With more than 12 million consumers surveyed annually, the NPD Group definitely has their finger on the pulse of what’s selling. This organization says that a general move from digital back to paper has caused an 18% spike in the purchase of paper products like notebooks, pushing that revenue figure above the $210 million-mark last year. It’s also caused a 17% jump in – you guessed it – color markers and pens.
It’s good news for people in the industries that manufacture these supplies, but the question on everybody’s mind is, what’s going on, here? Video killed the radio star. Weren’t laptops, tablets, and mobile devices supposed to kill paper?
It turns out that we actually benefit more by committing our thoughts to paper than we do by typing or tapping them on a digital screen. Psychologists liken it to practicing yoga. It’s more than just a move or a pose. It’s an attitude and attention about what’s going on with the body.
The physical act of writing makes you think deeper about your goals and action. You’ll take a moment longer to crystallize your thought before writing it. Whether you’re a high school student taking notes in a history class or a CEO looking at the pros and cons of an acquisition, you’re concentrating at a deeper level.
There’s even a psychological study from the universities of Austin and Syracuse suggesting that the physical act of journaling can even help to boost your immune system. Good mental and physical health, just by pushing that pen across the paper.
The Search for Authenticity
Leave it to the youngest generations to lead us back to where we started. Millennials and those even younger – the kids in school right now – are migrating back to paper. The biggest reason, they say, is that checking off a box with a pen is far more satisfying than tapping a piece of glass. Even more intriguing is that many younger consumers are saying that paper has soul. You can touch it and feel it. It was once living, so what you write on it deserves to be captured and preserved. That’s pretty much how older generations have looked at paper and journals and diaries. They’re simple, dependable, and authentic. And regardless of your age, you don’t have to figure out how it works.
This might be all about a return to the analog side of the written word in schools, as well as in business. But first, enter the hashtag #BuJo into your Instagram or Pinterest account. You’ll see that one of the biggest drivers of this paper writing product renaissance is the Bullet Journal.
You can use loose-leaf papers in a binder, or you can spend the big bucks on a Moleskine (which has seen a 13% increase in revenue). It’s what you write that counts.
The main idea behind bullet journaling is that you jot down quick notes instead of writing long sentences. If you’re taking class notes in school, you’ll write short phrases, but you’ll mark them up with a series of simple symbols that make it easy to find, categorize, and act on what you’ve written.
Best yet, it’s this interesting intersection between a to-do list, a planner, a diary, and note-taking. All of these activities stay front and center this way. Students share their bullet journal pages online, often adding that switching to paper has increased their performance in school.
We’ve been supporting education institutions with custom plastic folders, envelopes, pouches, and sleeves throughout the four decades we’ve been in business. Both schools and students appreciate the flexibility of our products, which can be customized with colors, finish, adhesive backing, debossing, and even a variety of hardware enclosures.
Find out how our vinyl and plastic products can enhance and nurture your customers’ new love affair with all things paper.