• ryanstarkauthor

Paper in the Technology Age


It's a big thing for me. All the technology in my life focussing in to let me do pretty much the same thing whatever device I am on, wherever I am and whenever I want to. Wouldn't it be good if the thoughts and ideas came out of my head, through a pen, onto paper and got stored in a sortable, searchable way?

Right now, I have two jobs. I am a Business Consultant and I am an author. I have a home office and I visit client sites. I have writing equipment and I have work IT equipment and I have a Writers bag and a Work bag. It seems that every day I am making decisions about what I need and in which bag...or do I need both?

With clouds and Webs and stuff, the technology is convergent. But the two jobs need to be separate. So I take two notebooks, or different computers, or the wrong computers, into a meeting...and end up making a writing-based observation in a work notebook and vice versa. Arrgh.

First World problem, I know.

The mantra of Business Processing is PPP One Person, One Place, One Process. Yet still I have a Macbook, a Mac, an IPad, a Phone and a PC (I am ignoring the other PC loaned by my current client).

  • Yes I can type into my laptop/tablet/phone - but it's not paper and scribbles.

  • Yes I can write onto my iPad with my Apple pen - but the screen is glass, the experience is different to paper.

  • Yes I can take out a Moleskine and biro but I still have to file the notes correctly later.

...and isn't it *&$%$£ annoying when everyone's head is down into their phone or tablet or PC rather than focusing on your PowerPoint presentation?

What I want is a notepad—one notepad— which magically takes my handwritten notes and files them for me. Words pictures, scribbles, anything. All in the same place, filed, searchable and sortable. Oh, and without felling trees. So if I recall Tom talking about fudge brownies and I want to find the handwritten recipe, I use the same search and retrieval methods as I would for Elaine's excellent report from last weeks sales standup.


So, lately, I have tried to concentrate on Apple Notes as I am a Mac guy. I have loads of typed notes linked by iCloud. Not bad. Also I use OneNote as a filing system (I just do. You may prefer Evernote or some other app). So my notes are in OneDrive. Not bad either. Really recently, I have used 'Send to OneNote'. Now all my notes are sent to the same place on OneDrive (Evernote and others do the same). What I write in Apple Notes can be sent, filed in OneNote then deleted from Notes (PPP).

So far, so good. Now what about the paper notes? If I could write on paper and 'Send to OneNote', then throw away the scrap of paper, more's the better.

If I could not use paper at all, that would be really good.

The ReMarkable paper tablet is the nearest I have seen. It is basically an electronic notepad with the ability to take your notes and scribbles and store them or, more particularly, send them to your filing weapon of choice.

Michael Puhala wrote a Blog back in November 2017 which describes a few months actually using this. He was impressed with the nearness to paper, this device gave him. Though he has some reservations too. Why not give it a read.

By the way. I am not affiliated to the company, nor do I earn any money if you decide to buy one. I am just a technology evangelist.

Now all I have to do is find someone who will lend me one.

Do you have similar problems? What are your solutions? Please let me know.

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