It's certainly "old-school", but then again, so am I. I'm not a professional programmer. It's a pasttime for me. However, any time I undertake a non-trivial project, I get out a small journaling book to write in, and first work out the general scheme - diagrams, flow charts, if using a GUI then a general sketch of how it ought to look. Over time I update the journal, but at no time do I really do without it. This may be more a reflection of how I was taught (mostly on paper), than necessarily a good idea.