Is the Pen Mightier than the Keyboard?

Planning tipsAre best plans made with a pen in hand? Some believe so. The digital age has certainly created alternatives to planning on paper, but a long-held belief by many is that the personal nature of planning lends itself to the handwritten word.

Writing by hand is a skill taught to us at a young age and is often the easiest way to communicate your thoughts, despite the advances of technology. It’s a natural process.

And, when used in the process of planning, taking the time to hand write the words and phrases that form your goals and responsibilities creates a personal investment, an ownership. It’s perhaps a more intimate connection with your tasks, appointments, and goals.

The blog Lifehacker defended the written word in a recent post:

“A pen and paper has but one functionality. It captures the marks I make so that they can be referred to at a later time. It doesn’t ring, it doesn’t bother me with an incoming chat or IM. It never asks me to plug it in so it can get more power. It doesn’t crash, it never needs an upgrade, and it is unlikely that someone will snatch my pad and bolt from a coffee shop with it when I turn my back.”

Of course, there are those like me who believe that a combination of paper and digital planning is the best solution. Others, are completely digital and swear by iPhone apps and computer software to manage their information.

What are your thoughts? How often do you use paper and pen for your planning? Please comment here, or voice your opinion on Facebook.

A Defense of Writing Longhand [Lifehacker]

[photo by LAGtheNoggin]

Jeff Doubek Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at

9 thoughts on “Is the Pen Mightier than the Keyboard?

  1. It’s nice to see my scribbly handwriting map out my values, thoughts, to dos, and my appointments. I can’t live without it! My one & only Daytimer!

    1. Tim, glad you commented. It’s important to note that for many, the Day-Timer is valuable and dependable despite any issues they may have with handwriting neatness. It still is preferred to digital.

  2. If anyone has ever sketched a picture of a person, place or thing in lieu of taking a photograph, you know the power of the written line. The written line, word, time, name sticks in the brain better. Always a place for a camera, iphone, etc., but give me the tactile process first.

    1. Donna Jeanne, that’s a great perspective. The mind does seem to have a deeper connection with the written word.

  3. I find comfort in writing my lists. Being able to hold my planner in my hands and know that my thoughts are there and what I need to do and have done are all written down for me to review. Digital just doesn’t cut it for me. I am a “picture” person and my planner provides me with the picture I need. I am a writer and sometimes all I write is my list.

    1. Thanks for your comment Donna… having a touchable, “hard landscape” view of your day and week is an important method for staying organized.

  4. There is something so comforting about using a Planner and writing in it. I use a digital organizer as well but my Planner is more than just appointments. It’s a lot of other things as well. Why does there have to be a required ‘standard’ for all of us. Some are more creative than others and need the ability to be creative in ways that digitally we cannot be.


    1. JDS — You’re very right, there is no “one size fits all.” Whatever feels best for you is the right way to go. Thank you for your great comment.

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