Even though I love technology and incessantly download productivity apps, I still am a paper-and-pen guy. I love the feel of fine artisanal Japanese paper notebooks and extra-fine nibs of my Sailor fountain pen. I draft my weekly newsletter in the note book. I use it to make my to-do lists, and I write all sorts of random things I learn during the day. Of course, I make notes of my meetings in my notebook — which sits with one or more fountain pens, along with my glasses and a Kindle, in my Dsptch Musette.
My paper and pen obsession has many upsides, as a recent article in Fast Company outlines:
….many of us are drawn to digital tools because of the dopamine hit you get when you get a new notification. You can get just as many when you use paper tools, such as crossing something off a to-do list or using colorful tools to make notes visually stimulating, she says.
“When you partner paper with your devices, you get a better balance, professionally and personally.”
After reading and thinking about this article, here are my top reasons for sticking with pen and paper:
- Paper and pen help you recall things better. They activate the “reticular activating system,” which allows us to filter out unnecessary information. This is in stark contrast to social platforms, which fill us with nonsense by the second.
It is faster to write on paper and pen. Many of us just can’t type fast enough. Also, it is easier to scan a piece of paper and retrieve the information.
Paper is highly portable. A piece of paper and a small pencil or pen don’t need much space. And it never runs out of batteries (though, there is a risk of running out of ink).
Paper and pen allow you to focus, as there are no notifications in a notebook. When taking notes in a notebook, you are unlikely to be distracted with the latest tweet from your friend or the President.
Google (or Facebook) can’t track it — yet.