This is my notebook for 2011.
I suppose the proper term for this item would be journal, but I’m not sure I’ll be using it in that manner. I’m not sure how I’ll be using it, or whether I’ll be using it much at all.
When it comes to using a notebook or journal, I’ve been pretty inconsistent. Every now and then, when I’m browsing a bookstore, some sleek, leather-bound journal will catch my eye, and I’ll buy it. But it rarely works out. I can’t seem to commit to using them for very long. Maybe I’ve become to digitally dependent.
One thing I’ve noticed about academia, though, is that a lot of people — administrators and mid-level managers like me — tend to use notebooks. They carry these big, hardbound things to meetings. A former boss of mine would lug around two notebooks and during slow times in some presentations would transcribe notes from one into the other. Some of the notes would be color-coded with highlighter. A lot of these note-takers’ books also include a paper calendar, but I gave up on paper calendars long ago — about the time I got my first PDA. (Remember those?)
Of course, the cooler people will carry iPads. I’m not there yet.
Anyway, over the past several months I’ve gotten the sense that my hybrid method for taking notes and keeping stuff organized — yellow legal pads (for meeting notes), reporter’s notebooks (for interviews) and a smart phone (for calendaring, messaging and occasionally jotting down a to-do on the fly) — isn’t quite satisfactory. Even when I incorporate many of the tricks I’ve learned from LifeHacker, I still feel like something is missing. I still don’t feel quite organized, quite together. I’d like to be able to keep stuff all in one place. I’d like to be able to flip back and refer to my notes — important things, not just to-dos, but minor epiphanies, blog or story ideas, snippets of conversation — from time to time. Plus, the tactile sensation of writing things down, as opposed to pecking on a keyboard or a screen, appeals to me.
But lugging around one of those big notebooks like other administrators do isn’t my style. So the other day while in Staples with my wife, this smaller, pocket-sized notebook caught my eye. It has a soft, pliable leather cover and fits easily into my hip pocket. It was cheap — $8.99 — so I bought it.
It’s an Eccolo, which is a company based in Italy. The Italians are better known for their style and artistry than for their organizational skills, so we’ll see how it goes.