While working on a messaging project for a client recently, I got stuck. I was struggling with too many conversations, too much insight and an avalanche of content.

paperTo get unstuck, I took a step backwards technologically: I placed large sheets of paper (the kind children use for arts and crafts projects) on the kitchen table and started to write down the most interesting ideas and concepts.

Suddenly, the messaging began to materialize. I began to see how to combine ideas and themes to create an interesting story. It was like the lights suddenly came on.

In a digital world, we often lose sight of the importance of paper.

It’s a physical medium that captures ideas in different ways than a computer. When you write something on paper, it sticks in your brain. In comparison, digital content quickly blurs.

When meeting clients, I write pages of notes. It’s a habit from my days as a newspaper reporter. With paper, I’m processing concepts that strike me as interesting or having potential. When I review my notes, it confirms my thinking or spawns new ideas or opportunities.

For people like who love paper, the question is whether paper and digital can be combined to create a 1 + 1 = 3 proposition. I wonder if a product such as RocketBook, for example, can capture the power of paper and the accessibility of digital.

With Rocketbook, you write on paper and then transfer your notes to the cloud. When your notebook is full, the content can be erased by putting it in the microwave. Cool, eh!

Perhaps my love of paper is old-school, which explains why I also like pens and stationary. To me, paper is real and substantial. It is permanent (until you recycle it!) while digital is ephemeral and fleeting. By the way, I still read newspapers (the paper kind!).

Are you a paper aficionado? Have you abandoned paper amid the digital wave?

I’ve worked with dozens of startups and fast-growing companies looking to accelerate their marketing. My services are driven by processes and frameworks that drive the creation of messaging, strategic planning and content development. If you want marketing that makes a difference, let’s talk. If you’re looking for hand-picked startup content, subscribe to my weekly newsletter.