Analog approaches

How many folks are trying out analog tools for 2023? I wonder if we might comment on our experiences here. Despite my intention to go analog, I find myself resisting the pull of trying a digital system. I wonder how long we’ll last before we’re pulled back in?

Not as much trying out as continuing. I have two paper notebooks. One for work and one for not-work. As I live at work these days both live on the same desk. I jot down notes, tasks, and idea for work, only moving to the digital realm those that are not short term (a week or less).

My personal notebook has todo’s for home and hobby, trip ideas and checklists, and other ephemera. Again it is only the longer term items that make it to the digital realm.

For me, writing things down helps to remember them, and helps to clarify ideas in a way that typing does not. And having short term items on paper is a more frictionless process for me.

Happy deciding!


Before retiring, I had a work computer and a home computer that sat at right angles to each other. I would simply swivel my chair from one to the other to change my focus. The swivel was analog. The rest of my workflow was, and remains, digital. :slightly_smiling_face:


Some new analog in a limited capacity: I like the Full Focus Planners and my wife and I are using one together for 2023. (We also increased our used of shared digital project management this past fall.)

The challenge will be to refer to it daily, but I feel good about our odds of sticking with the weekly and quarterly planning since we just need to bring the book to our existing plan-making time.

Started the year w/ a Planner Pad for scheduling and task tracking. Got a dot-grid-notebook for lists, collections, notes, etc. Exploring doing more mind-mapping (MindNode) on the digital side.

For various reason I do all of the ephemeral note taking for my work on paper. I used to use different notebooks and loose leaf pages. Now I use 1 dot grid notebook for everything. I’ll transfer some items to digital, but it’s probably less than 20% of what I write throughout the day.

I do go through a lot of Pilot v5 pens in a year.

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Well you did not specify work vs hobby, so…

After upgrading (!!!) to a 50 year old Marantz amp for my den stereo (complete w turntable, matching tape deck and speakers) I am going more analog with music. Will include getting all my old CDs out of their albums and back into jewel cases in a wall storage unit. Also bought new portable headphones (Grado, love them) and a headphone amp I will be doing more analog listening this year. And reading more paper books also, I decided. Love my Kindle but the experience of a physical book - well if you know, you know.


Which is why I write all of my notes - iPad mini 6/Apple Pencil - and then transcribe into text.

Every now and again, I get a nostalgic buzz for paper/pen, and crack open an ol’ Levenger Circa. But the honeymoon is usually over in 48 hours.

An iPad mini (almost same size as your typical Moleskine), any matte screen protector and Apple Pencil provide (almost) all the benefits of paper/pen, with ALL the benefits of electronic search, transcription, on and on.

Throw in a website blocking tool like Freedom (with locked mode) and you have a distraction free experience a la paper/pen.

Do you let Apple do this on the fly a you write? Or do you have a different process?

I’ve tried to use Scribble, but the results were always inconsistent. So now I write everything out by hand, and transcribe in the evening. The process takes less than 20 seconds.

Are you using a built-in Apple Notes “transcribe hand-written notes to text” function or some specific magic app?

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