Paper AND digital

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Image via Dano

I’m in my early thirties, have a Blackberry, a laptop, and an iPod, and am connected to the Internet for a good portion of each workday. I also carry a paper planner with me almost everywhere I go, along with one of any number of notebooks.

Part of that’s cognitive, and part of it’s just habit. But mostly I don’t see a contradiction between using paper AND digital devices to record my appointments, store my to-do lists, and express my creativity. The digital world is awash in bold, impatient proclamations about how we’ll live when newspapers are gone, or YouTube replaces television. I’m excited about innovation, too, but I don’t see why it must, axiomatically, happen at the expense of all that’s come before. It’s a subject I’ve blogged about before, and was reminded of recently when I read this press release about the Moleskine planner collection.

Of course, we paper companies have very selfish reasons for believing that paper diaries and digital planners can coexist. Just like, as a writer, it’s in my interest to believe that people will continue to consume the written word no matter how it’s delivered, and distinguish between good content and mediocre… and still we do, and I do. And maybe we’re not wrong.

3 thoughts on “Paper AND digital

  1. TV was soposed to make radio obsolete within years of its creation… And we still have radio… radio even made it into he digital age long before TV did…. There is no way you tube and the net will replace TV, or for that matter newspapers that have survived for hundreds of years of new tech…

    G.

  2. I have to agree with Mr. Rowlands above: Everything goes into my paper planner, but I too have a poor memory, so I need something to squeak at me at the appropriate time. Thus important appointments go in my iPhone / Mac / MobileMe combination to remind me to be somewhere or do something. If my planner squeaked, I’d never need electronics. There’s something cognitive (as Stephanie said) about paper. Just my 0.02.

  3. I use both my Nokia E71 and my Rhodia planner, and have struck a fairly decent balance.

    Basically, everything goes into my paper planner. Absolutely every note, memo, appointment etc. The only things I then transfer to my phone are the things I need to be reminded about, because I am terribly forgetful. So, if I have a doctors appointment, I’ll put that in my phone with an alarm 30 minutes before.

    If someone could incorporate some kind of notification system into my Rhodia I’d be eternally grateful! :-p

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