A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A serious backslide?

The top and sides on an iPhone 4.Image via WikipediaThis blog is supposed to be about my experience rediscovering the joys of pen and paper after a long (but ultimately unfulfilling) love affair with technology in legal practice.

So, why did I buy a new iPhone 4?

Until a few months ago, I still had the second-generation iPhone (that's two versions ago). With the upgrades in OS without an upgrade in hardware, it was starting to get really slow. 10, 15, even 20 seconds could pass between pressing a button to launch an application and it actually being ready to use. This new one is much zippier.

Ironically, the Apple web page for the phone highlights as a feature what I see as a problem with lots of technology. The link to the page on the new multi-tasking (running more than one application at the same time) feature of the phone: Multitasking. Give everything your undivided attention. Clever slogan, but if you ask me, the only way to give everything your undivided attention is to do things one thing at a time.

So, with the new tech gadget comes the urge to test its uses . . . but I've been heading in the other direction, back to pen and paper, for several months. What to do?

Find the right role for each tool, that's what. There are things I accomplished with an iPhone in minutes that a truck full of high-en fountain pens couldn't have helped me with. (Hmm, the thought of having a truck full of high end fountain pens just hit me . . . let me savor that for a moment. . . . just a minute longer . . . OK . . . done!)

So, my iPhone is for phone calls, occasionally checking gmail accounts, and keeping records of my contacts. Once in a while, reading my Kindle eBooks. The iPhone 4 may be overkill for that, but I'm sure I use it for other things from time to time. But it's my pocket Moleskine Cahier for jotting things down on the go, keeping a list of errands and the like.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think this is more a matter of using the right tool for the job. It's hard to make a phone call with a pen. Arguably one could use a pen to keep track of contacts, however, given how frequently many people's contact information changes, it would be a tedious and possibly messy process.

    Of course, this is from the woman who's just waiting for her upgrade date for her BB Storm2 to come up so she can leap on an iPhone this summer, now that Verizon's got 'em...

    Congrats on the new phone! Have fun with it!

    (edited for typos...Must Drink More Coffee...!)