They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. And therefor another 21 days to break it. But making the switch from analog to digital is harder than just breaking a habit. It's generational. But just because you were born in a specific decade doesn't mean you have to be stuck in the paper age.
Here are nine tips to help you go from a scribbling-pen-and-paper boomer to a digital millennial:
- Shopping List: Stop writing your shopping list on that dry erase board on your fridge and start keeping track of your grocery needs in an app that syncs between devices. Now, if your spouse picks something up at the store at lunch, you won't accidentally also buy it after work.
- CDs: If you're seriously still buying and/or burning CDs please stop. Trade in that compact disc player, get an iPod, and turn all those 15-song albums into 100-song playlists. Then throw away that CD sleeve on your car's visor. You can thank me later.
- Notes: Stop taking notes on post-it's at work or home -- jot them down on your phone or tablet instead. Now you'll never forget them and they'll never accidentally end up in the trash.
- FM/AM Radio: Ditch the radio at work or on-the-go and download an app and/or podcasts instead. They're fully customizable and sound better too!
- Movies: Are you really still driving to the video store for rentals? Just rent it online on iTunes, Vudo, Amazon, or stream it on Netflix. Or at least go to the nearest RedBox. Then be sure to rate it on whichever service you're using. Now, next time you're looking for something you'll like, you'll get recommendations specifically for you.
- Wallet: Replace all those cards in your wallet or purse with an app like Lemon, Passbook, or CardStar. It easily scans the barcodes and membership numbers to quickly create a digital copy on your phone. You'll lose a little weight (off your shoulder or out of your back pocket) and save some money at the same time.
- Books: I know physical books have a "smell and feel" that are harder to quit than crack cocaine, but give a Kindle or Nook a try for 2 months and I guarantee you never fall off the wagon again. Syncing across devices and the ability to download new books anytime, anywhere, are just a few of the reasons you'll never turn a page again.
- Recipes: Are you still writing your recipes on index cards and filing them away in box? Type them up on your computer for easy searching and sharing. Or download an app on your tablet or phone and instantly multiply your list of dinner options exponentially.
- TV: Some shows are better live, one-at-a-time, on a week-by-week basis, but there are also hundreds of shows worth binge-watching on Netflix and Hulu at any time. Late to party on the new hit show? Out of the loop at the water cooler? Start a new show a month or even a season late and get caught up in a few days with TV on-demand.
Have any other helpful tips? Add them in the comments below: