11th December: Stationery

12th December: Creative Arts
10th December: My Team

11 DECEMBER 2015


Computers were said to terminate the need for paper, however unlike the predictions from various strange cults around the world, the global stationery market decided that the end was not nigh and has been steadily increasing every year: it is forecast to exceed $226 billion by 2020*. The fact that filing products is one of three projected high growth segments is both satisfying and scary (see 05th December Daily Gratitude).

I am extremely grateful to stationery in all its forms. As a child, I coveted my gifts of pretty Hello Kitty notepads and collected erasers and smelly stickers. I am thankful to the trees where the numerous A4 paper pads derived from, which enabled me to spend hours and hours designing fashion and rather weirdly I have to admit, creating road plans complete with houses, supermarkets and car-park spaces. Plus, writing lots of stories.

Growing up, I was less enthusiastic about thank you cards (or notelets as they were called then) as this meant the chore of having to craft interesting messages to people that I did not really know for the Christmas gifts that I was not sure what to do with (often the present was the notelets themselves!). However, I do agree with Sir Richard Branson** that my parent’s insistence on this practice has stood me in good stead for adult life. Writing formal thank you cards is something that I am renowned for… and hey, maybe these Daily Gratitudes now too!

If you have attended one of my workshops or training events, you will already be aware that taking notes with a pen and paper is the brain-friendly way to enable learning and retain new information. Results from neuroscience studies highlight that writing with a pen and paper effectively encourages the brain to slow down, do more work and think, thereby using more neural connections. This leads to a greater understanding of the topic, application and ability for future recall. Other research cites pen-writing benefits of stress-relief and creativity which are not generally found through typing. Ouch! Thank you, stationery.

*Source: Global Industry Analysts, USA

**Half of today’s teenagers have never written a thank you card and one in ten do not own a pen, according to research from BIC, featured on Sir Richard Branson’s blog.