After 25 years of hand drawing, I’m 18 months into using a computer for all my landscape design work. The transition wasn’t too bad and it didn’t take long to see the of benefits that computer aided design provided that just wasn’t possible when I was drawing plans by hand. The one thing I’m struggling with is the conceptual stages of design. I find it really hard to start the design process on a computer. In my opinion, there just is no substitute for the loose, quick sketches that a pencil or marker and paper provide in the preliminary stages of a landscape design. No matter how proficient I become designing landscapes on a computer, the conceptual design will always start with a pencil and paper My new design process is as follows: base plan on computer, print, trash paper overlay with pencil for conceptual design and then back to the computer for the finished landscape plan.