This isn’t a campaign against schools’ repetitive handwriting-based punishments, nor against linear markings of any kind as such – they have their uses, keeping traffic apart on roads, for example. No the lines I’m referring to are on paper.
When learning to write we had lined paper of course to keep us on the straight and narrow, to keep our exercise books tidy and stop the words flowing across the page like the Yorkshire Dales, but they naturally limit how much can fit on a page and how you can organise blocks of text.
I prefer to use plain paper notebooks now for writing notes.
At work I have an A5 plain-paper notebook and on each page I write things to do, notes when someone rings about something I need to find out for them etc and I have found that I can fit far more on each page this way, even appending information into a blank space to the right, or draw a fenced-off area in a blank space and write a small reminder or some other such snippet or list in it and not lose it. When a page is full any outstanding items are copied to the top of the next blank page and the process repeats. The bonus is that the information is retained in the book, unlike using post-it notes or scrap paper which gets lost or thrown away ten minutes before somebody asks if you’ve still got the information and you need to start sorting through a thousand paper balls and used tea bags.
For this blog I use a similar system but instead of a notebook I use a grey and green suede A5 six-ring binder that’s a nice addition to the desk and loose leaf paper that is removed and binned as soon as the notes are transferred to Evernote. I found I needed to do it this way as I usually think of things to write about when the computers aren’t on and I can’t risk that by the time I’ve started either of them up and then Evernote that I’ll have forgotten what I was going to… erm.. oh yes, say.