One Giant Notebook... or a handful of little ones???

Okay, so my life is rapidly expanding before my eyes, between additional projects at home & huge growth in responsibility & projects at work.

I used to have the following system:
a 'classic' size (5.5 x 8.5) levenger circa 'diary / agenda,' where I keep the pages I use to schedule things and document them, both personal & professional. I have a good system of syncing this with my google calendar to keep in touch w/ the many changes going on in my life!

and a 'compact' (3.75 x 6.75) levenger circa 'brain dump / list manager,' that is where I keep grocery / to-do lists, and where my random thoughts for the day go until they are sorted into either the google calendar, the notebook, or done.

I've recently started journalling heavily again and sketching, so the large notebook is full to the gills. Then I took on a huge new project that is note-heavy and I literally couldn't put one more page in the big notebook, so I gave it it's own 'classic' size notebook. I've also taken on being more productive, and have had a lot more ideas / notes / thoughts, so I'm going through many pages a day in my 'compact,' notebook & need to have it constantly at hand.

I realized how completely out of control this was when I went to a job meeting this morning and had to bring all three notebooks! I'm loosely considering sticking w/ classic, but going way up in disc size (I currently use 1" in the main notebook & 1/2" in the other two) and having a single notebook.


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Decide based on frequency of

Decide based on frequency of use. If you don't have the need to have all your notebooks together that often, I would just try to organize them better. Having them separate has obviously been working for you up to know. You may find that combining them would prove too unwieldy in the long run. Plus having them separate has the advantage of having them open at the same time, if the information can be referred to and complemented in that manner.

I used to have a huge 3 ring binder, and I found I only needed it for record keeping and some reference, and tended to keep it in one place. Carrying that monster around would have been inconvenient.

If the need for combining is strong, and entering and referring to information constant, I would consider carrying a Netbook instead.
I use paper mainly because my need to enter and refer to information is not that intense at the moment, and it is easier to dispose of non current items with paper.

Just some ideas.

I second the Netbook idea.

For work

You could use the Netbook to keep the scanned content of work notebooks, this way you have all the data in a tiny package.
I am writing on a Netbook right now, and the smallest one are way lighter than the content of any note taking paper system I ever used.

You could bring a blank Letter size Circa for the days notes of the new huge project and make sure to scan its content into the netbook every day or couple of days.

Keep a slim Compact Circa for ideas on the go and transfer
some of the pages containing great brainstorming ideas into another Compact Circa that you keep at home. (You could cross reference some of the pages by scanning then on the netbook)

If don't feel like journaling on the computer, keep another
slim Circa or some loose paper or a Rhodia pad or a couple of pages bound together by loose rings for your journal.

Again there the goal is too keep only enough blank paper for a day or two then use the same system but with bigger disks for storage at home.

So my take on your conundrum is carry light notebooks, scan as much as you can and invest on really big disks. :)

Keep us posted! :)

Netbook? Not for me...

I tried the Netbook route, and it was more hassle than help. By the time you add the power brick, the power cable (which always gets tangled around *something*), a USB or Bluetooth mouse, possibly an extra battery, and the appropriate bag to carry it all, you may as well be using a full blown laptop. Not to mention the fact that, when an idea strikes, you've got to wait for the thing to boot up. Even waking from sleep mode takes many seconds.

No thanks - I do carry a Netbook (or, more often, my Macbook Pro) - but not for planning, note-taking, or journaling purposes. Those tasks are still best done on paper for me.

I appreciate you both

I appreciate you both writing.

This whole digital vs. paper thing is capable of spiraling out of control, but I can say definitively that a netbook is not an option for a number of reasons.

I was getting all excited about trying to find huge discs & a cool notebook, but you make a great point about the versatility of having things separated so i may try to calm down!

One option includes just getting the work notebook slightly larger so that I can stick w/ two. That was working so well!

I use two notebooks

just upsized from yours -- a letter-sized circa for work with 1 1/2 inch rings and a classic size circa with 1/2 inch ring for home and notes on-the-go. I wish I could carry a smaller travelling notebook, but 1)I write too big and 2) I really like the ease of diy/cutting my own paper for it. Home and work schedule are on the same calendar, but notes for each are separate. The classic size traveller requires a bigger purse - but just gives me an excuse to shop for my other obsession - bags.

I have tried to carry separate circa notebooks for long-term/large projects, but could not *train* myself to look for them and use them consistently. Two notebooks are just enough to keep in-sync.

How about a Nokia N810

If size is the main objection to a Netbook, you might want to consider a Nokia N810 tablet. I think it is probably the best compromise available in terms of power and size (it fits in your shirt pocket, battery lasts way longer than any Netbook, returning from sleep mode is nearly instantaneous (the device is never really off, unless you turn it off completely), and actually runs video conferencing (Skype) very well. Plus you can write and draw on the screen, something most Netbooks cannot do.

I almost got myself one last year, but finally decided that I need a Windows system for some of my specialized music software (the N810 runs a version of Linux, which is more than enough for most purposes, and there is a free Palm emulator that runs very well in it, as well as a DOS emulator, for those who remember how to use that).

As you google for the N810, make sure to check the Youtube video reviews, some of them are very informative and give you a real sense of what this device can do.

That's really a great idea!

I loved all my Nokia phones, I didn't know Nokia made a
smart phone.

Something to check out.

Several in fact

Actually, Nokia makes several smart phones, the N810 is not a phone at all, which is perhaps why it is not so well known: it is only an internet tablet, no phone in it. In fact it is a bit larger than most smart phones, to make space for the large touch screen.

roterfaden is the solution

roterfaden is the solution - you cna combine quite a number of the moleskine sized notebooks nd change them at will.

try their website (which I don't have have right here....)

Roterfaden is ONE POSSIBLE solution

that we have already discissed here:

and then there is X17 that was discussed here:
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

one "always with you notebook" a bunch of little ones at home

The solution I've settled on is one Junior size planner notebook that is almost always with me. I have a calendar, a few pages for notes, a few pages to keep track of my goals, books I want to check out, etc.

Once in a while when the pages get full, I'll take the pages I'm doing with out of the planner notebook and divide them into some other notebooks at home. I've got one for ideas, one for tracking goals, a monster address book, one for notes at meetings with computer user groups, and one for a journal. You get the idea. Once I don't need a page with me any more, it goes into the appropriate notebook.


Brilliant What brand are you


What brand are you using?