Human beings were creative enough to capture written information in ancient days using metal, papyrus, tree leaves, clay, rice pith "paper", wood and even stone when paper was still unknown.
Cuneiform writing in the form of pictographs was first invented around 4000 B.C by Sumerians who lived in Mesopotamia and Chaldaea. Clay, a substance easily available, was used as a writing surface. Time contributed in the evolution of the pictograms into wedge shaped characters which were drawn with the edge of a stylus.
It is also remarkable to know that many cultures found tree bark as a useful source for record keeping, for instance residents in the Himalayan region and in the Americas. Carefully beaten rolls of bark joined with vegetable glue and gums produce sheets of easy made writing substance. Information on religion, divination and many more interesting subjects were made accessible on long strips of barks by the Batak people in Indonesia.
Records of Buddhist scriptures, law, biographical information and Sanskrit literature have proven the usage of tree leaves as a writing material by the people in India and South East Asia. Books were actually produced out of the bai-lan leaves which were first trimmed, flattened and polished smoothly before scratching the characters with a black pigment. These leaves were bound together on a cord or rod between wooden covers to form a book.
The Chinese who need no introduction in the field of art invented something close to the real paper known as the rice-pith "paper". This is made from the inner pith of the kung-shu or Fatsiapapyrifera plant which is spirally cut.
Another source of writing material which needs to be credited is papyrus as called by the Latin and Greek from which the word paper was coined after. The oldest written papyrus rolls date back 5000 years. Papyrus made its name in the book of history as an important material recording information with regards to the Egyptian architecture and religion. It is indeed the brain that stored millions of data concerning the Mediterranean history and literature.
Source of information: Museum Tour :The Invention of Paper