This is an incredibly well done, practical, and thorough guide with plenty of good pictures. If you are a fountain pen user who is never quite sure about how to clean them (like me), you owe it to yourself to read and tuck this one away.
If I am in a meeting, then I am listing things to do, buy, write, read, or look up (occasionally, I am also taking notes on the meeting itself). Just in the past five days I have made lists of: books I have read so far this summer, books I still want to read this summer, emails I should send this week, writing projects to finish in June, groceries to buy, food in my fridge that needs to be used up before I go on vacation, things to do before I go away, and things to pack for my trip. My real work—writing lectures or things I actually intend to publish—all happens on a computer, of course, but my whole life happens in notebooks. And strange to say, it turns out I’m not the only one.
This is mostly a piece exploring the popularity of the Bullet Journal system but it’s a good read all the same.
Journaling has been part of my daily ritual for some time. Ever since becoming engrossed in paper and writing implements a few years ago I have found different ways to journal. Curiosity lead me to search online, find blogs and Instagram feeds for inspiration. This has developed my journaling habits to where they are today, a very different place to where I started.
As is usual with Jenny, the pictures and writing and details are stunning. Worth visiting for that alone.
Pencil and paper will fix anything.
My issue is not with collecting because everyone collects something at some point, right? My issue is with hoarding. We all know the signs. Stacks of blank notebooks we bought with the intention of filling with our wildest dreams and our most creative fictional feats and the occasional grocery list. These perfect-bound and saddle-stitched ghost traps of potential were meant to inspire us, but instead they just keep looking at us. Staring us down. Asking us why we haven’t picked up that pencil or fountain pen and started scribbling down our life’s work.
Our own H.C. Marks, keeps us honest with ourselves.
Pencils are special things to me. They are humble in materials: just a bit of wood and graphite, but when together, they represent the potential of a productive process. If you were to ask a friend to imagine a scene where someone is coming up with ideas, they would probably see a person at a desk with a waste basket beside it filled with a pile of crumpled paper. It is curious that waste is the main denotation of productivity. The bin would overflow with the ideas that weren’t good enough. Somewhere in that scene, maybe just a bit out of frame, there is a pencil scribbling wildly on paper. The more inspired one is, the faster that pencil moves. The harder one works, the shorter that pencil becomes. There are metrics in a pencil.
If you haven’t noticed, ideas don’t always show up according to our schedule. The muse is a fickle mistress who makes appearances at her own convenience…If you’re going to consistently come up with ideas to write about or do something with, you have to be able to capture them regardless of when they show up.
Yep. Agreed so much with this.
My friend Mike Rohde did a brief sketchnote review of the Hobonichi Techo. So much fun and I was so happy to get a mention.
I recently found the need to create an index for my Commonplace notebook but was unsure of the best way to do so for my needs. So, I took a look around the Internet to get some ideas. I was quite surprised to find quite a few interesting methods and thought I’d share the few that stood out:
- How to Take Notes Like an Alpha-Geek (Plus: My $2,600 Date + Challenge) | The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss — Author Tim Ferriss starts off his post about his own note taking habits by describing how he makes an index:
“A. Put page numbers on the upper-right of each right-hand page but not on the left (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.). I do about 30 pages at a time, as needed. B. Whenever you complete a page, put the page number in an index on the inside cover (front or back) and a few words to describe the content. If it’s on the left-hand page, just take the prior page and add “.5” to it. Thus, if you flip over page 10, for example, and write on the back, that second page is “10.5” in the index.”
- The Index – Bullet Journal — The oh-so popular Bullet Journal system susgests you leave the first few pages blank for the purposes of maintaining an index:
“Setting up your Index is easy. Simply leave the first couple pages of your notebook blank and give them the topic of “Index.” As you start to use your book, add the topics of your entries and their page numbers to the Index, so you can quickly find your them later.”
- An Index of Ideas — Shawn Blanc — I absolutley adore Shawn Blanc’s system of creating an index of ideas covered in non-fiction books:
“Your own index is something you put in the back of the book (or the front if you prefer). It’s a list of the book’s themes and topics that most resonate with you, and the pages which have the best quotes and ideas around those topics.”
- My Life All in One Place: Indexing your notebook content — ultimately, I decided on this more traditional approach for my particular needs:
When you set up a new notebook for the first time, reserve the first six pages (or the last six – the choice is yours). Divide each of those pages into four sections. Do this to all six pages and you will have 24 sections in all. You need to assign each to a letter of the alphabet, combining X, Y and Z in the last section. If you want to combine a few more letters (P and Q, or W and V, for instance) you might be able to get the index down to 4 or 5 pages.
In all, there is both value in each one of these methods and in the idea of keeping an index in your notebooks in general.
I should also take this time to mention a service that I use and love on the digital side for a more “big picture” index of my notebooks. It’s called INDXD. It’s an online app that allows one to create a simple, searchable, index/database of topics in all of one’s notebooks. It’s really handy.
In the opening scenes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we get a quick glimpse at a list of things Steve Rogers wants to catch up on since he was frozen. I read that these things were region.
Really neat. Click through to see screenshots of all of the different versions of the list for each region.
(via Andrew Williams)