One of the most rampant axioms in journalism is that every writer, budding or old, must keep a personal notebook. This Axiom is further stressed by Jack London, who said; every writer must sleep, eat, and travel with a notebook and have it on their person at all times.

While this may seem like a far-fetched idea, as our current society is driven by technology and the internet, it there is real value in keeping a handwritten journal on hand. Some might even argue that Jack London didn’t have the internet and the plethora of helpful journaling tools that are available on the internet today. But it’s wise advice nonetheless.

Even with OneNote, Microsoft Word, and Google docs, many journalists still go around with notebooks, padfolios, or journals. This has inspired a debate between the deep-rooted journalists who fancy the old-bulky portfolios and the budding journalist who prefers typing to handwritten journaling.

While we cannot deny the advantages that computer-based journalism holds over the conventional pen and paper, handwritten journaling holds a lot of benefit for the modern writer. But it does beg the question: Why use a handwritten journal instead of a computer?

  1. It can bolster perspective
    One of the most debated areas of concern of handwritten journaling is how it slows you down. As most people are faster on the keyboard than they are with pen and paper, handwritten journaling is thought out to be a much slower alternative to typing. Let’s be honest, it’s true. There is real value in having to slow down while you write. The practice of not flying through your thoughts with typing but having to write everything down gives you perspective. You need to sit with your thoughts and consider them while you’re writing. Writing may force you to slow down, but it also forces you to concentrate on the important details of whatever it is you’re writing about. The very act of putting what you have down on paper will open up your mind to focus on the important details of your work, thus making it more informed and genuinely deeper in nature.
  2. Strengthens conceptual understanding 
    Because of the stress and inconvenience associated with handwritten journaling, most people think deep and hard before writing in their journals. At the end of the day, the constant need to summarize information before putting them down on paper will strengthen your conceptual understanding. This allows you to process information with heightened precision and speed.
  3. Effective memory recall
    No doubt, writing is more tedious than typing, but it offers a lot of advantages in terms of long and short-term memory recall. When you make notes by hand, your brain will create mental cues to help you recreate the content or context of the handwritten information.


If you are looking for a more hands-on writing material to record your meetings and lectures, using leather padfolios like these or finding a durable journal are an ideal addition for you. I encourage you to start writing down what’s on your mind by hand and taking the time to digest it. It may lead to awareness of things you weren’t aware of about yourself.