In this day and age, no one needs a notebook. There’s absolutely no reason to put pen to paper. We have computers, smartphones, and digital signatures. Your notes app can contain volumes of data. (Todoist is our favorite app in-house at Wndsn Labs). Yet the notebook industry is valued at 18.8 Billion USD. Despite the ubiquity of digital products, world-wide we crave something more. Or rather, something simpler.
Let's take a look at 5 use cases for notebooks.
#1 The Body is Key to Creativity
Writing in a phone might short circuit something fundamental with regards to retention or finality. When you pick up a notebook and pen, your brain has to go through numerous steps to move the body, to choose appropriate force when picking up the objects, and then holding the pen correctly. These processes are invisible to our conscious mind, but our body is very much engaged. With a phone or a computer, the fingers are engaged in a much reduced, ever-repeating cycle.
There's a lack of embodiment, a connection between hand and mind when tied to digital note taking products. And when your hand is not married to your mind, something vital and vibrant gets left out of the equation between thought and action. Even if your work needs to be finalized on a computer, it's perhaps not fully "owned" unless it started on paper.
#2 Clean Slate Fetish
At Wndsn Headquarters we have dozens of notebooks that are fresh and untouched. Just sitting there waiting… waiting… For what, exactly? We have no idea. It is definitely a fetish, however, to collect something pure and perfect, unsullied by the entropy and compromises of life. All that could be, in its imagined, perfected state, but won’t be soon as it actually comes into existence. It’s beautiful.
#3 Peace of Mind
Hey, one day you may be out of range, or there is a data outage, or you ran out of battery. AND didn’t bring a charger or a backup battery. It happens! So you carry a small pocket notebook in your EDC for peace of mind. It’s mostly blank, this notebook. But JUST IN CASE, you gotta have one. No EDC is complete without one. Better to have it and not use it than to need it and not have it.
#4 Mind at Peace
People increasingly appreciate the peace and calmness maintained by taking a methodical and mindful approach, like journaling. You get back into your body, as mentioned above, and you slow down just enough to recover and recoup, and reclaim attention.
Your life on paper does not get hacked and disseminated. Your notebook won’t get doxxed. The privacy within the handwritten word is inherent. However, there are considerations like don’t lose it, or put it in a bag that gets stolen, or keep it hidden from curious roommates. You know, old school concerns.
We’ve just listed 5 reasons, those that resonate with us and are the reason time and time again we reach for a notebook. Perhaps take your time, slow down, and appreciate the joy we can have just to decouple from a digital life, if even just for a moment. We are sure you’ll appreciate it.
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