Despite the widespread availability of notepad apps for tablets and smartphones, 91% of people still attend meetings armed with a pen and paper, according to a survey by stationery brand Rhodia.
The Rhodia Art of Writing survey highlights the enduring appeal of handwritten notes in the office and in the home. Three quarters of survey respondents still write shopping lists in the traditional manner, with just one in four using a smartphone or tablet; and 78% still keep to-do lists on paper. One area where digital has caught up is in the recording of appointments in diaries. Today, almost as many respondents (46%) use a tablet/smartphone for this purpose as use a paper diary (49%).
Rhodia points out that the education sector has had to find the right balance when utilising technology. Smartphones and tablets can be useful learning tools in the classroom but they can also be a distraction.
Following a 2015 study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which found that the performance of students improved once smartphones were banned, more and more schools are introducing bans on mobiles. Some schools are attempting to counter the effect of technology on handwriting by reintroducing the compulsory use of fountain pens.
There is also evidence that people are turning their backs on e-readers and going back to the printed book. Last year Waterstones, the UK’s largest book retailer, decided to remove Amazon’s Kindle e-readers from its stores and use the space to display books instead. According to the Office for National Statistics, since 2008 sales of printed publications and books have risen by an average of 8.6% each year.