Used pencils

Two HB pencils. One is two short to use comfortably. The other is a couple of sharpens away from being in the same state

It’s quite satisfying use a pencil till it’s too short to hold comfortably. The longer one is just hanging in there. The shorter one is going into my nerdy work caddy for those “where the hell is my pen” moments.

I lose pens all the time but I tend to hold on to pencils so that’s generally what I have at hand when I’m writing notes in meetings, making lists, and drawing diagrams.

I pretty much always use paper for those kinds of tasks. As a computer enthusiast I’ve experimented with all sorts of digital systems for notes (Google Keep, Notes on my phone, text files, google docs), lists (Trello, spreadsheets) and diagrams Miro, Paint, Lucid Chart) but nothing works as well, especially for capturing and doing first & second drafts as an analogue system.

I was very heartened to find on Austin Kleon’s blog, a talk by Clive Thompson on pencils and keyboards, where suggested my preference for analogue is the best way for planning and for retaining information.

Thompson talks about getting obsessed with fancy pencils. I tried one of those Palaminos – it was a nice pencil but not that much nicer than a bog standard HB from Staedtler.

Fancy keyboards, though, I am on board with. Thompson notes that for smashing things out, typing is the way to go. As the owner of a particularly obnoxious mechanical keyboard this is a cargo cult I’m happy to be a part of.