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Building redundancies in personal organization and productivity systems: why it works for me

One of the most challenging topics of conversation I’ve had in the past few years is the eternal question of “why don’t you go all digital? Why keep paper planners, write in project whiteboards, and have an Everything Notebook?”. The answer is: I like the idea of having redundancies. For me, making sure that things appear twice or thrice in several different media and that I have back-up systems is important.

Having redundancies helps me ensure that nothing really escapes me. My To-Do lists are available in my Everything Notebook, my Google Calendar, my Weekly Project Whiteboard, and at my home office, in my Weekly Commitments Whiteboard.

Home office

In addition to printed calendars and Everything Notebooks, I have an additional redundancy in my home office: I have a Weekly Commitments Whiteboard right by my desk. I copy my most important To-Do’s (usually meetings and milestones) on to that whiteboard so the first thing I see when I wake up is exactly what I am supposed to be doing on that particular day. This redundancy ensures that even if I don’t have my Everything Notebook (or can’t access my Google Calendar), I know what to work on, every single morning.

As Eleonora Rohland aptly said here: “better redundancies than gaps“. I agree wholeheartedly, and this is why having redundancies in my writing and organization systems works for me.

Posted in academia, productivity.

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