Monday, 4 September 2017

Analogue revenge

The first time I remember seeing a laptop was in a meeting at P&G Brussels, in the early 90s. I was horrified. And I felt somewhat inadequate, as the woman using it could type properly. And fast. Since then, of course, laptops in meetings have become the norm, although I must admit that I am still old school with my notebooks. In fact, I'd rather be without my laptop in a meeting than without my notebook.

I am pleased to see that paper notebooks have had something of a renaissance in the last few years. Where I used to have to slip into the stationary store and buy something designed for schoolchildren, the choice of notebooks is endless these days. And you can get them at stations, airports, supermarkets - even TKMaxx. Joe Gebbia of Airbnb claims to have written his original idea for the platform in a paper notebook.

Paper notebooks are back in vogue in the same way that we see ebook sales slowing in favour of paper again. They are more tactile, more individual, more intimate. You can doodle. You can embellish. You can create. Notebooks have become objects of desire and design. Moleskine is the obvious example, and look at my current favourites here from Penguin.

By setting a price point that's more than a normal book, Penguin et al imbue blank paper with value.

But as with all the analogue vs. digital wars, it has become clear that 'winning' comes through collaboration, through the intersections, whether it is between bricks and mortar and e-commerce, or paper and bytes. Not only are Moleskine (for example) collaborating with Evernote, but apparently on Twitter and Instagram their are whole groups dedicated to the photographing and sharing of their pen, ink and paper notebooks.


Barbara Fisher said...

A friend of mine is in a rather unhappy place at the moment (she had a nasty fall resulting in several broken bones and now her husband is seriously ill). Her daughter in an attempt to cheer her up sent her a notebook in which she is supposed to write five good things that happen each day. To say she was fed up about it is an understatement, so I found her a different notebook. This one is titled My Bucket List only the B has a line through it, and it’s been replaced by an F. She really laughed when I gave it to her and is happily filling it in. She tells me it is just for her, but I hope she lets me read it one day.

Sue Imgrund said...

That's brilliant! Sometimes the well-meaning ideas miss the mark, but the outrageous black humour ones are just what's needed!

Love Affair with Food said...

I won't go anywhere without my trusty notebook and pen in my handbag.

Sue Imgrund said...

Useful for writing down recipes and oter inspiration, I should think! Thanks for visiting.