ironic, i know. i’m reblogging this post about the power of the notebook. i’m connected, i’m plugged in. but the author of this post has a point. there is a lot of power in the pen, a lot of energy in a bound grouping of lined white paper. easy to use. difficult to destroy. you’re free to write, draw, color, copy, and paste much more freely than any on computer or smartphone i’ve ever seen.
“when you open your notebook… you’re going to see the page where you left off. maybe you’ll see another idea that reminds you of the one you’re working on, and you’ll combine the two in a novel way.”
that connection doesn’t happen in the threads of emails you’ve been perusing all day. nor does it happen in the multiple tabs that you have open in your browser. i would argue that between people (especially those not working within the same walls of an office building), the pages of a website or the chain of emails are much more feasible than the ancient form of communication: inner-office mail. but when it comes to connecting with yourself, paper, is man’s best friend.
so go. get a notebook. write down your thoughts. enjoy looking back. i think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Originally posted on The Story's Story:
“Despite being a denizen of the digital world, or maybe because he knew too well its isolating potential, Jobs was a strong believer in face-to-face meetings.” That’s from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. It’s a strange way to begin a post about notebooks, but Jobs’ views on the power of a potentially anachronistic practice applies to other seemingly anachronistic practices. I’m a believer in notebooks, though I’m hardly a luddite and use a computer too much.
The notebook has an immediate tactile advantage over phones: they aren’t connected to the Internet. It’s intimate in a way computers aren’t. A notebook has never interrupted me with a screen that says, “Wuz up?” Notebooks are easy to use without thinking. I know where I have everything I’ve written on-the-go over the last eight years: in the same stack. It’s easy to draw on paper. I don’t have to manage files and have yet to delete something important. The only way to “accidentally delete” something is to leave the notebook submerged in water.
A notebook is the written equivalent of a face-to-face meeting. It has no distractions, no pop-up icons, and no software upgrades. For a notebook, fewer features are better and fewer options are more. If you take a notebook out of your pocket to record an idea, you won’t see nude photos of your significant other. You’re going to see the page where you left off. Maybe you’ll see another idea that reminds you of the one you’re working on, and you’ll combine the two in a novel way. If you want to flip back to an earlier page, it’s easy.