In this technological age I often wonder if paper will become a thing of the past. This would seem to  be good news for trees, and I’m all for that. We have our phones after all – those ever-present devices which enable us to do everything from keeping in touch with our friends and families, to holding all our notes and documents, and even managing our diaries. (At the charity where I work, I must say that since we all went onto online calendars, our sense of team and overall efficiency has definitely improved.) Even the books that we read, both fact and fiction, are becoming a thing of the past – easily and efficiently replaced by a Kindle. No more rows of encyclopaedias clogging up the shelves – just go onto Wiki! And why would we print photographs when we can so easily view and share them digitally? We can back them up as well. Many say that the family photos are the thing they would grab if there was a house fire. Well, now we can simply head for the door as fast as we can with no further concern!

Yet however much this all makes sense of the practical considerations of life, for me there is something that doesn’t feel quite right about it. And I mean feel! I like to fill my calendars with colour. It puts a different perspective on the happenings of life. A dull week feels so much brighter if you edge the pages with a colourful washi tape (or two). I know you can colour the different strands in the online calendar, and I know that online calendars have their advantages. I have a few myself! But they are in no way a substitute for the versatile substance-rich, evocative thing that is paper! Having it all on a screen just isn’t the same as the therapeutic cutting and sticking and layering of images that makes my planner, journals and scrapbooks a colourful montage of all that is good about life.

For me the images are part of who I am as a multi-sensory, touchie, feelie human being living life in all its fullness! A digital photo is all very well, but I want to surround it with images and textures that honour the reality of that person, or moment or place. In other words, the significance and the sheer vitality represented by the image is brought out onto the page by the things you put around it.

So I for one will keep my A5 paper planner with a double spread for each week of the year. I will fill it with notes, appointments and all the quotes and images I fancy to keep me celebrating the good times and holding steady through the challenges. I will persist in printing out some of my photographs and sticking them into my journal or scrapbook with all the embellishments that seem appropriate. I will continue to read actual books, particularly old ones with their beautiful balance as you hold them in the hands and savour their evocative smell: I am a physical being with different senses that engage in different ways with the world around me. For me, living out of that reality means that paper is here to stay.

So I’m just off to make my planner for 2019 – I started making my own 8 years ago as I couldn’t buy one that really suited me. I’ll post a video when it’s nearing completion. In the meantime, I’ve put a few of my hand-made scrapbook journals and mini notebooks on Etsy. If you or anyone you know would like one for Christmas, feel free. They are all unique, so make sure you’re first in the queue for the one(s) you want! (See below for a brief flip-through of them all.)

With apologies to the trees and a commitment to using recycled paper whenever I can, bring on the next journal!

Why Paper is important

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