I love pencils. I use the Dixon Ticonderoga 2HB pencils. They are not splintery and sharpen well. I have an electric sharpener on my desk. I sharpen the pencil before I go into meetings. I use them in my notebook to take notes or doodle.
Example from last week:
Doodling has been proven to help people maintain focus during meetings, It keeps your brain occupied enough to avoid day dreaming without distracting you away from the content of what is being said. I draw circles and 3D objects with shadows. Sometimes, I draw chain links or people. I find this keeps me highly focused on what is happening. Without it, I find myself day dreaming alot.
With pens, I find that I do alot less doodling. The pen is just not as soft and subtle of a tool. Shading is nearly impossible and the ink gets on your fingers. The pen also doesn’t have an eraser to fix errors. I think I am the only one where I work using a pencil, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the pens in Pennsylvania.
I wonder why people don’t doodle more. I find it pretty relaxing to my mind and hand. Plus it looks nice at the end of the meeting. Do you doodle? Post a link to your doodles so I can see.
On a side note: I found this guy’s blog about pencils. He is as passionate about pencils as I am about UX. That post has 16 comments. Holy cow! I love it.