life where I am not watching through an Instagram filter. Starting my day with a cup of coffee, my Panda Planner, and starting the outline of a new grant proposal on a legal pad. I get so much more work in when I use old fashioned methods in my work week. No distractions of my phone. 

Back to Basics

The wonderful people at How Life Unfolds believe in the same rule of getting back to basics. Unplugging and finding the value of pencil, paper, and remembering the amazing wonder of a handwritten note.

how life unfolds


I received this box as a fun gift and decided to use a little more paper and less of my iPhone to see how I handled it for a week. My recycling bin ended up a little on the full side with some post-its. I think by Thursday morning I had them stuck all over my office wall and in random places around my home. The bright colors made sure I did not miss to turn off my Nespresso Machine each day as I got my keys. I also didn’t forget to turn it on as I got home each evening (Double Bonus! I saved on electricity too)! It even gave the feeling of spring with the bright neon colors.

how life unfolds


I enjoyed using the Panda Planner as a go to.  It helped me remember more of my daily tasks as I wrote them out. I booked two extra OrangeTheory classes this week because I accomplished so much on my days off by relying less on my phone. The mental reminders by Friday became such a habit I remembered a lot on my own since writing them down added as an extra reminder. I did not feel the need to consult my to-do list on my iPhone or my daily itinerary as much and therefore, checked my social media and other distractions less.

Gained Productivity

I gained for sure, 2 extra hours just by changing a few habits.   By Thursday I realized I accomplished more at work. Friday morning came and I decided to reward my hard work and took a half-day off. Yes, a half day, I started my weekend at 11 AM on Friday! I went to brunch at Sweet Maple in downtown San Francisco before I shopped for my friend Jen’s Bridal Shower gift. A little extra time meant I was ahead in my weekend.  No rush meant I enjoyed the celebration the next day. I had more leisure time for the weekend over all to relax and read the book that came in the box called “Rework”

how life unfolds


 The authors’ of “Rework” Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson founded the “37 Signals”. They want you to challenge the way you think you should work, manage your business, and run your life. They want you to cut back on work hours and ignore what your competitors are doing.  Set goals based on what I consider a pyramid or steps depending on what you want to achieve. Page 137 of ‘Rework” says “Attainable goals are the best ones to have. Once you can actually accomplish and build on. You get to say ‘We nailed it. Done!” Most people can use this across their business on projects almost building a pyramid as they achieve goals.

In setting goals that are attainable in life, work, or even a smaller project you set your self up for success. That’s all any of us want in our life is success in the things we do. We might not always achieve it, but we keep trying and the frustration over long term won’t be as high. If you set a smaller goal to hit the bigger one, you leave a better chance to see that a plan to hit your big goal might need some tweaking. 

Going Forward

I plan on continuing to use the amazing things that have taken me back to almost a little over a decade ago. My Knock Knock pad has given light to goals I want to accomplish around my apartment and in my personal life. My goal is to have 1 or 2 early Fridays a month. I enjoyed my long weekend and so did my team. They came back fully ready to tackle Monday. I had a fun time trying to adjust to using pencils. When was the the last time I had to look for a pencil sharpener?!

I addressed Thank You notes from Erin Condren and ordered some more in fun prints. Now I have a wish list a mile long from a Life Planner. I think I lost my entire Sunday Evening playing on her site. 3 different layouts to her spiral bound Life Planner alone. There are endless options for a cover and the color schemes she has. Talent and her following on Facebook and social media is astounding. I found I am not the only one who in these modern times embraces the simple planner and pen.