Digital vs. Paper – What Are the Pros and Cons of These Systems?

This Needs to be Determined Before We Can Decide Which System to Use

Last week we discussed the how’s and whys of note taking. At the end of that post, I told you that we would look at my note taking system and discuss how you can have a system designed to fit your specific needs.

Not so fast.

There’re still some more things to consider about the different forms of note taking before we can get into the system to use.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of paper vs. digital.

Reasons for paper over computers:

It’s a proven system and you’re used to it.

  • Paper and pencil have been a sure way to takes notes for a lot longer than computers.
  • Writing notes on paper is something we all learned in school…computers, not necessarily.
  • Digital note taking can be complicated and feel overwhelming.
  • Computers can crash and notes can be lost.
  • Paper is pretty safe unless the building burns down or is destroyed by a storm.
  • Most people can write faster than they can type.
  • There is evidence that the action of physically writing improves the retention of the information.
  • Paper and pencil are often more readily available than a computer.
  • Some people just like the feel of paper and pencil.

Reasons for digital over paper:

It’s much easier to search and find a note on a computer than digging through piles of paper.

  • Computer systems can link notes across different devises and programs.
  • It’s nice to be able to prepare the notes one time and it automatically be available to others.
  • There are a lot of different “cloud” storage options out there that have multiple back processes for protecting your content.
  • This is easier and safer than paper.
  • If you want a paper back up, it’s easy enough to print it out.
  • With almost everyone having a smart phone or tablet now, I would argue that these devices are now easier to find than paper and pencil.
  • The options available with digital note taking and the flexibility it provides make digital note taking a great option or addition to paper.

Considering these reasons should help as we move forward developing a clearer direction for your note taking system.

Last week I listed some of the why’s for taking notes. They include –

  • Learning – lectures, classes, webinars, podcasts, books, etc.
  • Meeting notes – decisions made, actions to take, etc.
  • Sorting thoughts – pros and cons, cost comparisons, getting clarity, etc.
  • Preparation – outlines for presentations, ideas for sharing, agendas for meetings, etc.

These different why’s need different note taking processes.

Going forward we’ll break them down and look at how I take notes for each.

I know that I said we would look at my note taking system and how one can be designed to fit your specific needs.  We’ll do that next week…I promise. 😊

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