I sometimes drift away from using a paper notebook for taking notes. This usually happens when I become infatuated with some new computer workflow or app and decide that paper is just too much work and too inconvenient.

Then something happens that makes me miss my notebooks.

Today, for example, I was trying to remember something about the sale of my house and even though I took lots of notes on my computer, I couldn’t seem to find what I was looking for. I had originally started taking notes about the process of selling the house in my paper notebook, so I pulled that out, opened to the page with the “Moving” topic, and quickly spotted what I needed.

It’s easy to write off immutability as a negative aspect of paper, but I believe it is one of its greatest strengths. Even though I can’t search my notebooks, I can usually find what I’m looking for by sight and it’s always right where I left it.

I then sat for an hour and just wrote, scribbled, and flipped through my current notebooks and was reminded how very relaxing and pleasant writing on paper can be.