I love writing in little notebooks. I'm pretty digital usually, with most of my thoughts, projects and plans saved in some type of electronic device. But I've always loved writing in little notebooks.
My favorite is the Hardcover Pocket Moleskine Square Notebook, and am currently writing in two of them (I thought I lost one so I bought another, and then found it again months later). I also am writing in two Moleskine 5x8 (large) notebooks, a large Moleskine 5x8 Watercolor Notebook, a classic composition notebook (the cheap ones used in grade school, with the black and white marbled cover), and a large ruled "pleather" bound notebook that I bought sometime around 1983.
So what do I write in all this stuff?
Pocket Moleskine Square-ruled Notebook:
- This is my daily workhorse notebook. The first thing I do is number every other page. I don't know why I prefer the square-ruled paper, rather than lined or blank. I carry it in one of the pockets in my scrubs, or the back pocket of my jeans or shorts, or in my bag.
- Thoughts or quotes from books, magazines or blogs I'm reading
- titles and authors of books I want to read (and why I want to read them, if it's not obvious from the title)
- notes from news or "political television" about presidential candidates, during election times
- websites I want to read later (I usually run the URL through TinyURL first, using the Custom Alias feature to make the TinyURL more readable; I especially use this at work because we have a web filter and many sites are blocked
- map coordinates for places I want to save on my GPS (I hate the way my GPS sometimes doesn't put me right in the parking lot of the business I'm going to, so I use GoogleMaps Streetview to find the place and grab the exact latitude/longitude coordinates and send those to my GPS)
- notes during meetings
- miscellaneous contact information
- For topics that may run from one set of pages to another, at the end of an entry, I'll write -->35 indicating that the topic continues on page 35, and at the beginning of an entry I'll write 25<-- indicating a topic that is continued from page 25.
- I don't keep an index. Instead, I'll type pertinent information I want to save permenantly into a .txt file that goes into a Dropbox folder that I can pull up anywhere and can search through.
- For text/images that I want transfered from one notebook to the next, I've started to save information in "MSK" files on www.moleskine.com, which I can add to, save, and print. The info is formated to fit the notebook -- I print them out, cut them down to size, and tape them into the first few pages of a new notebook. I limit this to hospital phone extensions, door lock codes, and faxes I use daily.
Large Moleskine Ruled Notebooks: I've been keeping a diary for years, although years may lapse between entries. This is the last thing I do before bed, an exercise to clear my mind before going to sleep. Because I am a frequent Ambien/zolpidem user, some of my entries are complete surprises to me when I read them later. I'm also using my diary to work on improving my worsening cursive handwriting.
Large Moleskine Watercolor Journal: a hobby that comes and goes. If I don't feel like writing in my diary, I'll sometimes paint a bit before going to sleep.
Classic Composition Notebook: I keep almost daily notes on the stock market, as well as whatever research about interesting companies, usually from the Investors Business Daily website.