Pen to paper

Moleskin notebook

There are three items I’d hate to lose – my computer, my cell phone and my notebook. Losing the first two would be an extreme inconvenience, but the data on both are backed up and could be replaced. The material in my notebook goes back about a year and much of it would be impossible for me to replicate.

In a multitude of colors scribbled from front to back, back to front and from the middle to both the front and back are inspirations, snippets of information and crazy ideas. Since my notes are fragmented I started using a type of Moleskine meta data system to answer the problem of following my fragmented flow of ideas. I use two directional indicators (← means continued from, while → means continued on) next to a referenced page number. I simply number the right hand page, no need to number both sides. For example, ←24 would indicate from page 24 and → 36 would mean the material was continued on page 36.

Now, when I record ideas and bump up against other material I can make a note of where in the book the information is coming from or where I continued it to. It’s like a hyperlink system on paper.

I scribble…

  • Info – raw info along with ideas and aspirations.
  • Mind-maps – nothing beats pen and paper for exploring ideas and linking them together.
  • Recording ideas – explorations, ideas and inspirations are precious, so it’s important to record every idea you have before it’s forgotten.
  • Journal – recording your musings can help make sense of work and life.

For inspiration check out this exceptional collection of Moleskine artwork and a Flickr group with about 4,000 members and 36,000 images.

Whether you use a notebook as a creative outlet or an organization tool or both, here are several pages of Moleskine notebooks.