Perhaps due to my hacker roots, for more than a decade I’ve organized my life in a collection of text files. But when it comes to actually executing, I’ve discovered I’m far more productive working off a printed-out version of my Today.txt to-do list than I am with the same list on-screen.
For notes in meetings, too, I find paper and pen works better for me than an iPad or laptop. Much as for solo business strategy and planning sessions, where I tend to do my best work when I’m scrawling page after semi-legible page of ideas, mind-maps, outlines and diagrams. (Jess refers to this as my Beautiful Mind mode).
For years, I did my scribbling with blue Pilot G2 pens. Then about twelve months back, I switched abruptly to black Sharpie markers, usually writing on blank pieces of printer paper rather than yellow pad.
About three months ago, I ended up purchasing a variety pack of Papermate Flair Felt-Tip Pens to correct a document using the red pen. Though that pen was fine, and though the collection also included perfectly nice black and blue pens, I quickly found myself using only the green pen. I carried it in my pocket all day, using it at work, at home, to sign bills in restaurants.
A few times, I popped into Staples I happened to be passing by, hoping to find more green pens. But, in each case, the green was only available bundled in four-color packs. So, by now, a pile of unused black, blue and red Flairs sit unhappily in my desk, as I run through the ink in the couple of greens I own.
I don’t have a good explanation for why I like the green pen so much. It stands out? It’s easier on the eyes somehow than blue or back? It’s the color of money? It’s the logo color of Jess’ newly launched Dobbin Clothing. (See what I did there, Jess?) But I do know that, soon, I need to start actually ordering these pens in twelve-packs online, because amassing unused other-colored felt-tips doesn’t seem like a particularly good long-term plan.
Kermit was right.