I’m trying something a little different this week: a digital detox.
Now, don’t get too excited: this won’t include any dramatic statements of intent, or full-on tech free days during which I hold hands with my non-existent children and sit on the beachfront with the wind in my hair. For one thing, it’s blowing a full-on hoolie out there and for another… I have a job, and would quite like to still have one by the end of this week.
But I’m waking up later and later each morning, while the pile of clean clothes at the bottom of the bed and to-be-read books next to it grow ever more precarious. I’m always working – always reading – and so I need to set myself an arbitrary target.
If bedtime is 10:30pm (ha!), then tech switch-off is 9pm.
The first night I missed my deadline by 20 minutes – five of which were because I was announcing it on social media – but my intentions were pure.
So, what do I plan to do in the meantime?
Well, tidy up a little – perhaps I’ll finally hang that song lyric bunting in the bedroom, sort through my hair accessories and match clothes back to coathangers. Read more: I set myself a woeful 30-book target on Goodreads for this year, and yet I’m still underperforming (serves me right for giving The Goldfinch a go, WILL IT EVER END). And write in my journal – it’s where my more interesting posts begin after all.
Scottish entrepreneur Kirsty Mac shares my love of both stationery and technology, and my interest in the way that the two can be combined as what is effectively a mindfulness tool. Tech Meets Paper is an innovative new “augmented reality” stationery brand which combines beautiful, functional stationery with concentration and coaching apps. Sounds pretty abstract, but Kirsty has already raised £3,500 to support its development on Indiegogo.
Now, I use my iPhone as a productivity tool – whether it’s my multiple colour-coded calendars, using Evernote to sync live music reviews and on-the-go blog rants between devices or my use of Pomodoro to keep me on track at the day job or when I have a deadline to meet. But, as Kirsty says in a campaign video which instantly won me over to the brand, sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than writing out a list in a beautiful notebook and crossing off each task as it’s done. Plus their signature notebook is made “concertina” style meaning that you can start it in three different places: it’s almost like they knew I had a day job, some freelancin’ and a blog to manage.
A stationery addict from a young age who grew up to be a life coach, Kirsty describes Tech Meets Paper as the culmination of a lifelong dream. The notebooks were developed after months of hands-on research and work with focus groups, designers and printers. The apps promise to “get to know you and your needs” and work in tandem with the stationery, providing inspirational quotes, meditative videos and audio tracks to help realign focus when most needed and – just as important – remind you when to take breaks.
The physical products will be available before Christmas, although I believe you can already pick up the notebooks at Wear Eponymous in Buchanan Galleries. The plan is to have the apps ready on both the iOS and Android platforms by the end of the year.
I’m ridiculously excited about Tech Meets Paper – particularly because of its Scottish roots – and I hope you will be too.
Fancy finding out more? Kirsty will be hosting two Periscope webinars this week: today at 7:30pm and again on Thursday, 12th November at 1pm – follow her @kirstymacs.
More Tech Meets Paper: Indiegogo | Twitter