Working the Low Tech Way

We’ve been conditioned to believe that technology is the solution to our productivity problems. Not so! Stepping away from your technology for a day can make you more productive.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #263

Write on Paper

One of the most controversial things I did back then was write on paper. Even as a programmer, I wrote my code longhand and then typed it in. Transcribing forced me to think about it again as I typed. I often caught bugs while transcribing.

The same is often true when writing prose. I don’t write every word; I write an outline and notes on each paragraph. When typing it in, I review my logic.

Interestingly, the fact that my laptop lets me cut and paste while writing makes me a sloppier writer. When I was forced to think before committing pencil to paper, my results were tighter and more coherent, even if I ultimately used my computer to type the final version.

Print and Respond to Email

As for email, I’d print out just the important ones. In the park, I’d jot notes about my responses. Back at my desk, I’d respond to all the emails at once.

“Oh my golly gosh darn,” you cry, “what a waste of paper!!” Compared to your laptop? Your laptop manufacture and shipping generated more industrial waste and environmental damage than all the excess paper you’ll every use printing out your important emails. If you’re really worried, save paper by printing double-sided, two pages per sheet of paper, in “draft” mode.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.