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In Notebooks & Diaries

Paper Notebooks : A Revival in the Digital Era

September 6, 2019
Paper Notebooks : A Revival in the Digital Era

It’s 3 p.m. on a Friday, I find myself in Starbucks – looking for inspiration. While I enjoy the freshly brewed coffee (the inhouse special), I look around and notice that out of 10 people (including me), around 7 are glued to their iPhones and iPads (catching the latest episode of Stranger Things, I suppose). To my astonishment, I see two of the millennials scribbling something in their notebooks.

 I take a step closer only to notice that one of them was doodling, while the other was making a social calendar. It got me excited to think that I am not outdated (I swear by the hand-written form). I get talking to them about our shared love for the written word and of course, notebooks. They inform me that most of the people they know, prefer using paperback notebooks instead of an app like Evernote or Journey, to pen down their thoughts or for even journaling. 


It got me thinking - has penmanship really made a comeback? Are notebooks fashionable again? Will some of us turn into stationery hoarders?

 What I realised was that it is more satisfying to check a box in a notebook than tapping that piece of glass on your phone. Also, if you drop your notebook, you don’t have to worry about it shattering. Because paper has soul.

Richard Branson, the founder and CEO of Virgin Group believes that “Imagination is Entrepreneurship’s Fuel, but Notebooks are the Vehicle.” 

Virgin Atlantic and the British Council conducted an apprentice-style competition, aka the Enterprise Challenge, wherein Richard Branson took a masterclass. He attributed his success to relentless notetaking. He says, “Some of Virgin’s most successful companies have been born from random moments — if we hadn’t opened our notebooks, they would never have happened.” He further adds, “I can’t tell you where I’d be, if I didn’t have a pen in hand to write down my ideas (or more importantly, other people’s) as soon as they came to me.”


Notebook 2.0

Notebooks have come a long way – from leather-bound, bulleted, plain, to dot-grid; and crafted for every task – creating, scheduling, sketching and maintaining finances. 

Take the notebook collection by William Penn, for instance. They have notebooks like the Notebook Organizer and Classic ones by Moleskine for the corporate honchos, the Paint Box series by Rubberband for the artsy, creative souls, and themed notebooks like the Star Wars Journal by Sheaffer for the Star Wars fanatics (May the force be with us all!)

 And if not these, then there is always Quikrite. Wondering what that is? It is the new-age notebook that acts like a journal, mini wallet, organiser, diary among other things. Not to mention, each journal has multiple slim refills. A refill is a 72-page notebook with page numbers. And here’s the best part - each refill comes in different page formats - dot grid, graph, To-Do, Goal, Scan etc. that helps you increase your productivity (no kidding!) 


Here’s more.

Daniel Post Senning of the Emily Post Institute, rightly says, “Figuring out a way to make a message special will never go out of fashion.” I guess the best way to express yourself is by writing it down, and what better way than using a hand-written note to do so. The Quikrite has a few perforated sheets which allow you to do just that. The other day, I hand-wrote my message on one of the perforated tabs, took a picture and sent it to a friend via whatsapp. What a wonderful reaction I got! 

personal note

Technological advancements have made life easier and convenient, but I still feel writing things down is always a better way to get things done and be more productive. 

Check out some of the best brands in the industry that cater to your every writing need, available at William Penn: https://www.williampenn.net/writing/stationery/notebooks.html