Pens and Pencils, tales from a distant age…

Ages. I do not use pens and pencils from ages. And it’s quite clear from what happens when I am stil forced to use them: I simply write something which cannot be understood!

That’s the fact. I’m worrying that I am simply loosing the ability to write by hand. Yes, I can try to write, but the result is discouraging: I usually produce something that nobody can read. Include myself, of course. Definitively, the modern age brings new abilities and skills, but sometimes it also looses something. Being not able to write by hand is not a good thing.

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We are loosing the ability of doing it by hand…

Nowadays, the occasions to adopt pens and pencils – for me – are really rare. Consider the simple action of taking notes. I use my iPad with Evernote (or something similar), and it works wonderfully. I can take notes and easily move them to my iMac, for further elaborations.

From some years, I maintain a digital diary with the (wonderful) Day One app. Recently, I’ve also started to experiment with Journal, to satisfy my (periodically awaking) Android side.

I cannot even remember the last time I wrote something substantive with a pen, apart from some unfortunate occasions where I had to take notes and I was without one of my tablets (iPad 2 or Nexus 7).

I agree that physical agendas can be truly beautiful. They have something attractive which definitively can’t be reproduced by any electronic device, no matter the software that you can load onboard. They speak about ancient ages, where you could touch the paper, evaluating its consistency, appreciate its color. Feel the subtle noise of turning page. This is something we are loosing, something that it’s going to disappear.

The most annoying thing of a written manuscript, it’s that it can’t easily be processed. This is the first reason, for me, for following the digital ruote.  That’s the most important reason why I do believe that it’s impossible to return to a pre-keyboard era.

And yes, I’m losing the ability to write with a pen.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

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Why I love DayOne…

To me, journaling is essential to remembering when important events took place in my life. I don’t put a lot of faith in my own brain to keep an accurate record, so journaling helps add reliability to my memories (from  Ross Lockwood’s post)

I completey agree with this statement. This is why I started journaling more frequently, since 2011. My first post in DayOne is on March, 5, and it’s a simple statement to test the new diary (in Italian, my primary language). After some hesitations, I started to write more constantly, since the summer of that year.

Keeping a journal it’s not too different, in some way, to keep making photos concerning your daily life. It’s something that can help the mind to recall, to extract that file, to retrieve from the archive all the sensations and the emotions of those specific days. For this reason, it’s of invaluable help.

It’s not important that you write always in excellent style. You are not requested to create masterpiece. That’s the good part of a diary, after all. It’s completely your business. This time, you’re not called to satisfy any requirement, to fulfill any expectation. It’s your place, it’s a place entirely for you. In my diary, I have very short  as well as very long posts, depending on my mood and on my desire to write.

And they are both fine.

They do perfectly their work, which is, to fix a given moment, an impression, an intuition. Making possible to come back to it, anytime.

Trust me: you could be surprised, as much you can still learn from yourself, just by reading your old posts.

DayOne is a very comfortable place to write, since I can reach it anytime, anywhere. From my MacBook, from iPad, or from my iPhone 5. I have my whole archive always with me, thanks to iCloud synchronization.

In time, I’ve seen DayOne growing with features, some of these I largely appreciated. The two I liked most was, in time order, the introduction of tags, and the possibility to publish single entries.

The first feature is of invaluable help in organizing your entry, as you may guess.

The second feature is expecially intriguing, to me. I see it as a sort of bridge between in and out, between my inner private world and the external environment (the rest of the world). Sometimes – after having written a post – I realize that I’d like to share it with others. In the past I elaborated a blog post on it (sometimes I still love to act in this way, since a personal diary is a great tool for raw material to process and publish at a later time), now I have also another possibility: I can simply hit “publish” and DayOne do create for me a nicely and clean webpage with my post content. I cannot ask more – except, maybe, a link to a list of all my published post.

There are a lot of other interesting feature in DayOne. But the best think, for me, is that it makes writing easy and attractive.

This time, I really cannot ask more.