I’m writing this blog on my laptop. I pretty much live in the cloud. My calendar and so much else is on my phone and I can’t imagine my life (and depositing checks) without it. But no matter what, no matter the allure of the next great app,
I’ll never not have an old school, no-tech notebook close at hand.
For nearly a decade, I’ve had a Moleskine dedicated to each year, a book that travels with me everywhere. I’m as likely to have it out at dinner as in a meeting, oh trusty constant companion. I rely on the notebook to record pretty much everything that’s going on with me. What I think, what I learn, what I dream of. The week’s priorities. Along with the occasional movie stub or event admission ticket or empty seed packet, creating this fairly complete log of where my mind and life and business have been over the course of the year.
This year, 2015, has evidently been the fullest yet, so full that one notebook is, for the first time ever, just not long enough. I’m a mere five pages away from completing the purple ruled Moleskine I’ve been using since January 1st, and looking forward to October 1st, the day when I get to – oh joy! – crack the spine on the new pink Moleskine that awaits on the shelf above my desk.
But wait: not so fast.
As usual, before retiring the book and putting in on the shelf with its brethren, I spent a little time going through the packed pages of my current book to re-read what I thought worth documenting.
And here’s where it gets really good.
Because as I go through, I am flagging things I’ve written down, sometimes circled or underlined in pink or orange pencil, calling out ideas I want to come back to, expand on, remember, develop. As in the photo above, that’s a whole lot of flags. Which means a whole lot of potential blog and podcast fodder, business development genius and so much other good shizz from this year so far, all collected in one paper place.
So yes it's a record of the year, but it’s also so much more.
The notebook’s a freaking gold mine, a repository of nuggets I can go back to and use.
It’s not all brilliant, of course not, but damn it, there’s some major sparkly in there. I can go back and re-work what I've already worked out, dust it off, roll it out. When I go back through it all, I'm a little amazed and dazzled.
If I just worked on the ideas I've already had, if I just mined my own business for the past 9 months, damn, I'd be set for a while.
Each of us has so much wisdom already. Sometimes we forget this and go searching around, outside ourselves, for answers. We forget that we’re full of answers already, either stuff we’ve learned or stuff we’ve thought, or just strong feelings we’ve had leaning us in one direction or another. Writing it down gives you a place to go back to, and remember how fucking smart you really already are. It’s a place to capture all those nuggets, so that you can trade them in for bigger and better when you’re ready.
That’s why I will always be a nerd with a notebook. I know from experience that I’ll go back through the pages a month later, a year later, five, and be blown away, blown away by what I already knew then, by what I might have forgotten already thanks to the sandstorm of the everyday. The notebook is a place I can go back to in search of treasure. My own.
So yeah yeah, love on your phone. Smooch your laptop. Sing Hallelujah with me for the cloud. But also: just get a notebook. Write that shit down. And then later, mine it for all it's worth.
#writethatshitdown !! #makeyourlife #doyourthing