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I’ve just been reading “Effective Time Management Using Microsoft Outlook to Organize Your Work and Personal Life” By Lothar Seiwert and Holgar Woeltje. Luckily I bought it ‘Used and New’ from Amazon for under £3 because to be frank, it’s hard work.

I am a great believer in and user of a paper planning system, but as someone who uses a computer all the time I was interested in seeing how I could use Outlook as a time management tool, not only to see if it would be of benefit but also because I am a quasi-time-management consultant in my own mind and it pays to be familiar with alternatives.

It may have been poorly translated but although I pride myself on having a slightly above average IQ (about 101?) I spend half my time re-reading paragraphs to understand what the book is trying to tell me to do. Occasionally the book introduces a concept as if you know what the writers mean, then says ‘we’ll explain later in the chapter’, leaving you wondering whether you should jump ahead and learn something so you can follow what you just learned.

Anyway, I have concluded that while life management through Outlook or other computer planning systems has its place for those who sit at a computer all day and have no life away from it, and it IS a good system IF you can understand and fully utilise it – to be fair it’s a good system if you can only use half its facilities – you cannot beat a paper planning system for simplicity, adaptability and portability. I could understand Charles Hobbs Timepower and Hyrum Smith’s “The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management: Proven Strategies for Increased Productivity and Inner Peace” in one or two readings. The same applied to Dave Allan’s Getting Things Done, another simple system.

The only caveat is repeated appointments and tasks can be done once on a computer, while they need to be repeated on a paper planner. And you may have to wait until October to start planning next year properly. But how lazy do you have to be to be unwilling to write something more than once? And if it’s repeated often enough and is routine – why do you need to rewrite it anyway?

Paper for me. Probably always will be.

Don’t get me started on driverless cars.

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