Tale of a Vandal Notebook User

Over on the Quo Vadis blog, Leah posed the question, “Do you use specialized writing notebooks?” Notebooks in action are a favorite subject and I got to thinking. Currently in full-throttle writing mode on a new project, the notebooks I’m lugging around include:

Left to right: Rhodia, Staples, Quo Vadis, Quo Vadis, Blueline, Apica
  • Staples Bagasse notepad 8 1/2″ x 11 3/4″:  captures “the writing” that will be typed up at the end of the day. Used daily.
  • Rhodia top wire No. 18 notepad: captures snippets, thoughts, tasks, outlines, ideas for the current writing project. Used frequently during the week.
  • Blueline hardback: captures research notes. Used daily for reference. Used frequently during the week to capture research notes.
  • Apica A10: research notes (completely filled so it’s now “just reference”). Used frequently during the week for reference.
  • Quo Vadis Habana 4 x 6: captures the goal for the day’s writing. Used daily.
  • Quo Vadis Habana 9 x 10: captures thoughts about the day’s writing. Used frequently during the week.

Only two of those notebooks get used every day. All get used during the week. There’s also a binder I lug around with the notebooks. The binder contains a print-out of the work in progress.

I will confess I’m using three more notebooks than I have in the past. The Habanas are an experiment and I don’t always have so much research material to capture in every project. Three active notebooks at a time are more normal for me.

When I’m “not writing,” I carry a Levenger Slim Writer Wallet. I used to carry tiny notebooks. The little wallet notecards work better for moi. At some point during the week I transfer any notes to an electronic notebook. Sometimes I tape the note to my computer monitor so I’ll see it everyday. No matter where I am, who I’m with or what’s going on, if there’s a story thought to capture it gets written down. The “remember to capture that thought later” method does not work for moi.

Levenger Slim Wallet and Cards

There are three other notebooks I’m currently using. These are the only notebooks I refer to as my “journals.”

Rhodias for ink recording
  1. A gratitude journal.  It gets written in every day at the end of the day. There is no photo of that journal because, well, it’s personal.
  2. The “ink journey” journal. This is the Rhodia Webbie Stephanie sent me wherein I vent my thoughts about ink. This happens once or twice a month…whenever I’m moved to think ink. As newly admitted white paper addict, I kinda have to force myself to use the ivory Webbie.
  3. An ink journal. Not really a journal. More like ink records. The notebook contains a sample of inks I’ve used. I prefer to keep these records on white paper. I’m using a Rhodia No. 18 side-staple bound notebook and it gets written in when inks are changed in a pen or I receive a new stash of inks. It has become a wonderful personal reference tool about ink and the nibs in my pen hoard.

The pens in my collection can be broken down by project, too. That’s a post by itself to come.

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2 thoughts on “Tale of a Vandal Notebook User

  1. What a brilliantly organized system! I have some project-specific notebooks, but I have only one “everything” book that goes with me anywhere. (I tend to do all of my writing-writing at my desk, so any miscellaneous ideas–for anything and everything–gets put into the one journal that travels with me (it’s currently a Markings journal, but it will soon be traded out for something else, as it’s nearly full).

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