What’s in your notebook?

One of my favorite advertising campaigns of all time was from Apple (natch). It featured a number of Mac using celebrities giving a list in response to a simple question – “What’s on your Powerbook?“. What was great about this campaign was that it not only gave you an idea of what the product was possible of doing, it gave you the sense of what you could do with the product. That somehow, by buying this product, you too could write the next great American novel, a hit movie, or edit an award winning photo.

Well, in the spirit of that fine example, I challenge you to answer a similar question. It does not have to be comprehensive, just a sampling and there are no right or wrong answers.Are you ready? Good. I’ll start…

_”What’s in your notebook?”_

**The Notebook: Field Notes Brand Pocket Notebook**

Contents

- Notes from Edward Tufte, Presenting Data and Information conference.
- Recommended allocations for my 401K.
- Design idea for a new website.
- Early Childbirth Class notes.
- Stroller research.
- Weekend project list.
- Layout and amperages of my circuit box.
- Notes from first meeting with our Doula.
- Dimensions of the nursery closet.
- Phone number of a friend that I had not see in years that I ran into.
- Addresses/numbers/info of possible daycare providers.
- Notes from Minnebar 2008.
- Details and math on the offer on the house we have for sale.

There you have it. Like I said, it is just a sampling but it should give you a good peek into the sorts of things that have been ruling my life for the past few months. OK, now it’s your turn.

What’s in your notebook?

Leave the details in the comments…

My Addiction

My name is Patrick, and I am a notebook addict. I have never really tried to hide my addiction. Many who know me well know of this “problem” (I am sill not sure I feel comfortable calling it that). Sometimes I am able to fight it. I convince myself that I really don’t need yet another notebook that will sit on a shelf and probably never be used. Sometimes they are given to me. Sometimes, I just can’t stop myself. The paper is too nice, the aesthetic beauty too compelling. The myriad of uses flood my brain and I become drunk with the elixir of possibility.

Here are just some of the examples of the times I have fallen:

* Black n’ Red Ruled A4 – Years ago I worked for a company that had an office in Brussels. These were the office standard issue notebook there. It was love at first sight so on a visit I grabbed two and I still have both. These are big euro letter sized bound books with 192 pages of bright white paper. One was used as a Journal, during a particularly miserable time in my life, for about a dozen pages. The other remained unused. Looking back, I figure that the misery did not stop but my will and desire to chronicle it did.

* Grey Sketchbook – This was a birthday gift sent to me by my friend Adeline in the U.K. I am not sure of the manufacturer, as there are no markings to indicate it. The book has a grey suede slipcover, blank pages with the following quote from Gandhi stamped into the cover ” You must be the change you wish in the world.” At my most recent day job, I gave it to one of my student workers who is a wonderful cartoonist and had him draw something on the first page. What he returned to me is a true work of whimsical art. That is what is linked to above since I can’t find the manufacturer of the notebook.

* Xonex Ru – Bought this in the Walker Art Museum Gift Shop after seeing a friend with one. I have the charcoal grey model. There was just something about it that I was compelled by. Perhaps it was the European sizing – A bit more flat and geometrically shaped than a Moleskine. It has a number of the same features though, an elastic closure and a pocket in the back. Also, here’s the thing, I generally don’t use notebooks without ruled lines or grids. My writing is far too messy and my art skills are like those of a two year old.

* Muji – I actually have two different Muji Notebooks, neither of which can be found in the US. They were brought back for me by a co-worker from Japan. The first is about the same dimensions as the Xonex Ru, has a beige craft cover and decent blank paper (did I mention I usually don’t use blank notebooks). The other is very much like a Large Lined Moleskine but with a bookcloth cover and without a pocket in the back. It does have the elastic closure though.

* Moleskines – Since they keep popping up, I will discuss the several Moleskines I have. I have a Pocket Lined (this was my daily capture for a long while). I have a Large Lined (use this as a personal journal). I have a Pocket Squared (unused). I have a Reporter Squared (A few mind and process maps but otherwise unused). I have a Barcelona City Book (The maps were indispensable. Wish I had written more in it and hope to return soon to fix that).

As I said, these are just a few examples. I have intentionally left out quite a few. Many of which I have written about recently here. The two Levenger Circa Notebooks. The several Field Notes Brand notebooks I have waiting on deck for me to complete the one I am using. The list could go on.

OK, I guess I may need an intervention.

My Indispensable Twitter Tools

Many who have been following along here know that I have become a recent convert to the cult of Twitter. For those not in the know, Twitter is a social networking site where you simply post updates, and see the updates of others, about what you are doing right now in 140 characters or less. Think of it as a giant chat room with your friends and people who would like to be. I have found it to be a great tool to keep up with my real world and online friends.

It seems that every Twitter addict has his or her own tools for posting and following their friends. Here are the ones I use:

* Twitterrific – I don’t think I could even use Twitter as much as I do without this wonderful tool. It is basically a desktop Twitter client that not only allows me to post and follow others easily, it also makes the ability reply to tweets and direct message others so much easier. There are many other clients like it out there, even for other platforms. Using a client, IMHO is the best way to interface with Twitter.

* A URL Shortening Service -Because you only have 140 characters, there is rarely enough room to paste a long web site URL. there are many web based services out there that take a long URL and make you a shorter one to post in these sorts of circumstances. I have been trying several of these – Tinyurl, Snipurl – my current favorite is URLTea. It does not matter though, the point is that if you are going to post a URL to Twitter, you will eventually need to use one of these.

* TwitterLocal – Find recent tweets from people in your area. up to a 20 mile radius. Great for not only finding people you know in real life that you did not know were on Twitter. Also good for seeing what is going on around you. I love to lurk here.

That is all folks. As you can see, I am no Twitter ninja. That being said, I tweet often and engage in intelligent conversation and that is the point. If you are on Twitter, please follow me. If not, you should be and when you are, follow me.

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