“[H]e had in the head of his staff a pen and ink-horn, carried always a notebook in his pocket, and as soon as a thought darted, he presently entered it into his book.”
– John Aubrey
Whether you are a businessman, author, or normal person, carrying and using a notebook will help you remember important ideas that can help your business, writing, or life.
A notebook can be used to record…
- to-do lists.
- book recommendations.
- improvement ideas.
However, before you can start reaping the many benefits of this organized method, you must first choose the right notebook for your situation and tastes.
#1 Electronic Device
Many digital devices (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.) have the ability to take notes electronically.
- Already Carried – If you keep your phone in your pocket anyway, it is very easy to get into the habit of using it as a notebook.
- Sync Easily – You can always sync it with your computer, so you have your notes backed up safely… even if you lose your PDA!
- Looks Like Texting – When you are writing something down, you look like you are texting. When you are in the middle of a conversation and you want to write something down, you look like you are distracted with a second conversation. This leaves your friend thinking, “Am I not worthy to listen to?”
- Slower Recording – Unless you are skilled at using the keypad or micro-keyboard on your PDA, recording your notes here will probably take more time than it would if you were to simply write on a notepad.
#2 Loose paper
First, there are several different options under the general category of “loose paper”.
- Individual Sheets – This is not recommended because they are easily lost and damaged.
- Hipster PDA – This is an interesting system of organizing individual sheets of paper using paper clips.
- PocketMod – Folds a single sheet of paper into a small book.
- Cheap – Loose papers are the cheapest version of a notebook. You only have to buy a couple sheets of paper and perhaps a paperclip.
- Easily Reorganized – You can quickly and easily change the order of your notes to keep them organized for quick access.
- Not Enduring – When you have the cards in your pocket for a week, the papers will be all sloppy and look ugly. So for the short-term they are great, but for the long term? Not so much.
- Easy to forget – If you accidentally wash a piece of paper, all your ideas will be lost.
#3 Regular Notebook
One of the most common types notebooks are the original, book-sized pads (spiral-bound, Moleskin, etc.).
- Long Life – Unlike the loose paper solutions, a solid notebook is much easier to store and maintain. Because of the cover, the paper inside is less likely to be damaged, and the binding helps keep everything together.
- Looks Neat – Do you remember the last time you saw a man writing in his notebook? Probably not. Most men today do not use it. This provides a perfect opportunity for you to lead the way in a return toward greater manliness.
- Historic Nostagia – The moleskin in particular is a classy notebook with a rich history. The company even claims that Hemingway and van Gogh used the book.
- Bit Pricey – A moleskin is a somewhat expensive little book. Although it is worth the money, spending $13 can seem like a bit much. On the other hand, you can buy a spiral-bound notebook for much less.
- Harder To Keep Organized – Say you write one page of book recommendations, then a to-do list, and then another page of books. Using a notebook, it is impossible to rearrange these pages to keep similar topics together.
Whether you prefer an electronic device, a loose paper arrangement, or a regular notebook, you will enjoy higher productivity and greater organization.
What notebook do you prefer to use?