Why I Decided to Publish a Paper Planner

Achieve Your Greatest Goals by Keeping Them in Your Day-to-Day Routine

Late last year I read David Sax’s new book, The Revenge of Analog. The premise? After years of being pushed aside by digital solutions, analog applications have been making a surprising comeback. That resonated with my own experience.

Most of my audience knows me as a techie. But I was in the book business for decades, and I love paper. It’s the best reading app around.

I’m also convinced it’s the best way to ensure you stay productive and reach your goals. That’s why I’m so excited about my brand new Full Focus Planner.

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When I first announced it last week, there was a lot of excitement—and some curiosity. Some asked, Why would you release a paper planner? Isn’t that a step backwards? Not at all.

There are three basic reasons I was convinced the first version of The Full Focus Planner had to be analog.

1. A Concrete Solution for a Real-life Problem

One of the biggest reasons people don’t reach their annual goals or feel swamped by their daily tasks is that there’s no practical link between them.

In the whirlwind of daily life, people lose visibility on their major goals and initiatives. Once that happens, it becomes harder to filter the important from the merely urgent. Projects start cramming the week without adding up to real achievements.

Despite people’s best intentions, they soon find themselves overwhelmed and no longer making progress. They can’t see the forest for the trees, and they feel lost in a maze of mundane tasks.

If that sounds like you, the last thing you need is another mobile or desktop app.

Digital solutions fall easy prey to the out-of-sight-out-of-mind problem. Instead, going analog is one of the best tricks for maintaining goal visibility. A physical tool like The Full Focus Planner keeps your goals front-and-center and makes them a cinch to review.

It also allows you to easily connect your goals to your daily task list, so you’re taking definitive action to achieve what matters most each and every day. I’ve been doing this for years now, so it’s second nature for me. But I wanted to design a product that would connect the dots for everyone else.

2. Your Brain Likes Paper More than Screens

There are many benefits to digital planners, but they’re not always best. In fact, research shows people who take notes on paper actually learn and retain more than those who use laptops. Why?

The reason is that handwriting:

  • Engages different parts of your brain
  • Forces you to more fully process your thinking
  • Creates more and better memory cues for later recall
  • Gives you an edge in understanding and remembering concepts

Manually writing notes and tasks, and processing your day and week on paper, engages your mind on a higher level.

In addition—and you probably know this from painful experience—digital devices can be incredibly distracting. When it comes to focused work, they can get in the way by tempting you to jump between applications, chopping your focus into smaller and smaller fragments.

“Computers are not inherent sources of distraction,” says Professor Clay Shirky, “but latter-day versions have been designed to be, because attention is the substance which makes the whole consumer internet go,” adding, “hardware and software is being professionally designed to distract.”

Who’s got time for that? Not me. Not you. Paper is brain-friendly tech.

3. Focus Is Your Most Powerful Tool

The issues of visibility and distraction both relate to focus. And this is critical.

The difference between achieving your goals and not achieving your goals has almost nothing to do with your available time. We all get 24 hours a day, 168 a week. The way to achieve your goals is to make maximum use of the time we all have by leveraging the kind of focus very few know how to harness.

To help you do that, The Full Focus Planner incorporates not only my proven goal-achievement methodology, it also includes several key frameworks from my personal productivity system.

This not only forms the practical link between major goals and daily tasks, it also keeps you laser focused on the next actions that will move the needle. And with regular review cycles built in, you can quickly get back on track even if you temporarily lose sight.

I’ve used and examined dozens of planners over the years. Honestly, none met my expectations or my standards. That’s why I decided to create The Full Focus Planner. I was committed to designing a solution I wanted to use myself.

I’m convinced you’ll want to use it too. It’s the best system I know for integrating goal achievement and personal productivity. And to ensure you can immediately put it to work for yourself, I created eight short coaching videos to walk you through each of the features and show you how I use it.

The Full Focus Planner is available for preorder, starting today. You can find out more by clicking here.

Question: Do you struggle to coordinate your daily tasks with your yearly goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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