Gadget of the Year? Pen and Paper Mark W. Smith: 'Cumbersome' smartphones can't beat old-fashioned writing By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Feb 7, 2012 2:42 PM CST 22 comments Comments Pen and paper still beats any smartphone. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Smartphones and tablets have left everything from alarm clocks to GPS systems pretty much "obsolete"—but iPhones and BlackBerrys still haven't topped writing by hand, writes Mark Smith in the Detroit Free Press. He's no technophobe—in fact, he's a tech columnist. But when he sat down to make a "list of the best apps to help you stay on task," one simple truth kept staring him in the face: "There's still nothing better than paper." "Mobile interfaces, even for the agile-thumbed, can be cumbersome," he writes. "The novelty factor quickly fades as men and women in suits struggle to thumb in notes during important meetings." And despite Silicon Valley innovations, at least one paper notebook brand is seeing sales soar. Field Notes are sold everywhere from classy clothing shops to hardware stores. Time to "join the steady numbers of people reaching for the pen and paper," Smith writes. "Reports of their demise—death by app, apparently—have been greatly exaggerated." Read his full column here.