Tools are important. Taking time to choose the right tools shows your veneration for your ideas and your respect for the process involved in bringing those ideas to reality. Analog tools are tools that do not require any high-tech procedure or circuitry to function. They are simple tools that require the user to work without any processing involved.Digital tools are the exact opposite. They are programs, websites or online resources that can make tasks easier to complete. A lot of these can be accessed in web browsers without needing to be downloaded, and you can access them both at home and in work.

From pens (fountain pens, ink pens, ball-point pens), pencils, notebooks and sticky notes, analog writing tools have garnered a lot of popularity. Personally, receiving a handwritten note creates a unique personal feel than receiving a thank you via SMS, and E-mail and it holds more sentimental value.

Why are analog tools more appealing?

It may also be that the more digitized we become, the more we might crave having analog tools to express ourselves. In spite of the fast pace of digitization, why have analog tools stuck this long?

  1. They are more physical: This makes them more appealing to many people. The feeling you get from putting a pen to paper cannot be equated with or compared to running your finger over a phone or tablet screen. It is more physical, more tactile, and more precise in other cases.
  2. It provides a positive outlet to disconnect or escape from the fast-paced digital world. Some digital devices are full of ‘distraction potential’. There are pop-ups, notifications, E-mails, catchy icons, etc. There is now such a thing as ‘e-mail anxiety’ and it gets more challenging to detach ourselves from work and other engagements.
  3. It serves to provide brain exercise and improve memorization. We easily recall handwritten notes than typed notes. This is why the probability of remembering what was taught after a class if you were taking notes is way higher than if you did not write.

In addition to their feel, they serve other important functions that have an advantage over digital tools depending on your point of view or external circumstances. For example, in some parts of Nigeria where electricity supply may not be so constant and internet connection is not free or may not be as strong, we may not always have access to digital tools. This makes it hard to replace a pen or pencil and paper or notepad. It may not always be convenient to carry them about, but it is comforting to have another option.

What is the relationship between these two tools?

Since traditional methods of marketing are fast becoming archaic, business owners that make and/or sell analog tools to a very large extent depend on digital tools to market their products, drive sales, carry out brand awareness and reach their customers. Companies that produce analog tools have Facebook Business pages, digital communities, email lists, blog posts, etc. that aid their marketing and value proposition. The internet helps them with their market research as well as to identify and locate those individuals that rely on analog tools like notebooks, etc. to assist in their daily lives, fulfill tasks and perform certain roles. Thus, the relationship between the two of them can be said to be a symbiotic one.

In spite of the fast paced, headlong dive into digitalization, analog tool sellers and manufacturers remain confident of the future of these tools.

There will always be digital junkies who rush to acquire digital tools as they emerge but there will also be an equally large number of people who still like to keep things simple.

What analog tool holds a special place in your heart and could never be replaced by a digital tool?


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