What do you mean?
Journaling. Pen and paper. Post It Notes. Letters. Cursive.
The strategic, time optimising, digital queen within me shudders at these archaic terms and their inability to have their data analysed at the click of a button, or filed away to be easily searched because of their meta data.
So why is this so important to me?
My entire working life has been about progression, optimisation, accreditation & growth. And I am bloody good at it.
You know what though, that started to bleed into my other life too. The life half of work / life balance. My to-do and shopping lists could be found in Google Keep. My correspondence with friends and family was becoming more reliant on texting and emailing rather than phone calls and physical catch ups.
It wasn’t bad… but it wasn’t good either.
Then one day I was attending a conference and the dreaded email arrived the night before. The speaker has requested you don’t use technology during their sessions. #caveman #archaic #whydothis
I felt like I had been slapped in the face. What kind of moron would unplug me from a device that made me so much better? I could google any references they made. Type at the speed they spoke. Take photographs and write annotations to best help me remember.
The cheekiness of this nearly put me into shock.
So I raided my old pencil cases, grabbed some coloured pens and highlighters and went to the conference.
And you know what, it’s now the only way I conference.
I made connections with other members. I drew pictures and diagrams. I took notes and made action plane. I made eye contact with the speaker and allowed myself think time with the points they made. #thinktimeguys #actualthing
It made me stop and think about some of the other areas in my life I had become disconnected from because of my ‘digital connectedness’…..
Actual Observations by Others Cleverer Than I
In his book The Revenge of Analog, Real Things & Why they Matter; David Sax states, “the revenge of paper shows that analogue technology can excel at specific tasks and uses on a very practical level, especially when compared to digital technology. While paper use may have shrunk in certain areas since the introduction of digital communications, in other uses and purposes, paper’s emotional, functional, and economic value has increased.”
The emotional line is what really made me stop and think.
Because he’s right.
For me, I truly connect with my writing more so when I see it written down in my own handwriting. So while, “the process of technological innovation isn’t a story of a slow march from good to better to best; its a series of trials that helps us understand who we are and how we operate,” that understanding made me realise, that to connect with something, I need to be more involved in the process.
And truly, you can google this. So much information, so much data and insights and sciencey things. Like it’s not just me. It’s a thing #validated
Now that all sounds a bit much right. You’re talking with someone who loves a good file path, or the ability to Ctrl+F, to search and locate, to immediately transcribe and have my notes accessible on any device anywhere as long as I’m logged in.
The part that got to me and that I realised I had slowly been discovering for myself was, journalling or analogue note taking or whatever, was so calming for me as to nearly be filled with dopamine.
What Do I Do?
I started leaving little notes around the house for my partner, saying what I was thankful for.
I would pop into colleagues classes, and surprise them by leaving a postit saying how impressed I was with their communication, or how they supported x y z student to achieve success through a b c. (then another dopamine rush would fill me when I’d see them pin these to their noteboards)
I write individualised thank you notes in my chicken scratches and hope like hell the recipient can read them.
I bought an actual diary. Which I write in every day. And at the end of each month I reflect in. And it feels good. #stickershelp #goodpens #stationarywench
Analogue note taking helps me slow down. To think through what I am consuming and creating. It helps me be a better me.
And I think if you try it, it’ll make you a little happy too.
Have you discovered a reawakened love for analogue note taking?
Share your thoughts below darlings and lets revel in our love for highlighters, nice paper and journalling.