The analog tools creatives still use today

I am fascinated by the pens, notebooks, and other analog tools artists and writers use each day. The New York Times highlights some in a recent article, “Creative Types From Manolo Blahnik to Milton Glaser on Their Favorite Writing and Drawing Instruments”:

Is the pencil over? It’s no secret we’ve turned to keyboards and touch screens to convey our thoughts, complete our work in the office and design everything from bespoke stationery to custom footwear. For most, it’s hard to recall the last time an octagonal wooden shaft rested between our fingers. But for a select set of highly creative individuals, writing instruments are still in high demand.

I’m surprised how many of the artists quoted in the article use pencils. As a lefty, I’ve never been able to use a pencil effectively. But a good pencil has its advantages.

If you want a quick rundown of how I use my notebooks, also read my recent post, “Why Writing on Paper Matters in the Digital Age.” If you’re still into digital tools, read my older post, “Evernote for Book Lovers.”

Why Writing on Paper Matters in the Digital Age

Bullet Journal

Nothing can replace the experience of writing on paper, so why seek out a digital replacement?

Last month, I faced a predicament: How should I organize and manage all my projects? I’m a freelance editor; I have to organize my client work smartly, otherwise I won’t finish the work on time and get paid. I manage several projects with multiple clients, and sometimes I get overwhelmed.

I looked at my schedule and my to-do list scattered across four apps on my phone and a half-used notebook on my desk. I went through my stuff to organize it, and it dawned on me that I had a problem: I spent too much time playing with organization apps and programs in an attempt to perfect my productivity, but I didn’t spend enough time actually being productive. Continue reading →