Going analog

In the cabinet above my desk, I have a stack of notebooks. I also have a collection of ballpoint pens to the right of my monitor. Every now and then, someone asks me why.

I’m old school.

I live on my computer. I take copious notes and I love to write. But sometimes, a digital workspace is inadequate for getting the job done. It’s too rigid. The freeform nature of blank page and a pen is more open and allows for far more creativity.

When in the office, I use whiteboards frequently. I’ll sketch, work through logic problems, brainstorm. It’s freeing to be able to innovate and scribble down an idea. I have yet to meet a whiteboard that is too big for me to fill it with ideas.

Never underestimate the value in going analog while working on an idea. In many situations, the bounds within which our software requires we work are too limiting. The canvases are too small. Moving to a pen and paper will let you fully visualize or articulate an idea.

Even if it’s difficult to polish that idea later on for digital publication. Frankly, that difficulty betrays the unfulfilled features of our current toolkits and opens the door for even further innovation.

When a computer is too limiting for you to write down an idea, what your go-to for capturing it?