Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve had a love of notebooks. In those earliest days I would fill spiral-bound school notebooks with drawings. In college, I’d keep an extra notebook or two in addition to those designated for classwork, just to scribble random thoughts or doodle in my spare time. The summer before I entered seminary, I started journaling; this practice has endured for me for over 20 years now.
In more recent years, I’ve added a few other notebooks for other purposes, either for work or for stoking or organizing my own creativity and writing. These have changed based on my needs, but here are the ones that I use nowadays.
Scratchbook – Since I’m not always able to have a larger notebook with me, I try to be intentional about keeping a pocket-sized one on my person as often as possible. This is a catch-all for to-do lists, articles I want to read later, reminders, ideas to flesh out in my journal, the blog, or elsewhere, and whatever else I need it for in a pinch. I keep it close most of the time, and I make it a point to grab it on my way out the door no matter the occasion as well.
Workout log – I started doing this one near the beginning of the year. I ordered a pocket-sized weekly planner, and I record whatever I’ve done that day related to exercise and/or karate. It’s my new way of trying to hold myself accountable on that front.
Journal – As mentioned, I’ve been journaling off and on since 2001. I started with those Mead Composition notebooks that you can find at any drugstore. Most recently, I’ve been using Zequenz unlined notebooks. I may sometimes write typical diary sorts of things here, but I also use these to take notes at conferences, record quotes, take notes from books I’m reading, flesh out ideas for books and blog posts, and more. This is the most prized among the various notebooks that I keep.
Do you use notebooks? What kind, and for what purposes?