Slow, Like a Panda 

By  Michael Helmke

I don’t like to write things down.

I tend to type everything.

When I was a kid and my family was an early owner of an Apple ][+ computer and they would only let me on it if I learned to type. This was a good motivator and by the time I had to take typing class in middle school, I was easily typing 40 words per minute.

My typing speed these days is probably around 80 or 90 wpm.

In contrast, my handwriting has deteriorated through lack of practice. I can type far, far faster than I can write.

My great friend Trish Perry suggests there is sciency research to support that handwriting vs typing gives you a stronger connection to what you are writing. The thing is, I’m really stubborn. And I can type **really, really** fast. That’s important, right?

And now to my great surprise, I’ve started using a paper day planner.

The “Panda Planner” on its surface is your usual day planner. There’s a space for your schedule. There’s a todo list with checkboxes and boxes to list out the day’s priorities.

But there’s also sections to list what I’m excited about and what I’m going to focus on for the day. A box to list what physical exercise I’m going to do. And an end of day review to list “today’s wins” and “how I’ll improve”.

Traditionally I think that sort of thing is a bit hokey. However it all seemed consistent with a goal accountability system I’ve been following (also from Trish Perry). And I had a hunch that by forcing myself to slow down and write things, the process would be good for me.

You know, like broccoli or brussels sprouts.

So I bought one. And some pencils, and an eraser since I figured I’d be erasing a lot.

2 months in I’m really enjoying it. Writing down what I’m doing, even copying my daily schedule onto paper, keeping it at ready reference next to me regardless what I’m doing.

Writing down what I’m grateful for at the beginning of the day and listing my successes at the end are good times for self reflection.

Overall I’m super surprised and excited how well it fits into my work day and I highly recommend checking out the Panda Planner. It’s all paper. Not digital. (I’m flabbergasted.)

How do you keep yourself organized? And how well does it work?

Do you have a system you use yet your world is still chaotic? Or is everything humming along smoothly?

Send me a message and let me know, I’m curious.

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