Though I love computers, I have long preferred paper for note taking. As more and more people fiddle with their Blackberries during meetings, I thought I was old-school by writing longhand in my notebook. But respected venture capitalist David Hornik writes I’m in good company.
[R]ecently I hosted a meeting of the advisors to one of my portfolio companies. It was an impressive group of tech veterans. Each of them had been involved in the building of multi-million dollar high tech companies. Yet, what struck me about this summit was how many of these computer gurus carried with him a good, old fashioned notebook… I was surprised to see so much scribbling and so little typing. Since that meeting, I have kept my eyes out for this notebook phenomenon and have been amazed by how many startup CEOs, Venture Capitalists, attorneys, etc. have forsaken the digital world for the analog.
Acknowledging that paper isn’t perfect, the article cites problems of exposure to elements and lack of backup. Yet such problems have never troubled me. In 25 years of carrying notebooks, I’ve never lost or ruined one, while during that same period I’ve been grateful for computer backups dozens of times. You’ve heard of notebook computers bursting into flame, but not my trusty book. I consider paper notebooks stable, durable, and unobtrusive.
Folks in Mr. Hornik’s circle prefer the classic leather-bound Moleskine and the pocket-sized graph paper Rhodia, but my choice is more prosaic: the WilsonJones S300-3R Record Ruled. The Rhodia does bring back memories of my college days in France. I must admit a twinge of Moleskine envy and I’ve considered giving the awesome Livescribe Pulse pen a try. Still I can’t imagine why anyone would risk annoying colleagues by tapping on a phone or computer during a meeting.