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This question is incredibly important to me because I am currently working as a product designer at Craft Docs. Craft is an innovative app that enables users to write documents, manage daily notes, and stay on top of tasks. With Craft, creativity and productivity go hand in hand.

I have always considered traditional notepads to be the main competitors of any document app. Despite technological advancements, many people still rely on notepads for their day-to-day tasks. You may even have a notepad next to your laptop right now, whether filled with doodles or neatly organised notes you cherish.

But why are people still using notepads, and why sometimes hand drawing experience might be good for you?

Cognitive Offloading

Accessing a device can be complicated and time-consuming, especially when jotting down information quickly. With electronic devices, you must unlock it, check the battery, find the app, create a new note, type, and save it. If you need to reaccess the information, you must go through the process repeatedly.

In contrast, using a simple, low-tech device like an analogue notepad is more efficient. You can open it and start writing without any additional steps. There’s no need for Wi-Fi, no extra costs for new pages, no charging required, and no need for unlocking. An analogue notepad provides a reliable and easily accessible way to take notes on the go, effectively offloading cognitive tasks from our brains.

To make the process smoother, it’s essential to make use of native functions that the platform allows. Supporting iOS widgets for quick access or a lock screen widget can greatly improve user retention. By reducing the number of steps required to create a new note, you can make the user experience more seamless and efficient.

Processing and Conceptual Learning

Let’s imaging that you start taking a note inside your notepad. There are no restrictions — you can draw, write, or combine both in any way you like. The only limit is your imagination, which is why creating in notepad can be so enjoyable. No one tells you which font to use or where to write, giving you complete freedom to express yourself.

Learning researchers suggest that writing by hand can lead to better retention and understanding of information compared to typing. When you write by hand, you are forced to slow down and process the information more deeply, which can lead to better memory and comprehension. This is in contrast to typing, where the information may simply flow from your ears to your fingers without much thought or processing in between.

To further enhance this experience, app developers can create tools that provide a similar tactile and creative experience as handwriting. For example, the new Apple Pencil is a powerful tool that can be used for thinking and exploring ideas in a more natural way. Additionally, features like digital whiteboard offer a blank canvas for free-thinking, allowing for more creative freedom and less structured constraints. By incorporating these tools into digital platforms, users can benefit from the cognitive advantages of handwriting while still utilizing the convenience of technology.


In conclusion, while technology continues to advance, we have not reached a point where low-tech devices like analogue notepads are obsolete for studying and creating. Our software programs are not yet efficient enough to completely replace the need for longhand note-taking. Therefore, it is essential to continue developing and enhancing software that helps individuals’ creative abilities to capture content, actively participate in creating, and increase their creative capacity. There is still room for growth and improvement in this area.


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Why do people still use notepads? was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.