Will the pen and paper ever go out of fashion?

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With tablets, touch screens and other weird and wonderful gizmos now becoming home and office essentials in 2014, what makes the pen and paper such a classic staple of “office artillery”?

You arrive at your desk, you check your emails, you open up a browser and then you Tweet. You can even do it all from your smartphone when you’re on the go. Digital-age living and working is simply about being connected to as many people as possible and doing everything as fast and as easily as you can. Our phones connect to our emails, our emails connect to our apps and our apps connect to our browsers. Anything we want is just a click away, thanks to a massive range of highly intelligent applications that speak to each other fluently. These are just things that we expect to happen and take for granted at work.

If we are so advanced and tech-savvy, then why do we feel the need to keep a pen and paper at our desks?

The pen has been around since the Egyptian times, yet it hasn’t gone out of fashion like an old laptop or a floppy disk. We wouldn’t be seen dead with a computer from the nineties, and when we talk to our friends about who’s got the latest iPhone or app; it’s often always a struggling competition to have the latest, fastest and newest piece of technology. Strangely enough however, we don’t cringe when someone mentions a fountain pen…

As I’m writing this, my trusty notepad sits next to my keyboard with today’s “to-do” list written down in my favourite Biro. There’s something slightly old fashioned in jotting down the really important things in life, it’s that subconscious fear of our technology failing us. We could simply jot things down in Outlook or Notepad, but even if we do we still like to write it down. Maybe we don’t fully realise this – or want to admit it – but as humans, I don’t think we have yet put our full trust in computers to handle things such as to-do lists and such. Yes, I’m sure they’re plenty of people out there who utilise applications and software for this kind of task as we do, but you can’t deny the fact that almost everyone has a pen and paper for something! I’d go as far as saying it’s the desktop essential; if everything else failed, we’d be left with the good old ink, pen and paper!

So the next time you’re wishing you had an upgrade on your broadband, or thinking about buying your annual new laptop, have a good look at your pen and notepad; can you ever imagine replacing them for something completely different?

About the Author
An industry veteran with more than 27 years industry experience - what Phil doesn't know about Business Supplies isn't worth knowing. Phil spends most of his week travelling around the UK servicing our nationwide client base and delivering a fresh twist on customer service in office supplies.
  1. Tim Fifield

    Good article Phil. I’ve got an iPad and iPhone and a laptop but still write notes in a real notebook. Also we still ise whiteboards and post it notes when working on web projects – ironic? Maybe but sometimes the old ways are the best ways.

    • Phil Rusling

      Agree with your Tim. We all have our gadgets for ease but you will always need pens and paper. Phil

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