Amanda's daily notebooks

by Amanda Fleet

A week or so ago, Stu posted about what he was using as daily drivers, so I thought I would share what I'm using over a day.

I'm mostly desk-bound, and I don't have a gazillion different projects, so my lifestyle is quite different from Stu. I'm a writer, so I have notebooks linked to specific books, plus I have a "capture all", and one or two other things I'll use over a day.

I'm firmly in the camp of "if I don't write this down, I will forget it!", so I tend to have a single place where I capture everything, and then subsequently process the notes. My current "capture all" is a CommeGlom desk jotter. This will have random notes of things to do ("pick up prescription" "email Mike" etc.) alongside notes about the current book (I'm at the editing stage, and frequently get ideas about bits of the book I'm not currently working on, so scribble them down before they disappear into the ether. Currently, I have "His stew was burned" next to "?quenching water lots of iron? ?useful for mordant?"). At the end of each day, I cross out things that have been done, transfer some notes to specific other notebooks, or circle things that still need doing.

I use both sides of the jotter, and once all the notes have been processed, the sheets get tossed. I'll keep using the CommeGlom until it's all used up, and then I'll probably use something a little smaller, like the Rhodia A5 notepad, which will function in the exact same way, but just take up a little less real estate on my desk. In all honesty, any notebook works for this capture-all.

Other notebooks I use over the day:

1. Writing notebook for the current book

I'm currently using an A4 hardback notebook not sold by Nero. I usually have a series of notebooks per novel, because I tend to separate off setting, plot, scene planning etc into their own B5 notebook. These are usually Stalogy B5, which Nero does sell, but for a variety of reasons, this one is in a single notebook.

2. "The Mothership"

I'm incapable of staying focused on only one book. My brain constantly has ideas for other books, and most of these will go nowhere and some of them will be big enough to progress to their own notebook(s). They all start life getting scribbled on the "capture all" notepad/jotter. Stray ideas that I want to keep, but which aren't really big enough to make a book out of, get transferred to The Mothership (a notebook where all random ideas get stored). I regularly go through this and see if any ideas have enough legs to progress to having their own notebook. This is currently a Leuchtturm B6.

3. Writing notebooks for other books

If a story idea has progressed to getting its own notebook(s), then stray ideas go straight into them and bypass The Mothership. These are predominantly Stalogy B5 notebooks.

4. Gaelic

For reasons I'm struggling to remember, I decided to learn Scottish Gaelic. I started 3+ years ago and progress is slow. But, every day, I do at least 15-30 minutes (via Duolongo) and have notes on grammar and vocabulary collected in two notebooks. I started in a Palomino medium luxury notebook, but the second book of notes is in a Life Noble A5.

5. Journal

I use a B5 BomoArt notebook for journaling, though I don't journal every day. These are beasts of notebooks, with big pages and lots of them. They're currently reduced, so grab one before they go.

That's a quick overview of the notebooks in my day. I suppose I'm kind of a hybrid, where I have one capture-all place, but then notes get separated off into specific places. I could never get on with bullet-journaling. It was too difficult to find anything, and all the trivia mixed in amongst things I wanted to keep was frustrating. I prefer the mix I have.