Everything starts on paper.
Whether you are using post-it notes or loose leaf, paper is ideal for getting down thoughts and mapping out ideas quickly. In fact, some Google employees prohibit phones and use paper exclusively to brainstorm. The magic of writing in analog is a controlled speed, flexibility, and focus.
“Everyone can write words, draw boxes, and express his or her ideas with the same clarity.”
If computers are a bicycle for the mind, as Steve Jobs once proclaimed, then writing on paper is like taking a walk. Paper jogs the mind, it is slow yet methodical, allowing it to connect the dots between disparate things.
“As with music, so with thought: when you want clarity, you seek out paper. Paper is the slow food of thought.”
As much as technology facilitates creativity, it can also distract it. Various studies show that taking notes by hand helps students remember more. Physical books, like vinyl, are also still hanging around despite the popularity of e-readers. Meanwhile, handwritten letters are considered more meaningful because of the perceived effort it went into writing and mailing them.
Digital abundance drives up the value of scarce objects like paper. Paper is proving its longevity not just as a nostalgic medium but also because it benefits the process of thinking and planning.
“As long as everyone is thinking and writing stuff on paper, you’re on the golden path.”