Moleskine Address Book Hack

So, I had a brain storm (quick, everyone take cover!) last night. I have found in my life that I tend to lose track of where I store things and/or when I am out and about, I never have info that I need at that moment. (this happens at work too)

So, for work, I had started an excel spreadsheet with a list of items that I want to remember or keep track of - i.e. we have many compliance items that I need to keep track of and update once a year. Since it is only once a year, I forget what I did 365 days ago, so in the spreadsheet I type Privacy Policy in the left column and then next to it I wrote: "update January each year. File saved as:blah Print hard copy and put in compliance 3 ring binder." So, in Outlook I have a task for Jan that says update Privacy Policy and so in Jan I will go to my spreadsheet to see what I need to do.

So, I thought it would be great to have something like this, but portable, for the rest of my life. Like, what size staples does my staple gun take? What are the dimensions of my dining room window? Where did I store my tax records? Who did I send Mother's Day cards to last year? etc... That brought me to an alphabetical organizer of some sort, which led me to the Moleskine Address book. It is pocket size, so very portable and it is already labeled with the alphabet!

So, I think I am going to pick one of these up and see what happens. I feel like I leave "notes" for myself all over the place and then when I want to find them, I can't. I am hoping this will be an easy fix!

What do you all think? Do you have some other type of system for keeping track of this stuff? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Happy Day
nay nay!

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Great hack!

I find myself lost without that type of data, too. We've moved into our present home only 2 years ago and are s-l-o-w-l-y renovating. Everytime I find something that may work (drapes, new side table, mirror), I'm without measurements. This hack, or something like it, is definitely one I'll be researching...darn! another trip to an office supply store :)


Index Card Solution for this

I have a similar need and after unsuccessfuly trying to log these items in an A-Z index format, I settled on 4x6 index cards. I keep the index cards in a 4x6" cheapo photo albumn I purchased at Target for a dollar.

As to format? I have two cards for each month of the year -- more for a couple of extra full months. I number each month for the number of days in that month. I entered birthdays and anniversaries, the date I had the tires changed on the car, the date we adopted our cat, the dates I bought major appliances such a my computer, etc., etc. on the appropriate dates.

At the bottom of each month, I have lines to write in things I need to do/remember that month, such as "use the Thanksgiving" cards I bought last year and didn't end up sending out" and "replace one strand of Christmas tree lights that burned out last Christmas". Anything I think I'll want to remember next year goes on these cards.

My originals for the 4x6 cards (in MS Word) are on my flash drive, which is pretty much always with me, as well. Whenever something happens that I'll want to remember next year, I type it in on the card for that month so the notes will be up-to-date next time I print them.

FYI: I also have my address book, health record log, and routines set up on the 4x6" cards and they are also in the aforementioned small photo albumn, along with a few favorite photographs and quotes. I note sizes/order numbers, etc. like you mentioned on my master shopping list, which I print out, as needed. This takes care of everything from my planner except the actual calendar pages. I use a pocket monthly/weekly calendar for this.

Monthly & Alphabetical

I hadn't thought of the monthly, so I glad you mentioned it. I think that is a really good idea as well. I definitely need alphabetical too, so I will need to merge the two somehow. Also, I like Jonglass' idea of cross reference as I forget how I "filed" things as well!!

This could become quite the book!

I also want to do this because if something would happen to me, this would be a great reference for those who have to handle my life after I am gone. I know, not fun to think about, but necessary!

Cross-reference is why I failed.

I guess I never could figure out how to get things cross-referenced and that's why I ended up with monthly rather than alphabetical.

Could you maybe do A-Z and monthly index cards so you have the best of both worlds? My photo album will hold 38 index cards (if you include the insides of the front and back covers.

Logically this is a tickler?

In concept, I think this index card system sounds exactly analogous to David Allen's 42-folder tickler file (if I understand it right).

Yes, sort of?

Funny, I'd never thought of it as a ticker file, probably because I hadn't read David Allen till long after I'd been using the idea. I guess you COULD call it a sort of tickler -- just a lot smaller at one page per month (front and back), without the addition of the 1-31 cards (I use lines on the monthly cards rather than folders or cards labeled 1-31 and placed following the current month.)

It varies from a ticker file in that it has topical cards, too (health record, address list, etc., etc.), which sounds more like David Allen's contextual lists, except they're not used to specify actions or reminders -- just keep historical data or information in case I want it when I'm out away from my large home-base planner.

Nifty idea

In fact, I shall be mentioning it to my wife, who would appreciate something like this. I would add one idea. When you enter the items, it would be a good idea to cross reference them into other letters, so you can find the items, whether you remember them as, say, "tax records" or "finance records". For instance, in "F" you would write "finance records=see tax records" so you know where to look. I tend to also forget how I wrote things down, and this has helped me.



So, I purchased a Moleskine Address Book already - of course, I had to run right out and buy it since I am obsessed with notebooks! Last night I began entering information by alphabet and soon realized that I would most likely run out of room under certain letters and then what would I do? All I could think of is that eventually I would need to purchase another notebook and either carry two or somehow copy all from the first into a second that had more room. Either way, I didn't like the idea. So, I went to my computer, as suggested in the posts here, and set up a spreadsheet like I have for my office stuff. I figure this way I can continue to add to it forever and never run out of room. It will also probably be a smaller "book" than a moleskine since I am only printing out the info and will not have all of those unused pages to carry around. So, I am hoping this will work - it is amazing the info I have found to put into this s/s. It is already making me feel more organized and less stressed. I think I will just print it out to be around the size of a personal filofax as that seems to fit in my wallet quite nicely! Although I like the "brag book" idea as well! I will have to play with it... Anyone use anything else?

Thanks for all of the help and ideas!
nay nay :)

Use Outlining feature of MS Word ?

If you end up more comfortable on the computer with this task you could use the outlining feature of Word or buy a shareware outlining program. These are popular on PDAs too. I'm a big outliner. In my example below, the arabic numbered items are lists. Unfortunately forum posts don't display indentation.

I. Personal
A. Maintenance and tracking
1. Volvo service history
2. Impala service history
3. Car filters and parts
4. Exercise log
5. HVAC filter replacement dates
6. 2007 volunteer mileage
7. Cell phone contract dates

B. Medical
1. Annual physical dates
2. Blood donation dates

C. Miscellaneous

II. Business
A. Yadda
1. Yadda yadda

Inspiration saves me!

I could not have gotten through grad school (24 more days!) without Inspiration. I even have it on my Dell Axim (that I no longer use since I went analog for planning). It is a great outliner plus it lets you brainstorm first and then make sense of it later. I use it to take notes from journal aricles, pull the notes into an outline that I write the draft paper from. Nifty!

"To fly, we must have resistance."