When I go to meetings, sometimes, other attendees take notes on their computer or in their phone.
The word analog has been used, in my experience, to mean outdated, obsolete, less valuable, non-compatible.
Unless I have no other choice, I take notes with paper and pencil.
When I schedule meetings (as of this writing) I put it in three places: Outlook, iPhone and my paper calendar with big blocks for each day of the month and a sidebar area for me to write notes.
I know, for a guy that writes about productivity, personal growth and development, this seems counter-intuitive.
But, there’s value in the analog-way-of-doing-things (and I’m using the word broadly here).
I’ll use the example of scheduling meetings. For me, there is something that connects in my brain when I can open my paper calendar and see what’s going on in my life in one shot (though I can see this in Outlook digitally). Somehow it’s more real, more concrete.
A different example are pictures. My Beloved LOVES taking pictures. We can be driving down the highway and if she sees a rainbow in the sky, she’ll take a picture.
But, think about that for a moment. How many pictures do you have in your phone right now? I’m not a big picture taker but I have so many pictures in my phone that, I don’t have much memory left.
Now, think about the physical photo albums you excitedly looked in at your granny’s house as a kid. Sitting there listening to the adults in your family reminisce about growing up, family trials and triumphs, and sometimes even being introduced to family members and friends that died before your time.
How precious is that?
There’s a sense of permanence wrapped up in that analog-experience.
For her birthday last year, I thought it would be a great idea to chronicle some of the places Beloved and I traveled to – and give that physical photo album to her as a gift.
I thought the project would be easy, it wasn’t. Then, I had another thought. She would prefer to be a part of the picture selecting process, instead of me doing it all.
I told her about her now-not-a-surprise-birthday-present and she was thrilled to jump into the project with me.
We shared some fantastic quality time together over about three days and created our photo book using ShutterFly.
The process (Beloved and I going through selecting the pictures then deciding which to include in the album, then modifying the images once in the album) was inefficient. I had to let go of my need to be productive and enjoy the experience.
The photo album cover picture looks something like this.
So, the next time you hear analog, don’t automatically dismiss it as something worse.