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Youth Perspective: Reasons why I ditched the notebook and went digital – and why you should too

Nada Sisalem

10 Nov 2017

Sitting around in my office, I see notebooks, notepads, and paper everywhere, in every meeting, and at anytime. I realize how important note-taking is to some and how many say it helps them stay focused, but have we all actually stopped to think about other effective methods for note-taking that are available in this digital age?

I know I am guilty of this.


I’m a stationary and school-supplies geek, so when I got myself registered to a marketing course, I went to the first stationary store and got the coolest-looking notebook accompanied by the “necessary” post-its and pens. I thought to myself, this is it; I am ready for the course and ready for note-taking…until I was faced with a super fast instructor that I simply could not keep up with.

My notes were gibberish, incomprehensible, and often messy, but that, to me at the time, was okay; I was keeping myself focused by taking down notes. Fast forward a couple of weeks when I actually had to look through my notes to find one specific piece of information that I know I had noted down, and much to my surprise, it took me a good 15 minutes of page-flipping and digging to find it. That’s when I thought to myself, how is this efficient?

From then on, I went on a digital adventure, looking at different applications, softwares, and even devices that would help me take notes faster and in a more organized manner. From iPad Pros to programs such as Evernote, there’s an abundance of tools that could help us all ditch the paper and pen and, more importantly, allow us to navigate and search through our notes to find exactly the information we are looking for with a click of a button.

For me, my laptop is my most preferred tool and my Microsoft word documents are my notebooks. I can easily edit the text, search through it, correct mistakes, and update my notes at any time. I can also have hundreds of word documents saved on my computer, organized per meeting, course, or project. Not only did this help me improve my efficiency, but it also ultimately helps reduce the consumption of paper on my part.

Just imagine, if you have an office with 100 employees and all of them decide to take digital notes, how many trees can we actually save?

How much in terms of paper purchasing costs can we utilize for better and more important issues? How will that impact the demand for paper in the market? And eventually, how will that affect the production of paper in our society?

So, I ask each and every one of us to take a look at our current note-taking habits and question whether, in this day and age, we really need to use notebooks, notepads, and papers. I know it might be too early for us to completely go paperless, but we can definitely get there, one less notebook and one less paper at a time.

I say, let’s all go for #DigitalPaper; what do you think?

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