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In a digital world, don’t forget to use your digits

Don’t let cool digital tools and the noisy world bury your creativity.

Trong Nguyen
January 10th, 2020

I’m a digital designer. My job is designing digital products that make you engaged when using.

That means that it should help you do your job easily, fast and happy after finishing the job. I also want you to spend more time with the product.

So the more you use, the more success I am.

But on the other side, the more you spend on using technology, the less creative you are.

Do you notice anything that every time you go to any new website or open a new app? They always ask you to enable notification. They want your attention.

Apps like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram,… Do they want you to be more productive twenty years from now? Or do they want to take your time, attention and money right now?

There are so many opportunities for them to grab our attention. We can’t focus long enough to dive in the deep work.

While I love my computer, I think it has robbed us of the feeling that we’re actually making things. Instead, we’re just typing keys and clicking the mouse.

It also brings out the uplight perfectionism in us. We start editing ideas before we have them. We focus to adjust some pixels instead of finding better ideas to solve a bigger picture. We start adjusting grammar before we write words.

The computer is really good for editing your ideas. But it’s not really good for generating ideas.

When I started this blog, I committed to publishing one article per week. I knew that I had to find more ideas and write more often.

So I started to bring a notebook with me everywhere I went. When writing with a pen and notebook, I have more words to put on paper. I focus on ideas and stories instead of worrying about grammar.

The best thing happened to me when practicing this habit is that I could write every day. And I always have ideas on what to write…

I wrote all the posts of this blog by using a pen and notebook first. Then I scanned all the pages and retype it on my computer. The job was so much easier. Because all ideas and words laid down on papers.

And listen to my favorite advice from my favorite book “Steal like an artist”:

“In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits!”

Your hands are the original digital devices. Use them.

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