Do You Still Use Pen And Paper? Why?

by SuiteJ
25 replies
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Hey guys,

My 3 year old daughter was in my office and was asking for a pen to add some contacts to her new phone book that she got in a birthday grab bag. (don't worry, I'm making sure any boy's names that make there way into that book will be swiftly crossed out!)

CRISIS! Daddy couldn't find a pen!

Then, I realized..."Sheesh, I actually don't even HAVE a pen!" :|

I got to thinking more about it. I use my iPhone and a task mgmt program for both personal and business to-do lists, etc., and I almost never "write something down" anymore. In fact, it actually feels strange when I have to write anything longer than my signature.

I'm in my 30s, so I went to school carrying a "loose leaf binder and a pencil case", not a macbook. It's strange to think about how I don't use pen and paper anymore.

How about you? Still use pen and paper regularly?
Why? Out of habit, or do you actually find there's a benefit of some sort?
Is pen and paper on the way to extinction? If yes, when do you think it'll happen? 5 years? 10? 20?

Cheers
Jay
  • Profile picture of the author gittar1122
    I am not using Pen and Paper in my daily routine. Mostly I use pen when I have to go to bank. Sometimes its become very difficult for me to sign my checks in correct manner (my signature not matching )

    My whole working time spent on computer and I don't pen or paper to take notes.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      I use pen and paper constantly. It sticks in my head better when I actually write things down so it's what I use for my daily task lists. Plus it doesn't get any more portable than a pad of paper and pen, does it? Then I always can get my ideas down when they occur.

      Tina
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    My "to do" lists, are always made with paper and pen, because it feels good when I violently and enthusiastically scribble a line through something that has been done. My address book/contact phone numbers etc are all on my iphone - I haven't used an address book for years.

    Out of interest, Jay, what's the task management program you use for your iphone? Might be good to give an alternative to pen/paper a try.
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    • Profile picture of the author SuiteJ
      Hey Audrey,

      lol@ violently scratching out a to-do...yes, I can see how that would give you an invigorating feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction - especially for things like "pay taxes", etc.

      I use a task management program called Things:
      Things - task management on the Mac

      I have their app on iPhone to use when I'm mobile and then sync them when I'm home.

      That program is not good to you if you don't use Mac though

      But, there's a simply note-taking app called "Evernote" that my friend recommended. I haven't tried it out yet, but supposedly, as soon as you write a note on your app, it can send it directly to your computer - I think in real time (it syncs via Internet to your computer)...not sure of the details yet, but maybe check it out?

      Cheers
      Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    I use pen and paper - I don't have an iphone

    But like Audrey, I like to have my 'to do' lists written on paper so I can cross out tasks as I complete them.

    I also write a lot of my keyword research in notebooks. I just like to be able to pick up my note book and read what I have written and have it beside me while I work. I prefer that than having to switch screens between notepad files to see where I've typed it all.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    I ALWAYS have a pad of paper and a pen with me. ALWAYS.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Yes I use a pen and paper on a daily basis. I actually prefer writing out my task lists for the day in a notebook. I don't know why, but I like doing this rather than typing it in, even though I need to type everything else into the computer.
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  • Profile picture of the author CCGAL
    I use pen and paper quite often. For one thing, the physical act of writing stimulates a different portion of my brain, and things I've written down stay in my mind far longer and with less effort than typing and looking at a screen.

    And then there's that nasty bug that hits occasionally ... like when a tree falls across a power line and I don't want to go outside in the rain to fire up the generator just for some electricity to look at a note that I could have on the fridge held up with a magnet to remind me ...

    I like some things plain and simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author cheaterscode
    Yes, when it comes to my mind that I need to care my eyes and lungs for radiation. ^_^
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Of course I still use pen and paper. I am not a cyberspace holograph - I live in the real brick and mortar world and do real brick and mortar things.

    I hope your realization of not using them gave you a wake up call about exactly how "wired" you've become. It's not healthy to be hooked up 24/7 for many reasons. I can't even imagine taking anything into the wilderness with me but paper and pen. There are some places that should not be desecrated with microwaves -- and some places our minds should be unhooked and allowed to function at a natural frequency.

    Not only that -- but I find people still like to get letters in their REAL mailboxes once in awhile.

    Now if that all sounds very radical.....catch this one:

    I read real paper and ink books, too!
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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    • Profile picture of the author CCGAL
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      <snip>I read real paper and ink books, too!
      Me Too!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author SuiteJ
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Of course I still use pen and paper. I am not a cyberspace holograph - I live in the real brick and mortar world and do real brick and mortar things.

      I hope your realization of not using them gave you a wake up call about exactly how "wired" you've become. It's not healthy to be hooked up 24/7 for many reasons. I can't even imagine taking anything into the wilderness with me but paper and pen. There are some places that should not be desecrated with microwaves -- and some places our minds should be unhooked and allowed to function at a natural frequency.

      Not only that -- but I find people still like to get letters in their REAL mailboxes once in awhile.

      Now if that all sounds very radical.....catch this one:

      I read real paper and ink books, too!
      Are you getting defensive about the idea of not using pen and paper? You sound almost offended that I suggested not needing a pen. I didn't mean to upset anybody. lol

      I'm pretty sure I'm not a "cyberspace holograph" either (although that sounds like it might be pretty cool), and don't really think a "wake up call" is necessary if I use my phone or computer instead of pen and paper.

      I live in the same brick and mortar world you do and being "wired" allows me to do what I love for a living AND allows me to spend more quality time with my daughter like drawing on her easel with chalk and markers (it's whiteboard on one side and chalkboard on the other so I don't need a pen)...

      ...so I embrace being wired with all of my cyber-holograph spirit.

      I "unhook" all the time and often do "outside things" with her as well, but I probably wouldn't venture into the wilderness without my phone (mostly because it wouldn't be safe for me personally to be in the wilderness without the ability to dial 911. lol)

      And no...none of the things you said sound "radical" at all, not even semi-radical. In fact, I'd go as far as saying they sound pretty "regular". Most people I know read "real" books, as do I, but I wouldn't speak condescendingly to someone who exclusively "read digital".

      You're right about the mail. I love to get hand written letters in a real mailbox too, and my Mom sends them to my daughter, but unfortunately, I only get emails now. I should hire someone on Fiverr to write me one!
      I kid, I kid!

      The post was mostly me making fun of myself for not having a pen, and the "extinction of The Pen" was just me being half-silly. I should have put some of the sentences in between <sarcasm> tags and I apologize if it got anyone riled up. lol

      Cheers!
      Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author pethanks
    Yes of course because not all the time you will use the computer or any electronic gadgets. Ballpen and papers are still very useful.
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  • Profile picture of the author opiniones
    There's a free open source program called keepnote which I use to keep all my notes. You can organize them into different folders, make them look pretty, use pictures etc.

    I highly recommend it if you're looking into phasing out paper and pen. I mean what's better than being able to search hundreds of notes by typing a keyword rather than looking through pieces of paper?

    type "keepnote" in google and you'll find it.
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    The brain works differently with pen and paper and that can sometimes help.
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    Project HERE.

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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Buy stuff? Pen to sign!
    Travel? Pen!
    Power outage, or need something faster than windows? PEN!
    CONTRACT? PEN!

    SO, when will it be obsolete? Let's see, we COULD have negated it about 40 YEARS ago! TO THIS DAY, there has been NO valid effort to do away with it!

    HECK, I only RECENTLY, oiut of desperation to save space, asked for a PDF receipt. THREE people gathered around to try to figure out how to do it. I got ONE email with a PDF covering THREE YEARS of receipts!!!!

    I had that done to save space. The paper version took like a quarter of a suitcase! I took tablets out of their containers and put them in baggies. OBVIOUSLY, I had to use a pen to quickly label them.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    SuiteJ,

    You are missing SOMETHING! Unless you deal SOLELY in cash and NEVER do ANYTHING requiring any sort of contract, etc... You HAVE to occasionally use a PEN.

    I am NO stranger to computers. I learned ALL ABOUT THEM almost a DECADE before I used one! I even learned COBOL from some books my father gave me from when HE learned COBOL at IBM. I got my first computer while the IBM PC was just a twinkle in someone's eye, and when M/S claim to "fame"(They were STILL relatively UNKNOWN) was still a little basic interpreter. If I have to deal with redundant or computable data, I will likely write a program to do it. I pay my monthly bills on line, etc... HECK, I work with computers every day. STILL, I have to use a pen.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author SuiteJ
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      SuiteJ,

      You are missing SOMETHING! Unless you deal SOLELY in cash and NEVER do ANYTHING requiring any sort of contract, etc... You HAVE to occasionally use a PEN.

      Steve
      Hey Steve,

      I dunno if you read the post, but I'm not "missing" anything lol...

      I didn't say that the world doesn't need ink (although at some point in the future I wouldn't rule it out). I said I didn't HAVE a pen and then realized I never use pen and paper anymore for tasks that my phone and comp can replace....but....

      I'm quite aware of needing to sign my name in ink on documents. lol ...I also said:
      "In fact, it actually feels strange when I have to write anything longer than my signature."

      Also, as I mentioned in my last post reply, I was just playfully contemplating the "extinction of the The Pen" (which clearly has an army of defenders! lol)... I wasn't trying to start a battle between the Technology Sword and The Mighty Pen.

      But I'm lovin' the thread now!

      Cheers
      Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author biggame5
    I use paper and pen regularly I guess it's because I love to write things down.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Sorry Suitej, I hadn't noticed.

    As for ink being a thing of the past, they DID create thermal. Sadly, there is no fixer, and the heat required is quite minimal, so you could put it in your pocket, and pull out an overexposed paper a week later.

    BTW when I was a kid, I guess it was REALLY as early as about 9yo, I asked for and got a TYPEWRITER! I actually did some homework on it. Many may think THAT is obsolete, but for neatly filling out a multipart form, unless MADE for a dot matrix printer, there is nothing better. YEAH, I said DMP!!!!!! Inkjet and laser can't work with such things. And a signed paper draft, ESPECIALLY with an imprint, is the most bullet proof evidence of a charge!

    Yeah, the obsolescence of some things is VERY slow. Incredible, but true.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author CCGAL
    LOL @ this thread!

    I, too, got a typewriter at a very early age (6 in my case) and only sold it in the late 80's. Kinda wish now I'd kept it ... but it would sit in our son's garage next to the still functioning Apple IIe I can't bear to part with (yes, I ought to have my head examined).

    Wanted to say I Googled KeepNote and downloaded it - I like that it is set up to look and function the way I keep e-mail. I've got tons of text snips that it appears to be able to import ... so that's going to be my major accomplishment this morning, importing and organizing the notes on my computer. Thank You for mentioning it!
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  • Profile picture of the author ngseosept
    I still use paper and pen when I'm writing down notes and things to do at the office. I don't think those two tools will extinct for children uses it at schools especially on prep.
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    Let them eat cake!

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  • Profile picture of the author zengetsu
    I use pen and paper for drawing out certain things. A example would be websites I make, I just make my measurements on the divs and such. Also I do it on some programs I design as well.
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