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How often do you put pen to paper?

Displaying poll results.
Throughout the day
  10900 votes / 51%
Once a day
  2228 votes / 10%
A few times per week
  4035 votes / 18%
Once a week
  1122 votes / 5%
Once a month
  776 votes / 3%
Once a year
105 votes / 0%
Only when I pay with my credit card
  847 votes / 3%
Wait, how do you type on a pen?
  1327 votes / 6%
21340 total votes.
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How often do you put pen to paper?

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  • by Elky Elk (1179921) on Friday September 30, 2011 @11:13AM (#37567356)
    but I frequent use my pen to annotate my computer screen, although it is getting hard to see things.
    • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday September 30, 2011 @12:26PM (#37568530) Homepage
      You should try dry erase markers. Nothing is funnier than seeing some sys-admin or manager go off the deep end because you are drawing on your screen and they think it won't come off. I first started doing this in college and the look on my professors face was priceless.
    • I use my pen to clean my ears. To be effective, you really have to jab it in there hard. Don't be afraid to break past that first resistance you feel.

      This life tip brought to you by Global Safety Patrol: "We don't make the world, we make it better!"

  • by zindorsky (710179) <zindorsky@gmail.com> on Friday September 30, 2011 @11:19AM (#37567460)

    I find that 90% of the writing (with pen/pencil) I do is putting things on the grocery list on the fridge. Once grocery lists are made obsolete by internet-connected fridges automatically ordering food online, I'll never put pen to paper again.

    • by Tsingi (870990)
      That's pretty much what I do. Easier to make a grocery list than type it into the phone.

      Sometimes I sketch out an idea. For everything else, no paper.

      • by IorDMUX (870522)

        Sometimes I sketch out an idea. For everything else, no paper.

        Dry-erase whiteboards are amazing for this. In an average day at the office, I do far more doodling and scrawling on my giant whiteboard next to my desk than on the notepads lying around me.

        ...Easier to color-code, too.

        • by Tsingi (870990)

          Dry-erase whiteboards are amazing for this. In an average day at the office, I do far more doodling and scrawling on my giant whiteboard next to my desk than on the notepads lying around me. ...Easier to color-code, too.

          Yeah, they're awesome. I use those at work. Sometimes I get ideas when I'm not at work. :)

        • by Cogita (1119237)

          Sometimes I sketch out an idea. For everything else, no paper.

          Dry-erase whiteboards are amazing for this. In an average day at the office, I do far more doodling and scrawling on my giant whiteboard next to my desk than on the notepads lying around me. ...Easier to color-code, too.

          I prefer a graph paper notebook. Easier to draw on (for me at least), guide lines for sketching, and I've got a log of every great idea all in one place, no worries of someone coming along and erasing it.

          • Sometimes I sketch out an idea. For everything else, no paper.

            Dry-erase whiteboards are amazing for this. In an average day at the office, I do far more doodling and scrawling on my giant whiteboard next to my desk than on the notepads lying around me. ...Easier to color-code, too.

            I prefer a graph paper notebook. Easier to draw on (for me at least), guide lines for sketching, and I've got a log of every great idea all in one place, no worries of someone coming along and erasing it.

            That's why god made small digital cameras. The camera in your cell phone is good enough to permanently capture your grand ideas whether you construct them on a huge white board or on graph paper.

      • My grocery list and my shop supply list intermingle. So I keep them on a pocket sized sheet of paper. Since I do not enjoy blowing the sawdust out of the keyboard, scraping the epoxy spatters from the screen.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      I keep the grocery list on a shared folder on the server.
      Much easier, especially since most of it will be the same every time.

    • by D3 (31029)
      I use an iPhone app for my grocery list. The list is created on a web site for the app and then synched to the phone. It sorts everything by aisle so I don't have to wander around looking for things or backtrack because I put them out of order. It took maybe an hour or so to create the initial list of items based on a store listing provided at the front door. It cut my time to do my weekly shopping from 1 hour down to 30 minutes.
    • I find that 90% of the writing (with pen/pencil) I do is putting things on the grocery list on the fridge. Once grocery lists are made obsolete by internet-connected fridges automatically ordering food online, I'll never put pen to paper again.

      We keep ours in a family-shared drop-box folder. Anyone can edit it from their computer, phone, iPad - whatever. And when I go to the store, as long as I've got my phone... I've also got the grocery list.

  • by realsilly (186931) on Friday September 30, 2011 @11:46AM (#37567908)

    I still write letters and cards by hand and take notes because I actually like it. I find that the more often I type the worse my spelling gets with my hand-written materials simply because of the editors I use fix my poor spelling. If I write down thoughts and words daily, I force my memory to properly recollect the correct spellings and then later when I type, I find I type faster and with less errors.

    I feel that putting pen to paper keeps the following skills up: reading, writing (obviously), dexterity, mobility in my aging hands, memory remains sharper and when I write a word versus type a word, I tend to find the desire to use other more appropriate words rather than what I can type real quick.

    • For me, it's the opposite. Since I mostly type in English which isn't my native language, the spell checker helps me learn the proper spelling. Now, if only there was a decent grammar checker for Firefox:|

      • Now, if only there was a decent grammar checker for Firefox:|

        If only there were a decent grammar checker for anything. Grammar checking is a hard problem in any language, but it's especially hard in English where grammar rules are inherited from half a dozen different languages and some only apply in some forms of writing.

    • I use this terrific tool to fix my spelling:
      http://ankisrs.net/ [ankisrs.net]

      Whenever the spellchecker marks a word for me, I add it to Anki. I use it to learn other things as well.

  • PIN Codes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomorecwrd (1193329) on Friday September 30, 2011 @11:55AM (#37568050)
    Why are you still using handwriting signatures for credit cards?

    Have you ever heard about PIN Codes?.

    Who is under-developed now? eh? ;-).

    greetings form South America.
    • by Shadowhawk (30195)
      For me, it's cheaper to sign than use my PIN, so I sign, but most of the time, the signature is on a electronic pad, so no paper is involved.
    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Bit of a rant coming up, but here goes:

      US banking/payment systems are just bizarre and, frankly, annoying. I'm Australian but married an American and thus visit the US regularly (and have a bank account there too). And it boggles the mind every time I visit:

      - People still use cheques. Regularly. I couldn't believe it. haven't seen a cheque since the late 80s, and I don't actually think anyone would accept them anymore in Australia except for very large purchases. Certainly not at the supermarket or a regula

  • I use pencil almost exclusively, which I "put to paper" through out the day. I only use pen when I have to (legal and bank forms mostly).
  • by antdude (79039)

    Post-It stickers for me. :)

    • by mrxak (727974)

      Yeah, I often jot scribbled one- or two-word notes to myself on post-its throughout the day as little reminders about things. It's faster than typing on my phone, or whatever else one would use.

      • by antdude (79039)

        Same here like just now to write down what to bring in for Monday. However, I don't even own a cell/smart phone. Other things, I use text files to write down other notes too.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Friday September 30, 2011 @12:19PM (#37568414) Homepage

    I use (and abuse) pens through out the day. I answer the phone for a living (translation: I'm currently doing Help Desk work), and I find it much more convenient to scribble the caller's name and keywords about their problem on a pad of paper than to type them on a computer. It really is a better tool for quick notes.

    It's also therapeutic for me to take out my frustrations with the callers by destroying cheap ballpoint pens, than to do so on a relatively expensive keyboard or mouse. I go through at least one pen a week.

    • by webheaded (997188)
      I see people do this at my call center and it perplexes me. I don't see how simply keeping Notepad.exe open for typing while you're already using the keyboard and mouse is somehow harder or slower than writing things on a notepad. I always keep notepad open and type little notes, copy an account number there, whatever crap I need to save. This has the added advantage of it already being on the computer for me to copy and paste rather than writing it down and having to retype it. I can definitely type fa
      • by Ritchie70 (860516)

        I don't work in a call center but I do constantly write little notes down on a piece of printer paper when I'm trying to figure out how something works. The free-form nature of it lets me draw little pictures, arrows, put boxes around stuff, etc. I will occasionally put stuff in gvim but the paper lets me keep note of anything, easily.

        Yesterday I drew a picture of how our systems work, scanned it, and emailed it to someone. I started in Visio and realized I was going to spend an hour making a pretty picture

      • by tverbeek (457094)

        "...while you're already using the keyboard and mouse". That's one problem with the notepad.exe method: if I'm interacting with an application on the computer, I can't type a note without switching away from it. I can write with just one hand, leaving my other hand free (e.g. push buttons on the phone, grab a manual, make an obscene gesture in the direction of the phone) enabling me to multitask (not just task-switching with a single input device, like you describe). If someone rattles off their phone numbe

  • I mainly use pens to jot down information while I'm talking on my cell phone (which is where I'd normally enter data) and to write checks for the kids' lunch money. Although I don't use checks at stores ever, they're still handy for paying bills with companies that don't have online payment systems.

    • I mainly use pens to jot down information while I'm talking on my cell phone (which is where I'd normally enter data)

      That's one of the reasons I like my cheap bluetooth headset, I can use my phone to check my email or some website if it comes up in conversation.

    • ... oh dear... the America-bashing was bad enough regarding credit cards and PINs... did you have to mention checks/cheques?

  • I still haven't found a way to feed the log sheets through a laser printer I'm capable of carrying around, particularly when the logs are wet or those infernal Blinky logs.

  • Gotta sign for rent once a month, and on occasion I label things at work with sticky notes.
    • by Daetrin (576516)
      That's what i was thinking when i put down "once a month" but i didn't think about those little paper slips that so many place still insist you sign physically when pay for things with a credit card.

      (Somehow i misread "only when i pay with a credit card" as "only when i pay off my credit card", which seemed confusing and irrelevant until i realized my mistake after reading some of the comments.)
  • There should have been a Voice Memo choice as a viable alternative.
  • It's much faster jotting on paper (if available) than it is to pull out my iPhone and type in Notes on the virtual "keyboard".

  • I work night shift you insensitive clod!

    And while the ADLs are now done on computer, the toileting and repositioning sheets are still pen and paper.

  • math (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThorGod (456163) on Friday September 30, 2011 @04:50PM (#37571948) Journal

    Math will always be difficult to 'computerize' - just the way I like it.

  • I use a pencil, you insensitive clod!

    This is actually one of the few times that response isn't hyperbolic. The pen is like a keyboard without a delete key; I prefer clean, correct code, whether the context is machine-readable or human-readable code.
  • by son_of_asdf (598521) on Friday September 30, 2011 @06:09PM (#37572702)

    IMHO, writing short notes by hand seems to act as a mnemonic device - it installs stuff in memory much better than typing.

    I also find myself sketching 1st drafts of network diagrams/dataflows with a soft-leaded sketching pencil. Somehow this clarifies my thinking so that once I create a proper digital document the process goes much more easily.

    • by The boojum (70419)

      I've noticed this as well. When I'm learning a new subsystem of a code base I learn it much faster when I copy out notes and draw sketches by hand vs. doing it on the computer. I've also found that I can make new ideas gel much better as well when I write them directly to paper.

      As a graphics programmer, I'm definitely a visually/spatially-oriented person so I wonder if that isn't part of the explanation for it? Typing at a keyboard seems like a far more symbolic/verbal thing. Firing up a drawing program

  • you insensitive clod!

  • The only time I use pens outside of the rare "official paperwork" efforts is when signing the credit card receipt at lunch/dinner.

  • I keep a notebook handy and take notes in it. There have been numerous occasions where I've needed some info from 6 months back and gone paging through the approximate layer in my notebook to find it. I can scribble faster than I can type on my phone and my notes in my notebook are a lot less likely to get lost than any on my phone. Plus my notebook never runs out of batteries. Though my pen occasionally runs out of ink every few months.

    My notebook is an invaluable interviewing tool. I note down names bec

  • by bziman (223162) on Friday September 30, 2011 @11:10PM (#37574522) Homepage Journal

    I solve problems for a living. Rule #1 for problem solving is "Draw a Picture". Much easier to do that in my engineering notebook.

    Any sort of mathematical derivation is easier to do on paper. Initial storyboarding is easier on paper (before you whiteboard it in front of a group). Diagramming data flow. The list goes on...

    Sure, there are tools for putting together pretty presentation-worthy versions of these, but for rapid idea sorting throughout the day, pen and paper is the only way to go.

    • by jgrahn (181062) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @03:30PM (#37578862)

      I solve problems for a living. Rule #1 for problem solving is "Draw a Picture". Much easier to do that in my engineering notebook. [...]

      Sure, there are tools for putting together pretty presentation-worthy versions of these, but for rapid idea sorting throughout the day, pen and paper is the only way to go.

      I seriously believe most of those pretty presentation-worthy versions should be hand-drawn, too. It's faster to draw by hand, and the results are more readable than what you get by connecting boxes in MS Powerpoint, MS Word, etc. Then you just take a photo, adjust brightness/contrast, and paste it into the document.

      Not for things which are going to be read by people in suits perhaps, but most diagrams I make are only read by other programmers.

      • by echucker (570962)
        Works great for videoconferencing, or sending a quick diagram thousands of miles. Draw it on a white board, then share or snap a picture.
      • That is a clear selling point for tablets (the old input device, not the current use meaning a kind of computer, altough you can use a modern tablet as an old tablet). Taking a picture of a drwaing is a big problem (requires correcting, and is never as nice to read as a completely digital draw.)

        • by gig (78408)

          You can just draw in a virtual notebook on an iPad. Penultimate is a great app for that. Then there is a "share" button on the notebook which you can use to email the drawing.

          The iPad or iPhone screen is sensitive enough to draw 1 pixel lines with your finger.

  • by pbjones (315127)

    I use a pencil, you insensitive clod. (I just need to scribble short notes, and I just rub out the old stuff, and write in the new.

  • Since I got an iPad, I just draw and sketch on that, so that it is already digitized. But I do use a graphics workstation with Wacom tablet and pen.

  • by droopus (33472) *

    Many years ago, both the Americans and the Soviets were discovering the difficulty of writing in space. A few civilian Americans developed the Space pen. Called the AG7, the ballpoint is made from tungsten carbide and is precisely fitted in order to avoid leaks. A sliding float separates the ink from the pressurized gas. The thixotropic ink in the hermetically sealed and pressurized reservoir is claimed to write for three times longer than a standard ballpoint pen. The pen can write at altitudes up to 12,50

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

 



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