Friday, June 9, 2023

My whole environment is digital but I am writing important things by hand. these are my goals

Technology, through computers, tablets, electronic whiteboards, is becoming increasingly integrated into classrooms and from the first years of schooling. However, and despite this advancement in digital subjects and skills, there is something in continuing education plans that remains unchanged: the need to children know how to use a pencil Writing letters of the alphabet and making words out of them. Among other things, there are studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of these analog methods.

Despite the fact that in many professional environments, especially those related to technology, computers and electronic devices are the most powerful work weapons employees have (which is forcing us to write faster on smartphones by hand), many of them continue to find pencil (or pen) and paper to be an essential resource for their work tasks.

What is it about these two basic, tailored tools that keep technology professionals using them? What does it give them that they haven’t been able to find in other digital tools? Why is it so necessary for them to keep using charcoal and pieces of paper for certain tasks?

a little creativity

Regardless of the technical profile of our interlocutors, many of them admit that, when they have to exercise the most creative part of their responsibilities, they find paper and a pencil to be excellent tools to represent what they thinking about.


Miguel Angel Gonzalez is the Chief Digital Officer and responsible for mobility technology at Cepsa. This telecommunications engineer by training recognizes that pen and paper stimulate their creativity And helps you to establish knowledge. “I take a lot of notes in meetings and I still do it by hand because it helps me remember it.” Although she doesn’t usually review the notebooks in which she takes these notes, this system allows her to “be with the ideas as I not only write but also draw and in the end that makes them better.” is,” she says.

Salome Iglesias is an advisory board member of Out2Bound, although until a few weeks ago she worked in the railways part of Siemens. Industrial Engineer, in her case, she mainly takes out paper and pen for things where strategies have to be defined, issues raised and future defined. “For everything that is creative,” he concluded. Why? like Gonzalez because he helps you focus, “This happens to me all the time. In university they always studied writing things down because it helped me. The fact of writing, taking notes in class helped me concentrate and I think it helped me retain the information Also helps with keeping up”, he admitted.

In addition, because of his experience, not only does he benefit from using pen and paper, but the entire work team as well. “When you have a discussion with people, pick up a pencil and together, draw diagrams, start working on that piece of paper, all focused on the same point, always helps, especially those subjects In where there is a part of creativity and a part of uncertainty”.

things to do

While almost none of our interlocutors use these analog devices for things like making a shopping list, things change when we talk about professional tasks.


Javier D’Arcos, a software engineer who has been doing development for almost 10 years, admits that paper and pen serve him for a variety of purposes, such as planning. “I start the day and I put together a to-do list for the day and I get it done,” he explains.

Also, it makes sure that these items are like your RAM. ,it helps me think, If there is something I want to write down for later after completing a task, I find it more convenient to write it down on a piece of paper. I could use a tool on my computer, but it’s so easy to lose focus and see a new message or get distracted by other things.” Three quarters of the same thing happens to you in meetings and interviews: leaving things in writing. It helps you to keep track of the key points that I want to remember later or to bring up the key points that I want to prepare.

Elena Ceballos, from Dolby, expressed herself in similar terms. “I use paper and pen (black) because writing by hand allows me to think, it helps me to settle oneself mentally And as well as developing new ideas, I remember things better when I write by hand. I like hand writing vs typing which I can do without really focusing on what I’m doing, when I type I pay less attention to what I’m writing because it gives me a Allows you to think about other things as well.

my hobbies

But, is a piece of paper and a pencil useful for making these notes? Well, as is the case with an herbalist, there is a little bit of everything: from the one who doesn’t care for everything to the one who is picky about the ingredients he uses.


“My only hobby is writing black ink, this should be the middle lineI don’t like writing with gel ink pens”, admits Ceballos, for whom the best pen is “The Bitch of a Lifetime (BIC Crystal)”. The culmination is four colors. “I use red for important notes. Green for underlining the “heading” and blue for the signature,” he says.

The CDO of Sepsa prefers notebooks and notebooks, although it varies between Moleskine, Bullet, etc. Of course, “it can’t be striped” because, he admits, “they make me very angry.” As for the pens, the only requirement is that they paint very well. “If they look bad I get on my nerves,” he admits with a laugh. Like Ceballos, he loves BICs, although he now uses a lot of erased ones. “They paint very well and besides, they can be wiped. They’re cool,” he says.

Javier de Arcos admits that, although he is usually very organized at both his computer and his desk, his most chaotic streak comes out when writing on paper. “Sometimes I start writing in the middle of the paper and then, instead of moving on to the next page, I point in the gaps,” he explains.

Keep the note or throw it away?

Most of these professionals tend to discard and throw away the notes they take, despite how useful it is for them to continue writing in their own handwriting.


“I usually transfer notes to OneNote, which is the repository for my notes”, explains Salome Iglesias. “My work requires me to be on a range of topics, and sometimes it lacks depth. It’s very broad, but you have to understand each topic well enough to be able to follow them. Four Important Notes that exercise of keeping, not all the information, and passing it one note Is it important. That’s where I really have my collection of things”, he explains.

Javier de Arcos, meanwhile, crosses off the list of tasks as he completes them, which allows him at the end of the day to review what he has accomplished and write down the tasks he can complete the next day. are pending for “It’s a ritual it helps me disconnect: I write down things that I want to start thinking about or that I want to do the next day and the next day, when I open the notebook, I have it”, he elaborated. But, once When the task is done and the paper is left without holes, it ends up in the trash. “If there’s something I want to remember or keep because it’s important, I can put it on the computer.” Transfer,” he says.

In contrast is Miguel Angel González Doval, who keeps, like gold on a cloth, all the notebooks in which he has been writing things down*. Although he admits that he rarely checks the notebooks, “I have them there if I ever need them.” What’s more, he confesses that he likes to look at these notes from time to time. “Whatever I want to stop writing, I write very well. And everything has to be very good aesthetically”, he tells us. Even he recognizes that people are often surprised when they see these notebooks.

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One of the notebooks of Cepsa CDO Miguel Angel Gonzalez Doval

“I started working on the technique of creating icons and then started working out for each month, keeping a list of tasks to check off, but it was a disaster and I gave up,” he explains. Of course, it’s a series symbols that matter to him, “If it’s something important, I put an asterisk surrounded by a circle and next to it I put the initials of the person who asked or said it. This helps me highlight things that really matter.” are important”, he elaborated. Although “usually it’s already in my head when I do it”, these annotations serve as a backup copy. script” and he also uses dates to mark themes within that main idea.

a technical version

As we saw earlier, Salomi Iglesias uses OneNote as a repository for these written notes she makes. However, Elena Ceballos did not agree with this tool. “I’ve tried working with Sticky Notes on my computer and also with Microsoft OneNote, but in the end i always go back to paper”, he insisted. and that, as she admits, “I’d like to organize things the way OneNote allows, but I’m not sure, I don’t feel comfortable”.

Javier de Arcos also admits to trying several options. Some he has as a second tool, but he assures that in the end he also returns to pencil and paper “because when I use the computer it is very easy to lose focus of what I was thinking”. .

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Javier D’Arcos Notebook

The person in charge of Sepsa assures that he likes to touch the paper and feel it, although the iPad Notes application is another great ally for his purpose. ,I feel more creative with paper than with the iPadbut the iPad allows me to be more flexible: I can erase, draw something on one side, cut and paste on the other… It gives me more ability to leave things the way they are. I want them when I do it on paper”. So, he likes to keep an A3 sheet of paper on his desk, both in the office and at home, when he wants to concentrate and think. But when he wants to do something else “ok Wants to leave, he turns to the iPad.

D’Arcos has tried using notebooks that, using an app and mobile camera, allow you to capture what you’ve written or transfer it to a repository on your computer or in the cloud. But since he usually makes notes on almost any piece of paper he has, he didn’t find it useful.

Will it last with you forever?

Perhaps one day all our interviewees will have a technology that gives them the same sensation that paper and pen give them. But will they stop using these analog products? “Honestly, I don’t think so”, the person in charge of Dolby is blunt.

“Maybe”. Javier de Arcos leaves the door open, especially for a type of tablet with an eBook that allows you to take notes in a very simple way. A very simple tool And focusing on taking notes would be a viable option for him, “because what I want is to allow me to focus, not lose concentration. I don’t want a device that can be used for multiple things.” “, he explains.

A sentiment shared by Salome Iglesias. Although he acknowledges that there may be tools that accomplish this task and that can replace paper, “Having another tool makes me a little more lazy than paper, which I pick up right away. and use,” he says.

“I see it as difficult but not impossible”, admits the Cepsa CDO. “Technology has advanced a lot and when you get the same sensations as paper, you can eliminate it,” he continues, explaining that “I really like paper.”

Image: Unsplash

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