Leadership,  productivity,  Success Strategy

The Pen is Luxurious Than the Keyboard

This year I have made a commitment – I will be more accountable to myself. I found a paper notebook is helping me in this regard. Every day/week I am jotting down what I want to focus on, what my intention is and how I am doing.  A paper and pen is definitely not the state of the art personal productivity tool but surprisingly enough it is helping me to be more mindful about my time. I now have more clarity about where I am with respect to my bigger goals (also written/drawn on a paper).  I wonder, what is the point on going back to a non-tech solution when I have all these handy smart devices around me!

I see some research mentioned in this article:

The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts, remember things better, and reach your goals more surely. Here’s a look at the science and psychology behind writing, and why the pen may be mightier than the keyboard.

Also this article from Harvard Business Review What You Miss When You Take Notes on Your Laptop says,

“…the longhand note takers performed better on conceptual, and this time factual, questions.”

A client of mine, a senior leader in a technology company recently experienced this: when he takes hand notes, he is more present to the meetings compared to when he types in his laptop. This is helping him to listen better, ask meaningful questions and share relevant insights.

This sure validates my choice. However today I came up with a better answer for myself – I am not really going back, I am actually moving forward.

During the pre-automotive days walking, being physically fit was a basic need, without it one wouldn’t have survived. While nowadays physical fitness has become more of a “want”, we need to make time to go to the gym, yoga classes or even for a walk only after our basic needs are met. The reason I am enjoying the luxury of my pen and paper notebook is that all my basic needs are already met by the devices. After the grocery list and calendar appointments are handled perfectly by my smartphone, the more ambiguous, creativity demanding tasks like the workshop ideas are happily germinating on my paper notebook!


Original publish date Feb 2014. Updated in July 2019

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay