In a bid to go all digital and make my writings searchable and part of my personal knowledge management system, I put down my journal and took to doing writing and note-taking on digital devices only. That lasted for a month or two. Now I’m back as I have unexpectedly picked up the analog pen again. I believe I am better for it. Going back to writing with a pen was a conscious choice and one made quickly, in the moment. As I thought it through, while already writing, and sometime after, I began to understand why.
First of all it is a source of capturing my thoughts and ideas without the need for technology or even electricity except for a light source. I spend far too much time in front of screens and being able to be productive while untethered is appealing and better for my eyes. Another reason is that there is very little friction when writing on paper. I just start writing without a writing prompt or being second guessed by spell check, grammar checker, or AI. The physical journal is inviting as just seeing it makes me think about writing. It is especially useful when I get out of bed in the morning. Never once has this been anything less than an enjoyable experience. Not all writing needs to be reread or re-searched. Sometimes I just need to process my thoughts.
My personal knowledge management system is growing both in terms of content and capability. I’ve been experimenting with digital transcription, mind mapping, and using AI. I still journal digitally and while I capture thoughts, ideas, and motivation from many sources, my physical journal is back to being one of them. I guess I had to stop using it for a while to understand its value.