As I was out travelling lately I was put in a situation I don’t often find myself in these days. I was using both my phone and computer in a lecture, sharing both screens with all the people in the room and then I got some valuable input form one of the people listening. I normally use my phone to take notes if I am using my computer and the other way around, but this time I was using both on the big screen. I had my little note pad with me and I used this to write down my notes.
Now my handwriting has never been described as pretty, and I have often received comments on this in the past. But while I would never win any calligraphy awards it has always been easy to understand. So imagine my surprise when I looked at the notes from the lecture to pass on the good idea I got from the audience and I could not, for the life of me, understand what I had jotted down. Luckily I have a decent memory and I did not wait to long before I looked at my notes and decided to put them down in an email, so the information was not lost to the world, or me. But it did get me thinking about how seldom I use a pen and paper these days.
Almost everything I write I do on an electronic device. Mostly because I always have them with me and it’s very easy keeping up with my system for organizing my notes and such. But for as long as I can remember I have always loved to have different little notebooks with cute designs that cheer me up when i use them. The drawback of this is, while I am quite an organized person when it comes to thinking, remembering and mental structuring, I am nowhere near as tidy when it comes to all my stuff. This means that I have had occasions where my notebooks was not where I needed them when I needed them. And as the tools for organizing my notes on the computer and phone got better it seemed there was no point for me to write things on paper that I would later transfer over to an electronic device later. Or so I thought. I do know that I don’t want to loose my handwriting skills.I want to still be able to write myself a note and be able to read it later and still manage to understand what it says.
So when I was done with work for the day and went out to explore the town I was visiting, I entered a book shop and got myself a nice little notebook and a good pen and vowed to do a bit of handwriting every week. Yes, I know I have quite a few of them at home, but I was not at home so I thought that qualified me to not buy a new one before I have used the ones I already have. I got a pocket sized one so that I can carry it with me in my pocket and hopefully I will not leave it at home with the rest of them, but actually use it. That also meant that I could start what I had set my mind to quite soon and it gave me something nice to do on the plane journeys back home. After a while my hand had started to cramp up and there was as much ink on my hand as there normally was when I was younger and had to try to write as much as possible in a short amount of time for an exam. This made me more sure that I do need the practice from time to time. Lets just say if I had to sit an exam today and give my answers in handwriting I would feel very sorry for my fingers and whom ever had to read my paper.
What about you? Have the electronics completely taken over or do you still use your handwriting in the everyday? Is it a skill worth preserving or am I just being terribly nostalgic?