Paper or…

Well, not plastic but electronic, maybe???  I keep going back and forth between trying to be paperless with my patterns and still printing them out.  This has been coming up as I’ve been (slowly) working through my WIPs.  Some of them have patterns stuck in the bag and others don’t so I have to figure out where I downloaded them.  It’s also a question that comes up for designers when they are formatting their patterns.  I thought I would together a list of the pros and cons of each.


Paper patterns


  • Easy to write on and take notes
  • Stick in project bag so always together
  • No worries about battery use
  • New books 🙂


  • Risk of loss is high
  • Not environmently friendly
  • Unable to access any links included with pattern
  • Can be bulky if there are numerous pages and charts
  • Printing issues (running out of ink and/or paper, etc)


Electronic copies


  • Save paper/ink (and the forests)
  • Clickable links to useful tutorials


  • Remembering which device it’s on (maybe that’s just me!)
  • Remembering where on the device it’s stored
  • Battery issues
  • Limited to screen size
  • Can only look at one page at a time

For me, I usually end up just printing the pages I need and sticking it in my project bag.  I find that works best for me.  When I lined up my 17 WIPs to finish I made sure a copy of the pattern was in each bag so I was ready to go!  So paper or electronic for you???

8 thoughts on “Paper or…

  1. I have tried going electronic but it isn’t working well. Charts work best for me printed out so I can write on them. I try to just print out the pages I need and skip any I don’t. But then I’m flipping between paper and a device. I’m trying though.

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  2. If there’s charts then I prefer paper when possible. I don’t mind using electronic patterns for normal patterns but it’s aggravating when I try to read charts

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  3. I like electronic; I’ve been using charts and crossing off rows with my Apple Pencil which makes it easier to follow. I also find no it useful to be able to zoom in for counting as I reach **ahem** a certain age. (I’m still in denial about needing reading glasses). 😜

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  4. Paper, always. I am with you – on the comment of remembering which device a pattern is on – just had a laptop ‘die’ on me, without everything backed up (my fault). Good thing was, going back to the old laptop I rediscovered some things. However, new laptop returned with much wiped off!!!

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