Why I still take notes on paper

Why I still take notes on paper every day. Let's dive a bit into why it works for me, in no particular order.

Why I still take notes on paper
A photo of my current notebook, on my laptop. It's a blue Adyen notebook with some elm, kotlin, gitpod and foojay stickers on it

It's a habit I picked up back at school, and it never left me. Every day, in every meeting, I take notes on a paper notebook. You'll rarely find me with a laptop in a Meeting. And I recommend you try it too.

Let's dive a bit into why it works for me, in no particular order.


Have you ever seen someone type on their keyboard in a meeting, or typing on their phone ? What did you think of it? It might be because I'm getting old, but it always disturbs me. I never know if that person is writing their grocery shopping list, answering a comment on Facebook or taking notes on what we are discussing about.

And I've seen it happen as well in front of me. Sometimes, it's really been disturbing to the meeting even, depending on the person types in front of me. The screen is acting as a barrier between me and the person in front of me as well in physical meeting, making it especially awkward (that's also why I tend to avoid sitting right in front of someone when I can avoid it by the way).

Typing in a meeting, or being one's phone feels impolite to many, even if they won't tell you. Writing on a piece of paper doesn't. So I prefer to write!

One thing though : depending on the context, I actually ask first if it's ok to take notes. For example when I interview someone, I don't want them to be startled by me writing down what they are saying 😇.


I've always been the writer time. Wanna learn something? Write it again and again. So interestingly, I very rarely come back to my notes.

I don't write now so I can remember later, I write so I remember now! 😊. I really don't get the same effect by writing on a keyboard. There is something linking my memory to my hand writing that I can't explain, but it's there.

A bunch of notebooks from the past months. Never opened them again 😬


My mind, just like many of you, races all over the place and I find it super difficult to stay focused in meetings, especially if they are virtual and there are many folks in the room. We live in worlds of constant interruptions and with out laptops and phones around we quite literally have interruption boxes right in our hands all day long.

Having a notebook and a pen with me helps me stay focused on what is being said instead of having my mind wander off. My hands are busy so I won't check my socials or my emails, or procrastinate

On top of this, it's literally been proven that fidgeting and doodling help with focus, so I definitely use that to my advantage. In meetings, you can find me doodle all over the place on my notebook as things are being said so I can keep focus 😊.

Writing is typically faster than typing (for me)

Typing is fast, but being used to it, using abbreviations and writing only a few words down to carry ideas I actually write faster than I type. And that becomes especially true on the go, when I want to save things down from my phone.

I always happen to carry a notebook around in my pocket and that's the fastest way for me to put ideas down on paper.

(Well ok for this one, ONE thing actually started competing with my notebooks : voice notes from my watch 😊).

It just feels good

Seriously though. To me, writing things down feels amazing. I can't imagine not doing it. Scratching paper, with a nice pen, is one of the nicest feelings I know. Just like reading an old book smelling like old paper in a cozy chair 😊.  Amazing.

Writing is getting lost

I'll end with this. It's more of a generic remark but I see that more and more of my friends tend to lose their writing habit. It's something that they've done at school, ut stopped practising for many years now and writing literally feels weird to them.

I might be getting old fashioned, but to me it's worrying. I don't want to lose my writing habit, and I want my kids to see me write and read at home.

Some limitations

Even though I love writing, and my notebooks, things aren't perfect. For meetings, I'd like to be able to simultaneously write things down, but also have them translated to a document for later sharing and collaboration.

I haven't found a good solution so far. Tried an iPad with the paperlike cover, but it's still bulky and feels different. I thought about trying the remarkable a few times, but I love my notebooks too much so I haven't taken the step to.

I'm curious now, what do you think about it? Do you still write? Do you disagree? Do you have tips? Let me know on Twitter!

Have a good one!