You can find and need productivity apps and tools for every conceivable productivity system, but it's hard to beat the simple notebook in terms of pure productivity-enhancing power ,
Over the years between my career (testing apps, life hacks, and productivity gains) and my private life (obsession with apps, life hacks, and productivity gains), I've tried many different tools and techniques. The undoubtedly greatest productivity enhancer and the most useful all-round tool I've ever used, however, is the simple pocket notebook. Here is the reason.
You can capture everything.
Most people are hung up on the actual part of the productivity, but for many people (including me), the bigger lay-up to the task recalls in first place.
With a paperback book, you can capture everything that matters to your personal or professional goals and projects, and forget about it later, when you'll never have it again.
I just remembered you no milk anymore? Write it down. You have just heard of a book about NPR that you would like to read? Write it down. Your boss has just mentioned something important in a project? Write it down. The noticed grandma's cutting board looks pretty rough and a nice new one would be a good Christmas present? Write it down.
Everything you would like to remember later for some reason can be written in the notebook. Some people simply write things on the page and process the notebook at the end of the day or week, others work directly from the notebook with pages or sections for to-do lists, projects, gift ideas and so on.
However you do, you will capture everything important before drifting into the ether of forgetfulness. Developing a notebook habit means never forgetting something again. Never again forgetting something means never realizing that you are not starting an important task because you did not remember the important task to start it long enough.
Phone apps are pretty amazing and different from features like document scanning, location-based reminders and more ̵
As a bonus, you look scrupulous to others. If you pull your phone out (even if you only record one important thing), you'll look like you're ending the call (and if you get distracted by notifications, you could do so). A notebook is a different story. If pulling out the phone is like leaning out the phone, pulling out a notebook is like prying the phone out. As it stands, it is important enough that you write it down.
It works everywhere  There is no battery, no synchronization, no connection requirements, or something that is especially complicated with a notebook. Just before the notebook lands at the bottom of a river (hopefully without you in tow) or in flames, it just works.
Not only that, there is no risk of software errors or missing parts. While good apps are pretty reliable these days (and the best even have cloud syncing), there are no crashes when working with paper.
It's always up to you
Maybe while you're reading, you've been thinking, "but hey, what about a big notebook?". If you have a bag with you all the time and you want to have it. For sure. Use a big old notebook with big pages.
The beauty of the notebook, however, lies in its size. You can put it in your bag or purse. You do not need a bag (with space to give away). If you insert a mini-pen or even a keychain pen along with the notebook, you can capture your thoughts everywhere – no daypack required.
If you are convinced of the idea of a pocket notebook, have a look at our favorite pocket notebooks on our sister site Review Geek. Here are some elegant and durable options.