Analog Travel Solution For The Digital Traveller

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02/12/2008 – Analog Travel Solution For The Digital Traveller

The way we work today is vastly different than how we worked at home, or on the road, 10, 15, 20 years ago. As technology has improved our technological tools have become more cost effective. These tools have become smaller and more reliable. Our tools today are integrated. Our phone is no longer a phone, it is a calendar, internet browser, weather source, movie player, instant messaging device that fits easily into our jacket pocket. But still there is a need for easy, effective, analog tools on the road.

Not to long ago I received an e-mail from a reader of Flying With Fish asking me how I dealt with keeping everything in order, while travelling, when technology failed.  The answer to this question was quite simple, and not based on ‘technology failing,’ but on how I choose to not be strictly digital.  I always implement analog tools when I travel.

I admit I am spoiled by my Blackberry for quickly taking notes, my iPhone makes life easy when I need direction immediately, but often writing with a pen is faster, and sorting information with a hands-on approach is easier.

A year ago I wrote about three essential items for staying organized. One of these items was my Moleskin notebook, which I use to take notes as I travel; another was my Louis Vuitton Agenda, which I use to keep my schedule straight.   I have terrible handwriting, but I find I retain more information by writing it down with a pen.  I am slowly moving my calendar into a digital realm, but I plan on using a paper calendar for probably another year if not longer.   The Moleskin notebooks are fantastic and I use a variety of them for different purposes.  You can read more about these two essential items here:
25-December-2007 : Staying Organized…….Three Essential Items

In addition to my pocket notebook and agenda, I also often travel with a small spiral  ‘notebook’ of perforated 3″x5″ (7.6cm x 12.7cm) lined index cards.    I use these index cards to take notes as I travel.   If I need directions, I write them down. If there are changes in my travel, I write it down.  Writing it down is quicker than typing it. I can tear out the index card and keep it in my pocket.

For photography information if I am at a location shooting, or scouting a location, it is much easier to write down quick disposable notes on an index card than it is to start typing my information out on a Blackberry or iPhone.

For business purposes, if I am speaking with someone and they ask me to write information down, it is easier to write it out on an index card that try and squeeze it onto the back of a business card.  When I am done, I tear along the perforated line and hand the information to person I was speaking with.

For quick thought references, when in transit if I have some ideas I need to work on when I land, or get off the train, I write it all down so I remember my ideas.   While some planes have in-seat power, many do not, so I choose to conserve my battery life and use a pen and paper. If I am traveling in a city I never take my laptop out on the subway that is just not a smart idea, so pen-and-paper is the way to go.

When I am done with my index card, I simply recycle it.  At around US$1.50 for a pack of 50 cards, and the ease of being able to write my info down, tear it out neatly and stay organized, this is a very simple analog solution while traveling in a digital world.

Below is a photo of my current pack of index cards on the keyboard of my 15″ Apple PowerBook.

Happy Flying!
–Click Image Below To Enlarge–

a close-up of a notebook on a laptop

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