Hemingway’s Mighty Pencil

If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to. First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof. Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. That is .333, which is a damned good average for a hitter.

— Ernest Hemingway, on why he always wrote his first drafts by hand with pencil and paper.

Execupundit.com: The Card with Two Sections

Execupundit.com: The Card with Two Sections

One section contains the actions you will take on positive matters. Some will be urgent and some less so and yet they deserve routine attention; e.g. study Spanish.

The other section is a list of the actions you should not take. [Snacking will be a common one for many of us.]

A nice idea. I have used a single 3×5 card (which I call my “Today Card”) as my daily task driver for years. I also split it into two sections — the top with the 3 or 4 things I must do today and the bottom for notes/scratch. I don’t often have a lot of stuff that gets added to the bottom so maybe I’ll give this a try.

My notebook system (part 1): Field Notes 56-Week Planner – Decoding

My notebook system (part 1): Field Notes 56-Week Planner – Decoding

I was one of those “paper is dead” guys. We all have some kind of mobile device with productivity apps installed on them, why would you use paper? Actually, my devices got me into using notebooks again. I spend so many time with screens. I’m a developer, so using my iPad for development made me a bit more aware about adding dedicated tools to my tool belt. Couple of months ago, I’ve read an article about carrying a pocket notebook which instantly made me want to have paper with me all the time.

The Parker 51 — The Pen Addict

The Parker 51 — The Pen Addict



The Parker 51 is one of the most popular fountain pens ever made and consequently, much has been written about its history. I won’t rehash it all here. The pen was developed in 1939, the Parker company’s 51st year in business, and went on sale in 1941. Since then, it has been altered and revived any number of times, most recently in 2002. This article will focus on the earlier versions of the pen.

Great look at the what is, perhaps, the favorite vintage pen in my collection. I have a 1939 and it’s still one of the best writers I have.

Why the Humble Notebook Is Flourishing in the iPhone Era | New Republic

Why the Humble Notebook Is Flourishing in the iPhone Era | New Republic

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.

My Journaling Habits — The Finer Point

My Journaling Habits — The Finer Point

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.

How Many Notebooks Do You Really Need? –

How Many Notebooks Do You Really Need? – Curious Rat

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.