Using a pocket notebook - 2. What’s your style?

by Stuart Lennon
The clue is in the title. It’s “your” style. There are lots of ways to use a pocket notebook and many reasons to do so.

Are you a list person? Or do you need pen and paper for when inspiration strikes? Perhaps the book is a place to record your observations of the world.

Let’s explore broad categories.

1. Lists. Work. Shopping. Books to read. Podcasts to download. “To do”. Some use a notebook purely for lists, an an aide-memoire. Often, there is a ritual of ticking things off the list. “Word” make notebooks specifically for this purpose, with covers for every taste.
2. Daily Driver. Dated entries. The plan for the day. Incorporating some or all of lists, appointments, time blocking, notes and observation. This is the minimalist’s filofax. Some folk use a good old fashioned diary.
3. The Commonplace Notebook. More free-form. This might have five pages on one day and nothing for two days. There are no rules, but the commonplace is more often populated with musings than shopping lists.

While I do all three of the above, my pocket notebook is now more of a commonplace notebook. This is because my daily driver is a desk notebook, and it is there that appointments and lists live.

Usually, I carry a small pocket notebook in the mould of Field Notes. I love the form factor, for its portability, and for its novelty. In full flow, I can fly through one of these in a week. Then I get to start a new one, enabling my fascination with stationery.

Of late, however, I have been carrying a Tartan Commonplace Notebook by Waverley Books of Scotland. This is a big fellow. It’s like sitting on a brick, and 192 pages takes a lot of filling. I have been carrying this one since mid-May and I’m a little more than two thirds through it.

Flicking through, there is a review of an amateur production of Hamlet, some thoughts on weight-loss and a list of Field Notes variants. Eclectic. Just writing this post, I have lost myself in the notebook for ten minutes. Reminiscing.

My style changes. It is evolving. Yours might too. Part of the fun is experimenting and discovering what works for you.