By the time January 1 rolls around, thoughts turn to paring down, whether it be shedding those holiday pounds, vowing to spend less or tackling those boxes in the garage to purge what you no longer use. These resolutions follow a season of over-indulgence, so, it’s no surprise that many people commit to finding ways to streamline their lives. This idea is not just relegated to the start of a new year, but has become a movement that follows the fundamental principles of minimalism: keeping things simple and removing things that act as a distraction so we can lead richer, more productive lives.
Though minimalism has its roots in art, the concept of simplicity has been adapted from everything from aircraft design (it was an engineer who reportedly coined the term, “Keep It Simple Stupid”) to fashion (Coco Chanel quipped, “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”). Even a How-To book about tidying up made the NYT best-sellers list. This lifestyle has become aspirational as we seek out the most efficient solutions for our day-to-day lives, including how we function professionally. What tools can we employ that help us get things done without distraction?
The Best Technology Sometimes Isn’t
For many of us, the day starts with the humble To Do list and the most reliable tool is a quality notepad, such as one by Rhodia, to jot down notes, sketch thoughts and ideas. Those iconic orange and black notebooks have been in the back pockets, briefcases, and handbags of thinkers and doers since 1934. The smooth paper creates a quality writing experience so ideas can be captured effortlessly, flowing freely from head to hand to paper. However, as romantic the notion is of sitting in a small café and drafting a proposal or legal diagram, in comes the reality of modern life where deadlines loom— as does that meeting across town—and your colleague or editor needs to review and edit your work ASAP.
While a laptop is often the quick fix, it doesn’t allow the same freedom and spontaneity of ideas as the beloved pen and paper. Drawing and sketching on a computer is limited and it can be tempting to use its other functionality as a distraction. Additionally, research suggests that handwriting, versus typing on a keyboard, allows for greater memory retention and comprehension. The soothing feeling of pen gliding over paper isn’t just preferred in a tactile sense, but serves a practical purpose as well.
Ideas to Go
So how can merge the benefits of handwriting with the technology we need to manage in a mobile world? In comes the Bamboo smartpad. Write as you would normally with pen on paper and save your work digitally. With its pressure-sensitive surface area, the smartpad captures what you write on paper and with the touch of a button, saves your files digitally so you can access, edit and share your work on your smartphone or tablet anytime, anywhere.
With a slew of compatible apps, such as Bamboo Paper, you can make the most of your work including annotating images and editing content with color mark ups. Inkspace, Wacom’s cloud solution, is fully integrated into Bamboo smartpads so you can enhance your work further and convert handwriting to text, easily search for words or phrases, mark up documents and even turn drawings into scalable vector files. Once you’ve captured what you want to save, simply press the button on the smartpad and it automatically saves your file, up to 100 pages of work. Once it’s synced with your tablet or smartphone, you can organize, edit and share your notes and sketches.
There are two styles of Bamboo smartpads: the Bamboo Folio, which comes with an integrated cover and the Bamboo Slate, which does not. Both are available in A5 and A4 sizes which accommodate any half- or full-page notepads and pair well with Rhodia graph, line, dots or plain paper. The accompanying refillable pen works just like a regular ballpoint pen so you get a natural handwriting experience.
Our resolutions may come and go, but adopting a minimalist approach to our lives can start anytime. Paring a Rhodia notebook with a Bamboo Folio and Bamboo Slate offers a simple solution, so you can capture, shape and share your ideas easily without sacrificing output. Choose tools that enhance productivity without distraction and you may just find that paring down can actually help you create more.