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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Is 2022 The Year To Rediscover Paper?

Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Since the start of the 21st century, the world has been going digital in a big way. Paper has been used less and less but it hasn’t quite disappeared. Quite the opposite, it’s actually been developing a “fan following”. If you’re not (yet) part of that following then maybe 2021 should be the year that you (re)discover paper.

The fall and rise of paper

In many cases, paper has been abandoned for good reason. For example, one of the main selling points of online banks is that you can see all your transactions immediately. This is much more convenient than having to wait for paper statements.

Similarly, however, there are parts of life where paper looks highly unlikely to be pushed out by digital communications. For example, you can send digital greetings cards and invitations but paper is by far the preferred option. Part of the reason for this is that paper is permanent in a way digital generally isn’t.

There is, however, a whole gray area where digital and paper coexist. Digital may seem the more practical option. In fact, often it is. At the same time, paper also has its advantages. You might not want to switch to it completely but you might very much benefit from giving it another chance. Here are three areas of your life where paper could be a lot of help to you.

Getting organized

Digital organization tools are great but they do have their limitations. The most obvious limitation is that they often need the internet and/or batteries to work. Lose either of them and all your organization goes up in smoke. That’s already a strong argument for combining digital organization tools with plain old-fashioned paper ones.

Another argument is that paper generally offers a lot more flexibility. In fact, that’s a large part of the attraction of bullet journaling. You can set up your planner exactly how you want it instead of having to stick with templates other people have created.

Protecting your mental health

The act of writing on paper is very different from the act of using a keyboard or touchscreen. It’s both much slower and much more tactile. You also have more freedom to get creative. This doesn’t have to mean artistic, although it can do. It can mean anything from basic doodles to sticking on decorations from washi tape to photos to miscellaneous scraps.

This isn’t necessarily relevant for business. It can, however, be very important to your personal wellbeing and development. In fact, journaling is now widely recognized as having a lot of mental health benefits.

Marketing your business

These days, when people think about marketing a business, especially a small one, their first thought is probably digital marketing. It’s true that digital marketing is often a very cost-effective option, particularly for SMBs. At the same time, paper-based marketing does have its uses too.

One of the biggest advantages of paper is that it eliminates the possibility of your carefully-crafted message ending up unread in a spam folder. You can literally put your message directly into your recipient’s hands. What’s more, if your message catches their attention, they will have your paper communication as a reminder to act on it.

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