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There are some common categories by which electronics products are compared and measured. By those standards, using a writing device with a pad of paper can be considered a very powerful and efficient technology. Consider the following:

  • BATTERY LIFE — Products are typically ranked and compared based on battery life, and time to charge. A pad of paper and a writing instrument can run indefinitely without any electricity.
  • COST — A key factor when comparing the value of devices is the cost. A pad of paper and a writing instrument is very economical.
  • EASE OF USE — Training people to use computers and mobile devices can be time consuming and costly. As software and devices change, more training is needed. A pad of paper and a writing instrument can be easily used by almost anyone.
  • ECO IMPACT — Paper can be sourced from bamboo and other renewable sources. Refillable fountain pens and mechanical pencils result in minimal waste. It’s possible to use any size scrap of paper to write notes on.
  • LIFESPAN — Most devices have a limited usable life. This is usually determined by the operating system becoming outdated and no longer supported. A fountain pen or mechanical pencil can last for decades or centuries without needing replacing. No special technology is required to read text even hundreds of years later.
  • PRINTING — A letter, sign, or note that is handwritten on paper does not require printing. Printers cannot easily print to small scraps of paper, but a writing device can utilize small scraps of paper.
  • SIZE — The portability, size, and weight of devices is a significant factor in determining how practical they are. A pad of paper can be available in just about any size.
  • SPEED — A writing device and paper are instantly available.
  • STORAGE — Older data storage media typically wears out over time. The devices required to read older media are less available over time and eventually break down. No replacement parts are available.
  • SYSTEM FAILURE — There are a variety of ways that computers can break and fail, either through impact, spill, or wearing out of components. A pad of paper and a writing instrument do not have hard drive crashes or failing circuit boards.
  • VIRUSES — Most computers and mobile devices are vulnerable to malware, viruses, and privacy limitations.

For many daily writing tasks, a writing device and paper are the most efficient and effective choice.

When considering new technology and devices, one needs to keep in mind the baseline of benefits provided by a writing device an paper.

It is possible to combine old-tech with new-tech. For example, a handwritten sign, checklist, form, calendar, newsletter or other item can easily be duplicated on an inexpensive multi-function printer if necessary.