Can paper survive this digital age we are in?
A digital age carved even deeper over the last 18-24 months while pivoting to remote working and virtual meetings, during the covid19 pandemic.
The phrase ‘paperless office’ was coined way back in the 1970’s, when people were buoyed by the exciting potential offered by technology, and there was a prediction that all record handling would be purely electronic by the 1990s. If you take a look at my desk, you can see we are still a long way from that.
From note taking, to sketching, to crafting letters and musings and blogs, the importance of pen and paper is something that all artists, designers, writers and business professionals alike need to revisit and not forget.
It is said that there is nothing more initiative than pen and paper. This “traditional” approach can help to form successful initial ideas and is always encouraged at the beginning of a creative brief, but why?
When you have a blank piece of paper before you, your mind can wander, your creativity will flow, and your concentration will lie on this black slate in front you. With this free fall of creative exploration, you can document your creative process whilst developing a thought process. By being able to get it all down on paper, you let go of the not-so-great ideas. Both in visual artform and in writing, it’s easy to scour the internet for ideas – things that are already out there – but by letting your ideas flow onto paper, it becomes a limitless thought process from your mind.
Sketching down ideas and concepts, and scribbling on a page is much faster than producing initial ideas digitally. Sometimes, grabbing a marker and using a whiteboard, you can brainstorm and sketch out a quick layout idea or process flow or root cause analysis, and you’re able to illustrate what you mean in a matter of seconds. Ideas are known to flow a lot more naturally when you’re brainstorming quickly and releasing all the poor ideas and expanding on the good – free falling by hand is a great way to find this process.
The brain engages differently when we write something by hand as opposed to typing it on a keyboard or by touching a screen or working in design software. Studies show that writing improves memory; students retain learning better when working with new ideas through handwriting instead of typing. Never underestimate the importance of your hand, a pen or pencil & some paper! There’s always something satisfying about a page full of doodles and extrapolated ideas, and organized to-do lists with items crossed off 🙂