Learning today is chaotic. There’s always a new app for note-taking, Smart pens, and the inspirational Moleskine.
To me, both digital and paper worlds are all one stream of productivity. I typically use pen and paper to brainstorm and mind map. I love the freedom of just quickly dumping thoughts on paper and then finding a web of connections between them.
Once I establish an understanding of the big picture I start to synthesize those ideas onto my computer where they get styled and formalized so that others can comprehend them.
I also love the feeling of feeling of crumpling up that piece of paper, assuming it’s loose leaf, and tossing it. Knowing that it’s permanently digitized is gratifying.
There are moments of course when time is running short and I’ll just snap a picture of my notes and import that image into Evernote. It always helps to see how visually I came to a solution anyway.
The best notebook is the one you have with you. As a rule of thumb, you should use whatever tool is closest: pen, paper, iPhone, PC.
As previously noted, I generally like to create a hands on mess and then progress to clean it up in final digital format.
The 21st century working process requires flexibility and skill in different formats which if you’re open to it make you more a versatile learner and doer.