Pen and paper remain as the most reliable form of productivity tools

Having owned a first generation iPad Pro 9.7 inch for around six (6) years now, I’m torned whether to get a new device for writing, reading and more. I had used it for work and study during these six years and it had served me pretty well. However, the device overheats every single time I used it, and the storage capacity isn’t holding up anymore because of the constant software updates over the years. 32GB for a device is just not enough any more. As such, I have reverted to the back to pen and paper. They work perfectly fine as well.

No doubt having an iPad coupled with an Apple pencil and bluetooth keyboard is extremely convenient. There were countless of times that I’m saved (due to the coercion of urgent work commitments) by the iPad which can be a mini replacement of a laptop for drafting an urgent email, reports, or research effectively. The feeling is complicated: both grateful for the iPad yet hesitant to volunteer your time for it. That’s because you are not always rewarded for the work that you put it. At times, it is just not worth the effort at all. People would take that for granted and start coming to you for all the urgent tasks that need done.

When you consider writing and brainstorm, an iPad works pretty similarly with a pen and a paper with the exception of the ability to “google” about the topics at hand. That can be seen as a pro or a con. “Googling” can hinder one’s ability to think critically about the problem when one assumes that the answers can be found online. When given an easy choice of googling for answers and struggling the next hour to figure about how to solve a problem, some might choose the former. However, there are also those who thought through the problem and nuances based on their respective context before googling to find the potential solutions to the questions that they have in mind. It’s not good or bad, but depending on one’s objective, a tool can be preferred over the other at different point in time.

Yet, I consider that pen and paper remain the most reliable forms of productivity tool because of the lack of reliability in tech devices. You’ll never know when they fail you. Just how many times are we told to prepare at least 2 hard drives / solid state drives / cloud drives to back up our data. Remember the times when IT staff told you that you should have back up your data when you realise that the device has failed and there is no longer any way to retrieve you work. Furthermore, the longer you have your device, the more you need to worry about battery life and over heating when every update of the applications use up more resources of your computing device. The cost of repair and replacement is so much higher than paper and pen. And they weigh so much more (though portable as compared to full-fledged laptop).

As for now, no plan to replace yet.

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