Here’s a bit of pen-and-paper reading that deserves special mention.
Trent Hamm has written a piece at Lifehacker on using a pocket notebook to simplify your life and increase your productivity, both personally and professionally.
It’s a couple of months old, but still an excellent guide, very thorough and methodical in its approach to making a notebook part of your everyday carry.
He lists the benefits of carrying a notebook – never losing a name or phone number, keeping track of tasks, capturing ideas as you have them – as well as recommendations for how to organize your notes.
I love some of the techniques he describes, such as using a dot or dash in front of a thought or piece of information to separate it from the ones before and after. Also, using double lines to mark where he finished “processing” his notebook the last time.
Hamm also gets into the gear itself, recommending Field Notes notebooks and the Uniball Signo 207 Ultra Micro.
That’s where I go a different way.
I’ve written before about my fondness for reporter’s notebooks, and I haven’t changed my mind.
These notebooks are made specifically for people who take a lot of notes while on the move. They flip open, fit right into the palm of your hand, and have stiff cardboard backs to serve as a writing surface. And they’re just the right size to fit into a pocket.
They also tend to be cheaper than Field Notes notebooks and have more pages.
Pens are just a matter of preference. But I’d recommended against carrying a micro point retractable pen in your pocket. They really sting when they poke you, and they will inevitably poke.
But please, do go over and give Hamm’s article a look. It’s one of my favorite pen-and-paper reads so far this year.