Confession time. I love nice stationery.

Nice pens, beautiful notebooks, clever organisers/calendars, pretty stickers.

The problem is that as much as I love them, I struggle to find a use for them.

Every 6 months or so I see a really clever organiser and start trying to find a reason to buy it. But as clever as a paper calendar/organiser might be - it still cannot bingle at me an hour before my dentist appointment or automatically enter bi-weekly reminders to put out the right kind of bin for collection for the rest of the year. And more importantly, if the council suddenly makes a change, I might have to cross out and re-do all the entries if I was using a paper calendar.

The other draw back of a physical calendar is that you have to remember to bring it everywhere for it to be useful - but if it is big enough to have everything in - it is going to be too big to want to haul around everywhere. 

And finally, there's the biggie. Sharing. In my Google Calendar I have all my own stuff, but I also have access to the Family calendar for stuff that we are doing together as well as the other half's calendar and his many sub-calendars for the various bands he plays in - practices and gigs and recordings etc. And if I have to create an appointment for us to take one of the cats to the vet straight after work one day, I can invite our work calendars to that appointment, so we remember that we cannot work late that day.

So as much as I adore the idea of a physical calendar, it just doesn't have the ability to be front and centre the way an electronic calendar can be, with me having access to it from my phone, from my tablet, my computer, my work computer or in fact any device with a web browser.

With a beautiful notebook there is not so much need for it to be able to do anything, so in that sense the difference between a physical notebook and an electronic notebook is not really that big. Again, like with organisers, I have tried using paper notebooks on and off, but ultimately the practicalities of the electronic notebook outweighs the paper notebook most of the time for me. 

One issue is that if I am writing something in a notebook that I want to use for anything - a blog post, part of a story - I then have to plonk myself in front of the computer to enter it on there anyway. On the flip-side, I have to agree that sometimes it can be a lot easier to circumvent your inner editor when writing by hand than when typing. If you are in the mode where you have told yourself to just keep writing no matter what is coming out in an attempt to get ideas down, it is a lot harder on a computer to stop yourself from pausing to correct anything from spelling to phrasing.

I do sometimes resort to using a paper notepad to get things done for that reason, but I will then always enter it into my electronic notepad of choice (Evernote at the moment). The reason for this is searchability. This might sound trivial, but I have snippets of writing covering decades involving all sorts of different types of scenes and characters and every now and then I want to use one of them. If they lived in a set of notebooks on my bookshelf (oh, to have the room for a bookshelf), I would never find it - unless I used some kind of complex indexing system.

I am also concerned about losing what I have written, which is why I prefer to use electronic notepads that are automatically synced to the cloud rather than a physical notebook which can be damaged or lost.

What is a poor stationery addict to do when stuck on the head versus heart, practical versus pretty? Personally, I have taken up writing a diary or journal or whatever you want to call it. Each day I get to fill a page (or more if necessary) in a gorgeous day-a-page calendar, which also gives me the opportunity to practice my cursive writing. This has also led me to get interested in calligraphy and brush lettering, so I now have a good excuse to get some nice pens and pads for practising that in.

Pip assisting with my journalling.
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