Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Allie Pleiter on Pen and Paper

I’m a gadget gal, no doubt about it.  I just got an iPhone, have had laptops and iPads and Kindles and all those good things.  I think technology is cool.

There are tasks, however, where only a pen and paper will do.  In some situations, a keyboard would feel wrong to me, prove cumbersome or distraction, or just seem out of place.  Here’s what I mean:

Interviews:  While I do admire the audio recording capability of many of today’s cell phones, I would never pull out a keyboard during an interview.  Most of my interviews involve meeting with experts to research my books or interviewing yarn shops for my DestiKNITions blog.  I feel like a keyboard ruins the conversational atmosphere.  I also tend to draw circles around things, star important points, or draw lines between bits of information when I interview, so pen and paper work for me.

Conference note-taking:  For many of the same reasons, I like to attend workshops with pen and paper even though I see lots of other people pulling out an iPad.  I draw a lot on learning documents--circles, lines, all kinds of things--to show relationships between information.  On a purely selfish note, I often knit while I listen and while I can write with one hand (while the other is holding the yarn and needles) I can’t type.  So, even if it means retyping my notes, I’d prefer the initial draft to be with pen and paper.

Journaling:  I’m a very fast typist.  My fingers can keep up with my brain on a keyboard much better than when I write long-hand.  I think, however, that such speed is the reason why I prefer to journal on paper. I want to go slow.  I want to think hard about my words, to ponder things rather than spit them out onto the page quickly.

In short, while I love technology, I’m not about to give up pen and paper.  What’s my choice of those?  I admit I’m rather picky about such things, and here are my favorites:

Staples ARC line or Levenger CIRCA line

Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball pen

How about you?  What are your favorite work tools and why? 


  1. I'm the same way with taking notes. I draw around words, draw arrows between things, etc. I much prefer paper and pen when taking notes in any situation.

    I'm not really picky about the paper but I love the Tul brand pens (I can only find them at Office Max around here).

  2. ooh, I love stationary too - but I tend to prefer bound notebooks rather than loose leaf. And the finest pen I can get!

  3. I agree, Allie. Sometimes a pen and paper are the best tools for a writer to use.

  4. Though I dearly love my laptop and would be lost without it, I agree that there are times when nothing else will do but a pad and pencil. Especially when I feel the urge to doodle :)

  5. I am thrilled my computer keyboard allows my brain to keep up with all the ideas it produces.

    I love paper and pen note-taking. I can't stand the clack of keyboards while lectures on going on. And oh, the fear of the file disappearing!

    I am a handmade card maker for the same reason you journal on paper. It is slow, thoughtful and thought provoking.

    Peace, Julie

  6. Allie, I use the same pens for my editing! I love the ultra fine point.

  7. i have to say I am hopeless at note taking. I tend to find I miss to much trying to take notes. I am one of those who can listen then record things later. I do use pen and paper for things but tend to record alot of things on the computer (i dont have an ipad, iphone, tablet etc.) I have a cell phone that I have charging most of the time and unless I go away it rarely leaves the house even if I do.


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