paper_love_affairI’m about as techie as they come. I always seem to have a gadget of some sort on me and more often than not, I’ve got more than one. Since starting this weblog, I’ve been carrying around my Dana wherever I go and use it to jot down thoughts and ideas. Yet with all this technology surrounding me, I find that I still have a love affair with paper.

Journals
I use paper less and less these days, but I still pack a National Brand 43-571 stitch bound notebook that serves as my journal. Since college, I’ve used this style of notebook and I’m now in my 6th one. I love the cloth covered cardboard covers which protect the light green ruled and numbered pages underneath. I found these notebooks at the LSU bookstore and it’s the only place that I’ve found them. I think it’s a lab notebook, but all my Google searches turn up Chemistry class overviews requiring the. Every few years I go by the bookstore when I’m in Baton Rouge and stock up. It’s not that the notebooks have the best paper, or anything of that nature, I just like them.


Letter Pads
My love affair with paper doesn’t end their either. I also use Levenger yellow ruled letter pads. Now that’s good paper. If I’m in a meeting, or if I just need to jot down some ideas or sketches for a web site, I always turn to my Levenger legal pads. The paper is some of the best I’ve ever written on. It has a certain weight to it and ink just flows over it like butter. If you find yourself writing a lot, I seriously encourage you to check these pads out. They come in ruled, unruled and grid styles in white or yellow stock.

Note Cards
Although business cards can be used as a make shift note to write something down for a new acquaintance, or a customer, I’ve found that I prefer 3×5 note cards. These are made by Levenger as well and give the user a nice sized card in which to jot down something. The stock is of high quality and you feel like you’ve really given something to someone instead of just a slip of paper. How do I use them? Well, I tend to talk to people all over town and if a topic comes up where there is a web site, or a product that I want them to remember, I’ll write it down. Since I tend to wear so many hats, having to carry a variety of business cards is a bit of a pain. Instead, the note cards I use have my name, address and telephone numbers on it. From there I can write down the information and not have to explain the card.

For example, lets say that I’m in CompUSA and I run into someone looking at Palm OS handhelds. I usually strike up a conversation and in the course of our discussions, I’ll inform them that there is a local Palm OS User Group here in Nashville. Instead of having to carry NPUG card with me, I just jot down the URL on the note card instead. It’s a little more personal and it doesn’t give the feeling that I’m trying to sell them something.

In addition, the note cards are also handy if you need to jot down a quick note for yourself. I often find myself making little to-do lists on them from time to time. Granted, a handheld works great for that task, but there’s something tangibly satisfying about being able to scratch off a to-do item. Some days I need that experience and a note card is just the ticket.

Fountain Pens
Of course you can’t have a serious relationship with paper without having a nice pen. My pen for the last couple of years has been the Lamy Safari clear fountain pen. Those that know me know that I have an affinity for clear Palm OS devices, so when I saw this pen on display, I just had to have it. I’ve been known to lose a pen or two in my time, but I’ve been lucky and have been successful in hanging on to this one for a little over a year now.

I love fountain pens and each Levenger catalog that comes in mail teases me with new and exciting pens. If money were no object, I’m sure that I would have 100’s of pens by now. I remember courting a black Waterman “Opera” pen for a year in a local stationary store in Baton Rouge many moons ago. It was a beautiful pen and featured a herringbone pattern in the black lacquer. It was a discontinued model and thus made it rare, but I could never seem to afford the $300 for the pen and one day it was simply gone from the display case. I was sorry to see it go. It was a loss for sure, but there are plenty of other fabulous fountain pens out there in the world and I lust after them just as much.

A Complex Affair
I guess my love affair with paper and pens has some relationship to writing as a whole. I love books and clearly I seem to love writing as well. These passions must go hand-in-hand with this weblog, which must explain my new found propensity for publishing so much content. It’s an awkward balance though. The more I type into this weblog, the less I journal and the end result is that I end up typing more than writing. I’m still new to this writing thing, so perhaps I’ll find a better balance where I can write a little bit more than I’m doing now.

So for now the tech side of things is winning, but I still have my paper and I doubt I’ll ever give it up. How about you? Do you still use paper, or is your world mostly digital? Please share your thoughts with me on your relationship with paper by posting a comment to this entry. Who knows, maybe I’m not so out of the ordinary as I think I am. 🙂