Writing something down in order to supplement our brains capacity for memory is a practice we have undertaken since around 3000 BC. Prior to that even, there are records of Homo-sapiens marking the walls of caves and rock faces.
With the fast and worryingly consistent integration of the smart phone to every part of our lives, we have moved to a more virtual mode of date keeping and note taking. Like most technological advancements, there are many obvious benefits!
Yes, carrying a smart phone is easier due to its minute size and weight relative to its text storage capacity.
Yes, cloud connectivity makes sharing and storing events across different platforms and devices ‘mostly’ seamless and easy.
Yes, there are functions that surpass the capabilities of the humble diary such as notification alerts and map integration.
I still feel however, that the physical diary has modern tech trumped!
1. Firstly, no tech means no tech problems: no need for phone signal, data, wifi or battery. Less time spent staring at a back-lit screen is healthier for your eyes, and as the day nears its end it benefits your circadian rhythm and sleep quality!
2. I would argue it is just as fast to open the right page and be ready to put the information down. Also that you are far more likely to make detailed notes and jottings of appointments/ideas if it is done using the natural process of pen to paper. A new crisp, white page with the date inked in at the top begs to be marked, it inspires work.
3. You look more professional and engaged: nothing screams uninterested like someone reaching for their phone mid conversation, meeting or lecture. Even if you are one to one and can explain why you are fumbling for your technological crutch, it looks bad.
4. There is something about writing things down that helps brand the information into the back of your brain, great for remembering names! Which is a skill a lot of us are lacking today, myself regrettably included.
5. Hand writing is silent compared to a keyboard and more fluid than stabbing at a glass screen. By fluid I mean the notes will generally be more natural and coherent, flowing from brain to paper with least resistance.
In terms of return on investment, you can’t do much better than an old school paper diary.
Splash out on a ‘day per page hardback’ for note space and durability, you’ll thank me later.