Jeremy Wagstaff has posted some quotes I’d sent about paper, notebooks, and the Moleskine phenomenon. Although I hadn’t intended it as an actual essay, it more or less works together.
On the continuing desire for PDAs:
There’s still a desire and a market out there for PDAs—particularly when they’re well integrated with your mobile phone, like on the Treos. The problem is that there’s a practical limit to how many little boxes you can lug around everywhere. Since the iPod has caught on, I think digital music players have displaced a lot of folks’ PDAs from that coveted number two spot (right after mobile phones, of course). Carrying more than two or three digital devices requires either a bag or a relaxed disposition about looking like a bit of a dork.
On the notebook habit:
People are sometimes surprised at how quickly they adapt to the habit of carrying a notebook—they really start relying on it and very much notice (and curse) the times when there’s no paper around to capture an idea or a reminder. I think that, after a week or two, your mind sort of loosens up since you know there’s always something there to catch thoughts while they’re fresh.
Jeremy has several posts on the subject this week, so browse around.