I started wondering recently if paper really could be the way to go. That is, in my everyday, non-GTD-obsessive personal issue tracking and task management. Here's why I'm considering this:
A task manager application's window is on the same playing field as any one of a million distractions (think web browser & co). If I stick a note on my actual, physical desk it's there and, due to its physical nature, I can't really ignore it. This point can obviously be translated into dozens of scenarios (alert in mobile app vs. sticker on front door, bills placed somewhere notable vs. bill-tracking app, etc.)
Digital text has way less substance-- It can be deleted with a swift keystroke or, better yet, deleted along with all its assigned metadata. In a paper planner you can strike through items, but everything leaves a mark - you'll be reminded that there was something you should've done.
I've been trying to leave myself more glaring reminders (paper, that is) both at home and elsewhere and it sorta seems to kinda work. I'm not sure if I'm just imagining this (placebo-effect-style) or if there have been studies or lengthier discussions about this confirming that physical reminders are indeed more effective. Any insight would be appreciated!
Then again, I realize that digital GTD and other, more simple methods done via software have enourmous upsides. I'm just thinking, at the task level: what's more important? Alerts, intelligent reminders, etc (digital) or substance, tactility (physical)?
Bottom line: is paper more effective for people who are prone to a bit too much procrastination on their computers and mobile devices? Have there been studies looking into this?