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Beginner's Guide to The Medium Method

Published on
February 5, 2024
Manage your time and tasks effectively with the Medium Method. Learn how with this beginner's guide.

The medium method is a system used to combine both paper and digital tools for organization and productivity. While we are increasingly becoming more accustomed to using digital apps to manage our lives, there are still scenarios where paper-based tools are ideal.

Advantages of Paper-Based Tools

There is apparent resistance with some of us when it comes to using paper. But there are merits to using this traditional note-taking/organization medium like higher retention/recall, super-flexible formatting, little to no distractions, and being significantly healthier than screens.

However, paper is not without its drawbacks, but that can be aided with digital tools like Routine. Features like search-ability, mobility, and the ability to back up your activity make having digital tools a real asset in addition to your paper tools.

The Medium Method Flow

Traditionally, you'll need 6-7 tools to create and manage your Medium Method flow. However, you'll only need two items (max 3) with Routine since we seamlessly combine your to-do list, calendar, and notes into one powerful app.

The idea is to capture information, organize it, and store it long-term using digital and analog tools.

Here is what you need:

  1. Main Notebook: This is where you'll capture everything from tasks to ideas. You'll essentially be working out of this notebook throughout your day. There are various formats that you can use, but to get started, use the plain notebook as it is. Depending on your preference, you can later explore structures like the Bullet Journal, Emergent Task Planner, Strike-through Method, etc.
  2. Traveling Notebook: This is the book you'll have to carry around in your pocket or your laptop bag. As the name suggests, this book is used to quickly jot down notes that you can later add to your main notebook. I use the Routine iOS app for this since it is handy and user-friendly.
  3. Day Review Tool (Tasks, Notes & Calendar): This is where you'll use a tool like Routine to review and add tasks, events, and ideas from your main notebook so that they become searchable and actionable. On Routine, you'll essentially use the "Agenda," "Inbox," or "Pages" tab depending on the item you are adding. You can schedule tasks, add notes, block time on the calendar, etc., right in Routine. To watch a quick Routine tutorial, click here.
  4. Long-term Storage: You'll need a place to store the most important items from your main notebook for long-term retrieval. On an app like Routine, you can view your past activity and associated notes from the "Journal" tab or create a new page or sub-page to store this information for the long term. You can also use Google Drive or Dropbox if you have a preference for them.

That is essentially the medium method. With this simple flow, you'll be able to combine your paper tools with your digital ones seamlessly.

While the hybrid flow is relatively straightforward, feel free to experiment with different formats and strategies that work best with your schedule. The idea is to have a hybrid approach that is holistic where you get the most out of your notes so that you can search, assess, and use them when you need them.

Thank you for reading; if you liked this post, consider following Routine on LinkedIn. We post a lot of interesting hacks and blog posts that you'll find helpful.

Routine is a productivity app for busy professionals. Sign up on the waiting list and get started with the productivity methodology of your choice!
About the author
Shiva Prabhakaran

Shiva is a subject matter expert in communication, marketing, productivity, and learning systems. He has previously contributed to many blogs and newsletters, including Validated, Mental Models, HackerNoon, and several brands. You can find Shiva onĀ LinkedInĀ or email him at shiva(at)routine.co.

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