As we increasingly spend our days immersed in one screen or another, it’s easy to forget the simple pleasure and utility that good old analog tools and office supplies hold for driving productivity and bringing a certain level of style and comfort to the day-to-day routine. In fact, if you look at new products like Knocki and Amazon Echo, which use touch and voice to activate technology, the trend is definitely toward infusing the analog world with greater intelligence, allowing us to escape the 24/7 tyranny of “screen world”.
So although these tips aren’t exactly as tasty as ones from the Food Channel, it seems appropriate to offer up some productivity pairings, matching tiny and useful items from the local Staples with complimentary digital apps that provide a layer of digital leverage and connectivity to these everyday objects.
1). Get Stuff Done!
Productivity expert and author David Allen is adamant about clearing everything out of your mind and putting it onto a list. This simple habit frees you up to focus on problem-solving, rather than constantly trying to remember your to-do list.
To get started on the road to high performance, begin writing your lists down on this fun and handy paper pad. Then, pair your written list with the Wunderlist app, an award-winning productivity tool. The basic version is free; the pro version is $4.99 a month.
2). Run the Week
If you need “8 Days a Week” to get everything done, then you definitely need a weekly planner. We’re going old school with this classic Weekly Planner. Pair this hands-on workhorse with the Tiny Calendar app, and you’ll start uncovering extra days in your week each and every week. The Tiny Calendar app syncs with your existing Google or iOS calendar and makes it handily accessible on your phone.
3). The Endless Notebook
If you’ve ever been interested in pen and paper notebooks that send their content directly to the Cloud, then you absolutely must check out this delicious pairing. Start with a set of Pilot Frictionless Gel pens for $13.59. Then order the Rocketbook Wave smart notebook. Special icons at the bottom of each page of the notebook can be programmed to send information directly to specific apps you choose, like Evernote or Box. Even better, once the notebook is filled up, you can put it in the microwave and the ink will disappear, allowing you to reuse the notebook. Yes, really!
4). Get Smart; Stay Smart
A Gallup Poll recently found that despite all of our electronic devices, 73% of Americans still prefer printed books. These color-coded Post-it Notes are a great tool to mark specific pages in this year’s trendiest new business book. Pair these long-lasting and colorful tabs with the Goodreads app, and you have a powerful platform for making bright and tactile memories, while also saving passages to the Cloud for posterity. Goodreads also links you into a community of other readers so you can connect with people who highlighted the same passages!
5). Whiteboard Magic
It’s always good to have a fresh set of dry erase markers handy! These unassuming but creativity-laden markers get the job done for countless amazing brainstorming sessions. Once you’ve filled your whiteboard with inspired awesomeness, take out your phone, open the Scannable app, and take incredible pictures of your drawings, texts, and doodles, and instantly send them to the Cloud. The Scannable technology actually enhances and cleans up your whiteboard pictures before sending.
These are just a few of the analog-digital pairings that you can embed into your daily routine, easily and cost effectively linking everyday objects with next level intelligence and connectivity. Just use your smartphone and some imagination to make your own Internet of Everyday Productivity. It’s a trend that will only accelerate as digital technologies leave screen world and begin responding to voice, touch, and presence. Instead of being relegated to a side role as we all depart into some mythical sci-fi VR land, familiar real-world objects are about to take on more importance than ever in helping us to effectively navigate digital spaces and drive productivity. The Internet of Everyday Productivity is already here, so take a moment and look around the room – which of your favorite everyday items could benefit from some inspired pairings?