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November 13, 2013


Joel Millican

For me, going all digital can be highly efficient. Meeting notes can be tagged, filed and rapidly searched and found and distributed. I had a boss who told me to quit taking notes on paper for that reason. I get it. There is something different that happens, though, when you put pen to paper. You can't write as fast as you type, so your mind has more time to think and process. When I'm writing on paper, whether it's my journal, which has been and will always remain paper and ink, or meeting notes, I see things differently. There is a creative element that surfaces. It is playful and at times has a spark of genius. Why would you want to give that up?

Theron Johm

I'm mostly a paper person. I can't read a book on a Kindle. I have to be able to make notes and highlight in most books. I do have some special books that I don't mark up, but they are still paper. So count me an old paper guy and keep making the great paper products you offer.

Kim Burdick

Go for it. I always ask people like that why they are trying to put the tree farmers out of business!

Kim Burdick
Stanton, Delaware

Marc Newman

I like the mix of both...at a recent conference in Boca, we were urged to write ten notes a week...I use your great 4 x 6 cards with both personal and business addresses...I love my pocket briefcase, 3 x 5's and the little wallet size as well...the feel of paper is wonderful, as is a book when you can afford the weight, but like you, the assortment of Apple devices enhances my ability to read, even on the subway. I love my fountain pens and fiber tip "roller ball" pen, and my new Stealth with stylus is a thing of beauty and a joy forever...Levenger Circa notebooks let me keep information together in my own unique filing system...thanks for keeping me well supplied.

Jackie Kampe

I'll add my "amen" to this Steve: " The Paperfull, on the other hand, have an awakened appreciation for what a marvelous technology paper is." I want to die with a pen in one hand and a piece of velvety smooth Levenger paper or card stock in my other hand!

Lynn Thompson

This LOGHL (Little Old Grey-Haired Lady) is with you all the way. I stand firmly astride the line that divides Paperfull-ers and Paperless-ers, one foot on one side, the other foot on the other. Love them both, use them both, the Paperfulls and the Paperless.
Excuse me, I must quickly get to my iPad…I hear it pinging, which means it's my 3-1/2-year old great-granddaughter calling me to FaceTime with her!

Pamela Tallmadge

I love the feel of paper, the physical book, and the handwritten letter. I also love the convenience of e-mail and the ability to write and edit on a computer. For me, the shelves of books, the journals, and the stationery provide a mindfulness to my days.

Jonathan Gordon

I too find myself constantly trying to balance bits versus atoms. I bought a Kindle. It is very nice. And yet I still go to our local independent book store to purchase paper. I can't help myself. Every morning I bring up my digital calendar and then copy the appointments to my Circa notebook.

I heard that knitting is making a comeback even though people can purchase a knitted pair of gloves made overseas for a few dollars. I think it's the same idea. People want to physically connect more than ever to balance the onslaught of electronics that can overwhelm our senses.

Claire Phillips

I straddle both worlds. I love the paperless route (especially my computer and smart phone) but find I can process longer, complex or more detailed information better if I am looking at a paper printout. While emails are quicker, a hand written note says the sender has taken the time to pick out a card and put their thoughts on paper. It is more effort to be sure (especially since you can't backspace when writing), but I still love handwritten cards and letters. As for books, I have both virtual and "real" books. I read extensively. E-books allow me to read and collect more extensivley with the option to delete some book when I'm through with them. Select titles that really speak to me are purchased to keep in my private library. Both options allow me to keep/read without carving out large spaces to house it all. All that being said, there is room for both and I hope the art of handwriting is never lost.


You left us hanging! It's now November 15 and the last entry in the journal pictured above was made on July 23. So, what happened after Ray and Diane moved back to Atlanta? Or, did they?


PS. Keyboards and other gizmos are wonderfully efficient, but I still love fountain pens, paper, and Levenger products.

Lynn Buchanan

Last night we were talking about this. My wife's computer had a glitch. She lost several months of checkbook data, not on the backup either.

I print out each month's important stuff like bank book pages and my flying log book, then put the PAPER in a file cabinet. Also my web page adventures are great, but there are more adventures on paper with a cover on it.

Amit Y.

I am, by far, one of the paperfuls. I just think that the sound of the nib touching the high quality paper is something that even the tic-tac of fingers on keyboard cannot equal.
When I take notes in meetings, it is in a Rhodia Webbie or in a Moleskine notebook. I then tag my notebooks the old-fashioned way (i.e. mark them with numbers, and note the start and end date of each notebook), and write a personal, hand written note whenever appropriate (and sometimes, let's admit, even when it not).

I other words: Paper rocks!

Dennis Fullalove

I am also one who has one foot in the paperfull and one in the paperless. Digital tools allow me to analyze and reshape the information efficiently and effectively. Paper, for me, has the sense of permanence and thoughtfulness. I do mindmaps on the computer, but I prefer to use the large sheet of paper with the multiple color pens and really think through a problem through drawing mindmaps. I love to write paper notes and letters. Everyone who has received one has commented on it and thanked me for the kindness.

roberta lang

Horse breeder-indeed! Then you have a stable full of beautiful horses, as Levenger keeps us supplied with the best Paperfull products in the world. I find speed and efficiency in technology and sacredness in paper. Timeless thinking comes through taking time...the time to wonder, process, create and write. This can be accomplished through both Paperless and Paperfull, as each has its place. I love sending and receiving a thoughtful handwritten note from loved ones, it shows care and time spent in a loving way. AND I appreciate the fact that without Facetime, my granddaughters might not know me the way that they do...we live far apart, and without technology, we would be forced to get to know each other with each visit. There is great beauty in holding and reading a good book. Technology has freed me from carrying two when I travel.
Clearly, the world is a better place for both the Paperless and the Paperfull.

Rus Stolling

I refer you all to the recent article "Why The Brain Prefers Paper", Scientific American, Nov. 2013, pages 49-53.
Get it on paper at your favorite magazine display (or library!); or,if you insist, on the net at www.ScientificAmerican.com

Susan Young

If it is temporary--electronic. The really important stuff--paper. Decades ago, when using a typewriter to produce the "perfect final copy," I composed, revised, and edited by hand, then typed the final draft. Today, when I want a special final copy, I use electronics to compose, revise, and edit. Then I get out my best paper and temporarily fix it over a lined guide sheet on my light box. Next, I select my favorite ink and pen. Standing over the light box, I carefully copy the document by hand.

Steve Leveen

Dear Roberta,

Marvelous. I love your balanced appreciation and your use of the word sacredness.

Rus, yes, I've begun reading the Scientific American article (in paper) and want to get back to it. Thanks for mentioning. And Susan, I remember my grandfather using such a light box but alas, it's been lost in all the moves. Glad you're carrying on the tradition.

My best to you all,


John Burbury

I agree with all that you said. I belong to a fraternal organization, and there are those who wish to eliminate all paper communications, but I welcome receiving something I can hold and feel. There always feels like there is a certain permanance to something on paper, that does not go away. Even though Levenger has a significant presence on the web, I still enjoy the look and touch of receiving your catalogs, and frequently order online after seeing it presented in the catalog. Thanks for sharing.

David Neal

I like that digital will replace bad paper, that high-acid content stuff that has fallen apart in my library. My wife loves being able to carry a library around on her kindle. I also like that handmade paper is becoming more common, as the bad stuff disappears. And real sewn signatures as bookmaking is re-discovered.

All that said, I can create a digital thing with artwork by early 20th century artists that will be hard to find in print. And animate them, so digital is really cool. But I have the original books also.

Steven Finell

Then why are all you Paperfuls extolling paper's virtues HERE, digitally in cyberspace, in response to a blog post (which Paperful Steve Leveen posted HERE), where only those who pursue digital information on the World Wide Web can read it? Why aren't you all communicating amongst yourselves by writing with a handsome fountain pen on tactilely pleasing note paper (preferably engraved), and sent by mail (preferably in a hand-addressed envelope, for that personal touch)?

Why doesn't Steve ditch this blog and replace it with a with a handsomely printed newsletter, which he can mail to his free subscribers? To pay for the postage and printing, he can give up this website--which costs a bundle to maintain--and go back to conventional mail order. Mail order worked just fine before the Internet, so it should work just as well today.

Supporting the Paperful viewpoint, on the other hand, Steve could have pointed out that the printing press--the old kind that prints only on paper--took first place on the innovations survey. So the printing press-paper duo really trounced the Internet.

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