In Praise of Pen and Paper

Pink post-it note on which I've written, buy more post-it notes!

I’ll never give up my Post-It notes until they pry them from my cold, dead hands!

Writing notes in my phone just doesn’t have the same impact as scribbling them on a notepad does. Maybe it’s because I write so much over the course of the week, my tiny brain doesn’t know what it’s supposed to remember – I can’t expect to retain all of it! I’ll sometimes put a grocery list on my phone. But I even depend on an old-fashioned date book over my Google calendar. Thank you, science, for backing me up.

Scribbling on a piece of paper stimulates our reticular activating system. By alerting those nerve pathways, we’re telling the brain to pay attention, this is important! Holland Haiis is an expert on digital detox, aka going without your electronics for a prolonged period of time. She says using paper will boost productivity and give you a much-needed break from staring at a screen.

And then there are the obvious advantages: paper doesn’t need batteries or charging. If you drop it, it won’t break. Notifications won’t pop up to distract you. It doesn’t buzz or ring. No one can track you on a piece of paper. It doesn’t have ads based on the last piece of paper you used. A piece of paper won’t interrupt you with another incoming piece of paper. The only downsides are paper cuts and, in my case, illegible writing. Otherwise, paper beats the phone, almost every time.

2 thoughts on “In Praise of Pen and Paper”

  1. I have to agree – especially where calendars are concerned. A quick illustration: my husband and I are tethered on our Apple devices. When he puts in an event, it shows up on my phone and in my computer’s calendar. But I have a yearly daytimer for 2019 because I wanted to remember special things that happened this year. Now I’m colour coding, adding events that I need to pay attention to (!) like meetings and classes and I can see it all – the entire month laid out – at a glance. Maybe it’s the old school technology coming back to help my brain – or that reticular activating system you cite – but it sure does help and CALM me to see it all laid out. One day at a time and all that… 😉

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