Technophile vs Luddite

This is the first post in a three-part series (or five-part, or seven) that will dive into the controversial world of electronic vs paper productivity tools. And it would seem by my provocative title that I have a bias for all things tech.

While I absolutely have biases in favor of technology, I am not unsympathetic as to why people love paper.

Today I will address the to-do list. A place where I am unapologetically pro-tech. And let me clarify. When I talk about electronic to-do lists, I am referring to apps specifically built as to-do lists. Not just an MS Word document with your tasks typed into it. I personally use Asana but there are many other apps out there that provide the same functionality.

For the analytical types, here is a lovely pro and con list for to-do apps that I put together from my experience and that of my clients’.

Pro Con
You won’t lose your list with an online cloud-based app Cost of the app
Keeps a searchable archive of completed tasks Have to learn how to use the new app
Easily allows you to set up tasks to recur daily, weekly, monthly etc. You have to create a new habit to use the app
Easily allows you to add tasks to be started/completed in the future
Allows you to attach comments, emails, and documents to a task for later reference
Tasks can be shared with or delegated to other people
Your list is always with you to allow you to add, edit, delete tasks; accessible on almost any device


So, for the feeling types who love paper, I suspect it’s a tough sell. Perhaps you stick with paper for reasons other than efficiency. Paper is certainly more evocative than 1s and 0s.

But let me make one last appeal for the electronic to-do list. Paper can be wonderful and inspiring for thinking and planning and creating. But for the more mundane tasks and reminders, let those 1s and 0s be the workhorse. Don’t spend more than you need to on a to-do list.

In my biased conclusion, to-do apps are great. They’re a gateway app to becoming a technophile.

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