It’s funny to me, I write fastest on the computer where I can type as fast as I see the words and sentences in my head. But if I want to plan or am unsure of an idea it goes into a notebook. I have dozens of notebooks filled with various writing ideas and projects. Some devoted to one idea that I fleshed out and worked through on the pages. Others partially filled as one idea ended and a new one started, sometimes on the same page. I have a few that I decorated using stamps and stickers to add color to an otherwise boring page or to help me remember a particular idea.
Not completely new school, using only computer, and no longer completely old school, using only paper. There was a time when I was completely old school, but that is only because for me there was a time when there were no computers. If I could write on the computer like I do in notebooks I would, but despite having tried many programs on several different computers and devices I have yet to find one that allows me to write using a stylus, doodle, draw arrows, and keep everything looking like it does in a notebook.
A computer has a certain look and feel to everything that I produced on it, a sameness. That sameness for me is one of the reasons why I can’t read books on the computer. I have read a few, but the sameness of the pages tends to be as distracting as if I was surfing the web at the same time. Whereas with a book there is a physical connection that helps me focus. It is the same way with a notebook. When I am trying to work though an idea, for example the Nail Clippers lost my way or the choose your own adventure idea I want to be focused. Staring at computer screen my mind wanders and I find myself bring up other files or surfing the web for research or “research.” Next thing I know an hour or two has passed and I am no longer working on what I started on.
A notebook keeps me focused. I can see the notes, I can scratch them out or add to them without having to deal with a program and as they occur to me. Trying to freeform brainstorm on the computer gets me a list or a paragraph and there is no way for me to connect them without reorganizing them. On a notebook page I can draw arrows showing how one idea is connected to another, sometimes the arrows cross several pages. Something else I cannot do on the computer is draw something out such as a room layout or how something looks-a city scape or weapon or outfit. I can do that in a notebook.
The downside to a notebook, for me, is taking notes and putting them into the computer. If the process of transcription was not boring enough, add in me adding to the notes while I am transcribing. Sometimes changing whole ideas on the fly as I type. One day I will find that program and device that really suits my needs, until then one foot in the modern world and another in the old world.