Moleskine and Field Notes are two of my favorite notebook brands. I write stuff. I keep notes, lists, and ideas. I have Evernote and OneNote but I rarely use them.
And I only started using digital notes with OneNote extensively when I started writing my tech book project. For everything else, I use a notebook.
You don’t want to let any good ideas to slip off your head because of information overload. If you are like me, your brain is always busy processing stuff.
I process hundreds, even thousands, of information in my head at any given time. I have a full time job, side projects, and personal life (family and friends) just like normal humans do.
I have to keep track, therefore, of work tasks (workflows, deadlines, etc), project milestones and progress, budgets, mortgage, bills, and what not.
My notebook is an extension of my brain. I love it this way because I don’t have the distraction of having to deal with the technology layer of a simple task such as recording a thought on a smart phone or tablet.
Recording to a notebook is almost instantaneous — find the next empty page, then write; and, you’re done.
Keeping a notebook for many is a challenge. And I understand why.
Here are some of the reasons why you fail at keeping a notebook as a system of recording your thoughts and ideas:
1. You write notes and ideas you need to retrieve right away. If you keep records of things you need in a couple of days and write tons of notes more in that short period, chances are the information you need might have been buried in the notebook black hole.
2. You use a notebook to record information you need at your finger tips on short notice. If you have pages and pages of information and you don’t have any way to retrieve that in short amount of time, then using a notebook is not very intuitive.
3. You depend on index mechanism to search for information. It just doesn’t work with an analog notebook.
4. You use your notebook for your daily to-do list. If you’re wondering why your notebook is so convoluted, chances are to-do lists are part of the clutter problem. If you’re using your notebook to remember how many tray of eggs or how many gallons of milk to buy, you’re doing it wrong. The proper place for most to-do lists is not your notebook but things like the hipster pda or loose 3×5 index cards.