Why Paper in a Digital World

October 08, 2016

Why Paper in a Digital World

Technology is part of our daily lives, with our hands constantly glued to the latest smartphone, swapping one screen for the next when leaving work to park ourselves in front of the TV. Even reading books can be done flawlessly on tablets.

With such a range of beautiful digital solutions to every single activity, why should we ever use paper-based products? Below are 10 reasons why paper is still valuable in a digital world.

1. It's personal. Have you ever received a hand-written post card, thank you note, or letter? If so, then you know that it feels like the person on the other end has put in significant effort to communicate with you, and you can see the personality with every pencil stroke.

2. It's simplistic. Without needing to open an app or boot up a software, you can scribble a quick idea as it strikes on a notepad, or add comments to someone's work. Keeping a journal or notepad on your bedside table helps capture these moments of brilliance.

3. It's creative. You can make any shape or colour you want using actual paper, pens, and other stationery tools, as you aren't bound by set fonts or shapes. Visually sketching out or drawing supports creative thinking without limits.

4. It helps us learn. We learn much easier when we can touch and see at the same time. Reading physical copies information is proven to help us retain the content better. Also, writing without the support of spell-check, makes us better writers. 

5. It switches things up. Since we are so used to working on laptops, reading on screens, and typing on keyboards, breaking out of those ways of working can help kick-start the brain. When you feel stuck in a thought process, have you tried drawing things out on a whiteboard? It's incredibly helpful.

6. It's satisfactory. Somehow, ticking off to-do items on a digital list doesn't feel as achievement as using physical lists. Or, perhaps that's just us.

7. It's displayable. Tangible versions of calendars, lists, vision boards, and daily plans can be kept on display anywhere, anytime. Think on your desk or on the fridge. These visual cues help us remember things and stay on track towards goals easier.

8. It creates a beginning and an end. When you start a new day, week, month, or year, and open up a fresh page for planning and tracking, it helps you reset and start fresh. Similarly, when you turn a page or close a chapter, it can help leave yesterday's events behind.

9. It's not as distracting. Sitting down with a journal to reflect requires minimal distractions to allow yourself to think properly. Trying to undertake similar activities on say, your laptop with all its apps, messages and emails, can hinder your thought processes.

10. It supports attention to detail. We often skim-read when we consume huge amounts of information digitally. While we can of course skim-read on paper as well, it can help to print out and review digital documents on paper. This triggers a different process in the brain, and helps us pick up those little errors.

The above said, digital tools make us more connected and efficient than ever. It's when we achieve the balance between the two that we maximise our brainpower and capability.

What do you prefer, paper or digital?

/ TheNewExecutive




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