Does anyone need a £2k laptop and a £12 notebook?

Creating complex communications

A freelancer popped in to work with us recently. He’d barely taken off his coat when he saw my Mac and asked: “You’re a writer, what do you need that for?” He continued: “My laptop cost me £200 and it has all the functionality you could possibly need as a writer. You’ve just paid extra for a shiny box.”

Well, that was me told.

But it did make me think about why I use the tools I use – and whether they make my work any better. Do I write better because I have a Mac laptop? Do my expensive Moleskine notebooks help me to think better?

I’ve used PCs once or twice in the past – on projects where the materials being created were so sensitive we had to use laptops and VPN systems provided by our clients.

I didn’t like them. The raised plastic keys rattly-clicked as I wrote. The laptops were heavy to carry and nasty to look at. And of course, I’ve used other types of notebooks and pens. But none give me the satisfaction of letting ink flow across the smooth pages of a Moleskine, with its round-cornered pages.

I spend hours and hours of my life pouring thoughts into words. And they’re hours I’d like to be as pleasant as possible.

So for now, I’m hanging on to my shiny box. And my Moleskines. And my fountain pens. I like them and they make me happy. And surely, that has to have an impact on the quality of work I produce.