I write a lot of things down at work. I’m in a lot of meetings, I lead a team of 15 developers that are all working on different projects, and our team juggles the technicalities and mechanics of over three dozen different applications.

I’m completely reliant on my personal knowledgebase, or in the newer vernacular, my second brain.

I tend to remember written notes versus typed notes. I usually end up writing notes and then typing them into a searchable interface along the lines of Microsoft OneNote or even plain text documents, but it’s the handwriting activity that’s locking data into some sort of memory in my cluttered brain.

I’ve tried writing my notes using my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil directly into Microsoft OneNote, and the practice is a bit more efficient, but I don’t enjoy writing on my iPad Pro with my Apple Pencil nearly as much as using a good quality gel pen and a decent notebook. I prefer a dot grid over lined paper and I alternate between blue and black ink gel pens.

I was reading social media comments around the fact that many schools are no longer teaching cursive writing to students. It’s a shame to see the practice become a lost art, but students still need to learn how to write, and as you can see by my own penmanship shown above, it’s more about writing for legibility and efficiency, and if a student is writing in printed letters instead of using cursive, well, at least they’re writing.

One comment noted that most Gen Zers won’t know how to sign documents because without cursive they won’t have a signature, but there’s nothing that says a person’s signature has to be in cursive. A person’s signature has to be a consistent, understood mark of a person’s identity. There’s no rule in a book somewhere that says it has to be in cursive. I know a lot of folks that have beautiful signatures. My mother, both my grandmothers, and especially my sister have or had impressive signatures. My signature is functional and legible. I’ve seen plenty of young adults scrawl a bunch of lines as their signature and I know more than one person that’s just put an X or something close that on the dotted line. An impressive signature dazzles at times, but as long as the younger generation maintains the ability to hold a pencil or pen and make legible marks on a piece of paper (or slab of silicon), the world isn’t going to fall apart.

I still can’t get used to writing large amounts of information on an iPad Pro. Let’s hope pen and paper don’t go extinct.