Opinion

Why one social media marketer's secret work weapon is a notebook and pen

Paul Beadle, head of social media and digital communications, Nationwide Building Society explains why the simplicity of pen and pad beats iPads and laptops.

I’m old school. I started off as a journalist, so it’s second nature to take notes, compile lists and draw up strategy diagrams. Not only is it an important record, but it helps with data-retention as well.

I don’t have shorthand, but a colleague does. I envy his secret code.

Given my role, I suppose I should embrace new technology for note-keeping, but I hate going to meetings where everyone is plugged in to their iPads or laptops. It’s particularly disconcerting in one-to-one meetings (IT vendors are the worst), where people don’t maintain eye-contact because they keep on looking down at their keyboards. Are they really taking notes or checking out their social status? Remember the MP caught playing games in a committee meeting?

I also don’t think new technology has yet beaten the beautiful simplicity of book and pen for note-keeping.

Finally, there’s the David Brent factor. Nobody questions you when you walk about the office with a notebook – clearly you’re working. But if you head out of the door with an iPad in your hand (or, worse still, claim to be taking notes on your phone), there’s always going to be that seed of doubt – are they really off to play Candy Crush in the canteen?