Pen and paper vs digital

Byharry

Pen and paper vs digital

Using pen and paper to jot down notes, organise to dos and brainstorm ideas might seem old fashioned to some but others prefer the manual ways. Doing things digitally offers lots of advantages but might seem detached and impersonal.

Each has their advantages and disadvantages. So whether you are a fan of fancy pens and trendy notebooks, keep all your thoughts in the Cloud or like to mix and match let’s have a look at how the options stack up.

Pen and paper doesn’t have to mean a hastily borrowed biro and the back of a napkin. Some people elevate the form to an art with distinguished fountain pens and designer notebooks. Others stick with a solid reporters pad and trusty ballpoint. The key is that everything is in one place and you know exactly where to turn to for reference or later use.

Some systems come about as a reaction to perhaps over complicated digital solutions. The Bullet Journal is a simple and effective strategy that has really caught on. DIY planners and templates are all over Pinterest. Of course there’s always the long-serving Filofax to fall back on.

Certain professions and hobbies will be more suited to a manual approach. Creatives, designers, artists and those who like total control over the page will always be attracted to the complete flexibility of a notebook. Some of those will deliberately disavow the digital but for many it is a creative choice.

Of course there is always a risk when you entrust your precious thoughts and ideas to one single place. There’s no fallback position if you lose the physical object.

The other big camp is the digital enthusiasts who revel in being completely mobile, connected and ready to go. They have the convenience of the cloud and making copies or backing up their work is not something they worry about – although disasters still occur. Losing the device is enough of a pain as it is without having to worry about all the work you’ve lost as well.

Using cloud based applications and accounts means you can the switch format seamlessly from your phone to your computer to your tablet and back again using whatever is on hand but having everything end up in the same place. Not only that but our notes can be sorted, organised and input automatically to the right places, catalogued and archived. There’s the risk of distraction though, when jotting down a quick note turns into checking notifications and then a full-on internet binge.

Straddling the middle ground is perhaps most of us. Different areas of our lives might inhabit different apps, planners or diaries. We use whatever is most convenient at the time and like having a choice. Different scenarios call for different tools – the most important thing is that your system works well for you.

Whichever you prefer, or a mix of both, you can’t write in a notebook or on your phone while you are driving. For that you need MessageMia. A hands-free note taking service that will record your ideas or to-do list, transcribe and then send it back to you for productivity and safety on the go.

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