IdeaWave Revisited: The Power of Paper

With Victoria’s IdeaWave conference set to hit the Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre this weekend (my talk is slated for Sunday afternoon), I thought it’d be a swell idea to revist my talk from last year called The Power of Paper.

Below you’ll find my speaking notes from the talk, but before I get to those I strongly encourage anyone who’s in the area to grab a ticket to this conference while you still can. The cost for the entire weekend is just a shade over $100 and you’ll get to see some ideas shared, some stellar speakers and you may even get some inspiration and motivation along the way.

I hope to see you there over the weekend.

Speaking Notes: Preamble

  • Set timer to 9 minutes
  • Hand out sheets of paper (ask Morgan Cranny, the MC, to do this). Mention that I have more pieces of paper (MOOcards) should people be interested.
  • While paper is being handed out, say the following:

“With the advent of technology and the seeming demise of analog as a primary form of communication, I’m of the belief that paper is still the most effective and powerful tool one can have at their disposal when it comes to creation and organization. My talk will break down the benefits of sticking with paper over digital devices, in terms of both physical and visceral permanence. There’s something about writing things down that allows them to sink in and fuse with our psyches that much better.”

Speaking Notes: Actual Talk

  • I’m all for tech – mention and show iPad
  • Further explain my main planning system is an application on said iPad1
  • I keep my ideas in Evernote
  • I capture electronically; I’m likely not the only one doing this
  • But I also use paper; I’m likely not the only one doing this either
  • My idea is to basically keep paper alive without sacrificing the technology that replaces some of its applications

Why Use Paper?

1. Simple

  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t need an OS; doesn’t require more than one peripheral (writing instrument, for example); no coding needed for it to work; it won’t crash; portable.
  • Subjective…dependent on a number of factors

2. Tangible

  • Helps your memory
  • Act of writing creates a memory effect of sorts; there’s a connection
  • Outlining (I use it for outlining rather than my iPad)

3. Versatile

  • Multitude of uses (now have people make something from the paper they received)
  • Practical applications with/from paper
  • Ask who drew/wrote with their paper; ask who actually made something out of the paper.2

4. Accessible

  • Inexpensive (disposable to a point)
  • Harder to hide (as opposed to “cloud clutter”)
  • Ubiquitous/universal

5. Valuable

  • Archival; permanence (you own it)
  • Subjective (elegant notebooks, expensive writing instruments, etc.)
  • All of the above main points 1-4

Speaking Notes: In Closing

“We mustn’t forget the past as we look ahead to the future. Everything old can be new again.”

I’m suggesting that paper continue to be an option in the planning and creation process, rather that one is slowly phased out. And I think that’s an idea worth having.3

(Thank everyone, leave podium/stage.)

Photo credit: katerha (CC BY 2.0)

1Back then, it was OmniFocus. Today…it’s this.
2Things that were made include a flower, a Cootiie Catcher, a hat, a boat….and numerous paper airplanes.