Do you sometimes get tired of digital life?

I too am a walker, often doing a ‘walk around the block’. Now here in my neck of the woods, and it is woods, if I make four consecutive turns, 8.5 miles later I’ll be back at my driveway. :slight_smile:

I’ve never enjoyed running.


I balance the digital and analogue by putting short-term things on paper and long-term things digitally.

For example, I have a paper planner where I fill in all the appointments I’ve scheduled that week on Monday, so I can see what blocks of time I have free in a way that feels less distracting than Outlook or Fantastical.

I use a paper planner (sometimes a Full Focus Planner, sometimes a Happy Planner, sometimes just a bullet journal) to write out tasks I want to actually do that day instead of looking in Todoist, and I check everything off in Todoist at the end of the day. I also block schedule on paper using a spreadsheet I made and print out on a daily basis (the spreadsheet has a formula to fill in the blocks of time, that way if I show up to work at 7 instead of 8 or 9 instead of 8, it auto-fills the workday based on when I actually got to work).

As I take calls, I write notes on post its - if its kind of important I can just scan the notes in at the end of the day, if its super important I’ll rewrite the notes as a memo (I’m a lawyer). If that call didn’t have any action items, I just toss it.

This way I don’t get distracted by the digital when I’m just trying to jot notes down/manage the workday, but I do put new things immediately into digital so they’re safe, less I forget a doctor’s appointment/deadline.

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I agree with this. I had stopped taking my computer into meetings, likewise I used a pen and paper and remembered more. I used to have a major IT company as a client, they also recognised this and had what they described as “lid down” meetings.

All changed since zoom/teams and the pandemic.


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(:slightly_smiling_face: twenty characters :slightly_smiling_face:)

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I remember fountain pens, but I switched to ballpoints around the time I ruined a second “good” shirt. I hope they have improved since JFK was elected. :wink:


This is the one area where I am conservative. I have started a modest collection of mechanical watches, both chronographs and divers. Today wearing a vintage Tissot from 1972 with remarkable timekeeping precision.

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Not really, to be honest. Digital information is searchable which is indispensable. It is also easy to reorganize, so that my data collection evolves along how my brain and methods of doing things evolve. And, it is faster to capture than writing. The only benefit I’ve found to pen and paper is that the extra mental processing required for it helps retain information better. But, I have been able to replicate this benefit in its entirety within my digital notes by training myself to phrase whatever I’m typing in my own words rather than copying or transcribing mindlessly.

Thanks for introducing this topic. Since reading Jarred Lanier’s books, especially ‘Why you should delete your social media accounts’: I have expanded my thinking and really am paring down on tech all round. Not my Apple computer though, which is my ‘beloved’. Apple watch might go when this one stops working, iPhone will have to stay and that is it really. We cut the cable in my house, I no longer watch any cable tv at all my wife does some ‘tv’ on her iPad.
We threw our Alexas into the recycle bin a few months ago and I am ‘de teching’ a lot of stuff or replacing with lower tech when I can, domestically anyway.
On the grain you are asking about, I am deliberately going back to more use of notebooks and so on. I am kinda stuck with digital journals and a lot of stuff though and there will be a limit to how much I could reduce my usage beyond a certain point even if I wanted to. I like my Mac, search functions and DEVONthink 3 reminders and a host of its features along with Keyboard Maestro which I actually enjoy doing things with to be honest unlike household gadgets that can no longer be fixed and have bells and whistles I don’t really need.

I see a huge number of problems with IT regarding focus though and my experience is that my mind, as it were, can be hijacked by tech to an astonishing degree. Here is an example of how a leading journal comes up on my screen, Though the peripherals are in this case ‘relevant’ in some sense, the actual journal occupies less than half of the screen space, if you include my personal distractions in the tool bar.

Yeah, that is how I do it and I have never used and don’t intend to any of the ‘fitness’ functions on my apple watch. I pace out my walks and runs in terms of distances I know and have previously marked. Some of them are approximate but for the routines I use consistency is really the requirement not dead accuracy. I do use the stop watch function, which I used ‘pre computer’ versions of in my earlier days.

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If you are running 3-4 miles a few times per week you can definitely run a 10k. Sign up for a local race, it’s great motivation!

I’m averaging about 4-5 days consistently on my runs but I don’t really have time for the 10K, though it does sound like fun. :slightly_smiling_face: Start at 1 minute on this classic!


I’ve always enjoyed Shawn Blanc’s saying that “If you work with your head you should rest with your hands.” I work online all day, but I also have woodworking tools and a '69 VW Bug in my garage that take me away from the Internet. It feels good to lock the iMac, take off the watch, and leave the phone in the office and head to the garage for some much needed refresh time.


Awesome we need a pic!

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I detest commercials so I don’t let in many notifications. It is so easy for me to leave them off.

It is interesting that this should come up. I have been on a paper journal/planner kick of late and I am enjoying it immensely. Not only do I enjoy the act of writing, I enjoy drawing, doodling, coloring, painting with markers, colored pencils, stickers, photos, decorating and, of course, getting organized.

My motto has always been to work smarter not harder and it is fine tuning a lot in my mind as I mosey along. When I get overwhelmed I find it really helps me get organized and/or gain an understanding if I write it out. Some matters I didn’t feel I had all that much of a hold on are crystalizing for me in a written journal. It seems that for me at least I have an edge in the analogue approach. (I have always been a compulsive writer… just love it).

But I can do all that digitally and I have done so. The Apple Pencil is a rather amzing if simple sort of tool.

I disagree with Phillip Roth though. As much as I enjoy it, I no longer have to even venture out into the cold or hot to go to the library. And as much as I am hooked on real books (and think they are terrific use of a tree), digital books seem to have won me over. If I were in college, I’d want hard texts though. Easier to search, IMHO.

There are plenty of people who are still reading although a definite decline in what we read has been going on for some time. I don’t think it has to do with our digital age at all.

We really are very fortunate that we can lean digital, analogue or both (sway).


Hey Rob, convince me! :slight_smile: I’m on the fence with these dang contraptions! How remarkable is it? I’m also thinking if the Rocketbook (yes, completely different) but looking at getting handwritten notes into business documents as simply as possible.

After the discussion on the show and in this forum earlier this year, I ordered a Remarkable. I have found it very useful and it now has a permanent place in my workflow.

The writing experience is excellent. It truly is a pen and paper feel.

All of your notes are exportable, and the OCR is pretty good. You certainly need to clean it up, but it is an opportunity to review and summarize before sharing the notes.

It has replaced several notebooks in my bag. This alone makes it work it to me.

It handles PDFs well and if you are looking for templates or digital planners, Etsy offers many options.

I am much less distracted in meetings because i am not tempted to go check and email or follow up on something during a discussion. (NOTE: I looked at the SuperNote before ordering the Remarkable, and decided I did not want the added features that come with an Android OS. The Remarkable does one thing, and it does it well.)

The return window is 30 days and most people report no problems returning the device if it doesn’t fit your needs

I would give it a shot.

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I have similar memories of fountain pens. Gave up on them about the same time. It is arduous for me to write neatly. Keyboards make it easier.

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A Rocketbook is just a reusable notebook that keeps your notes etc in the Cloud??? Fascinating!

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I found it easier just to stop going to meetings. :laughing:


I wish I could like that more than once