Paperful #1: Index cards for more than indexing

So many people today are trying to go paperless. I commend them for their altruistic attempts to reduce their carbon footprint, but some things are just better done on paper. In this series, I will highlight many beneficial uses for paper that will help you be more organized and less anxious. I call it going paperful. Going paperful is using a minimal amount of paper to gain the maximum amount of efficiency and effectiveness.

For the first article in this series, I am featuring attention on 13 creative ways to use index cards from

Though some of these ideas are more imaginative than functional, there are a few that I really loved.

One of the best uses that I agree strongly with is idea #2 and #3. Though they are separate, capturing ideas quickly and getting the most important tasks done are one and the same. Since most index cards are only a few inches long and wide they force you to be brief. This means that anything you write down on the card, as long as you do write in microscopic form, will be easily manageable. You can glance at a note and have it in mind without spending too much time analyzing its meaning. Idea #3 also encourages getting fewer, yet high quality, tasks done in a day. Speaking from experience, this idea will take 10 pounds off your back immediately.

The other idea that I thought was just awesome is idea #9. Pure genius. Merging multiple club cards into one is almost too simple. I’ll be trying this soon for sure.

I didn’t like idea #10 nor idea #12 though. Idea #10, a paper wiki, is asking for trouble. The power of paper lies in its over-simplistic nature. Creating nodes of cards is only going to make managing your thoughts a mess.

Idea #12 at first glance seems like a great idea, but again this, that is marking important dates per month on index cards for quick reference,  is doing too much. Less is more. A wall/desk/pocket calendar is perfect at marking dates, index cards are not.

Finally, idea #13 is what we all should as much as possible. This idea highlights the very core benefit of going paperful. Go read about it yourself; it’ll take 20 seconds and is worth a good chuckle.

Leave a Comment