Touch it, write it, make it matter
Let me begin with complete disclosure. I'm a big believer in the Microsoft Outlook calendar. I use it to record virtually everything on my agenda. So, I was interested and slightly provoked by a study that has been published recently by researchers at Columbia Business School, Drexel University and California State University. Researchers at these venerated institutions have determined that what I am doing isn't necessarily the best approach to planning. It is their view that if I was to write my appointments and meetings on an old-fashioned calendar I will be more likely to achieve my planning goals. It appears that the ability to see lots of days at once, written down on the calendar, is helpful. Maybe the act of writing down the event is like writing it into your brain – it is more likely to stick and be remembered.
The ability to hold and touch something also seems to be important. A digital offering may be more convenient but evidently people will pay more for something that they can hold and touch rather than simply download. Even the sight of a hand touching something online can increase the propensity to buy. People browsing online are more willing to buy a product if they see their own simulated hand touch it.
This is something that we shouldn't forget. It may be much easier to email people with an online flyer but its effect will be much less than if it drops onto their desk. Digital technology is in danger of taking over and being accepted without question. It is so much cheaper and easier than analogue communications. For sure we need a full understanding of digital technologies, but we would be wise to remember that being able to touch and write something gives it an authenticity, a greater meaning and is more likely to drive action.