For the longest time, my practice of always having a notebook and several pens handy was viewed as something ‘old school’. This was particularly pronounced when everybody around me was waving around their latest tablet or smartphone while I stubbornly hung on to my faithful old Nokia. Unsurprisingly, reading this article about the practical benefits of using a paper planner makes me feel smugly vindicated.
There’s something infinitely more satisfying about writing something by hand, though I admit I’ve lost the knack of writing legible notes quickly. But writing by hand is special – it captures a moment in time and sparks so much more in my mind and my soul that can’t be duplicated by typing.
As a child, my diary was filled with entries of ‘today, I did this…’ but as a college student I was inspired by other writers’ eloquence and despaired of ever writing so elegantly. A few years later, my journals captured all my rants and emotional outbursts that would/could never make it past my lips.
As a writer, I jotted down notes, ideas, outlines, potential sources and so much more in a series of notebooks. I still love looking through them. As a consultant I relied on scribbles in the margins of WIP documents and working papers to keep me on track.
For years now, I’ve carried two notebooks – one for professional use and another for personal entries. No matter how hard I try, I never use them up at the same time, nor do they ever get used up at the end of the year to satisfy my ‘new year, new diary’ craving.
And yet, no matter what time of year it may be, whenever I notice that I’m getting to the last few pages, there’s a special anticipation deep inside and I start looking through my collection of notebooks to see which one will have the honour of hosting my notes, thoughts, inspirations, rants and reflections for the coming months. That’s a feeling that opening my laptop or staring at a blank screen will ever be able to replicate.