Yes, you WILL process your scribbles!

by Amanda Fleet

I was given a Rhodia A5 notepad to have a play with, recently. My first thought was "Oh. It's stapled at the top. Hm." I tend to prefer notebooks to be, well, books.

Oh, but dear readers, it turns out that this is an excellent feature, especially if you're using it the way I am, which is to have a notepad on the desk, ready to jot anything and everything down. And the clue is kind of in the name... notepad.

Let me explain.

The notepad sits at my side while I'm at my desk, the card cover open and the page revealed. The cover is cleverly designed with creases so that it will fold back completely against the back cover - the creases lining up exactly with the contours of the pad. This is a really nice feature. The paper is (of course) glorious, and doesn't care whether I'm writing in fountain pen, pencil, ballpoint or anything else - it's smooth and fabulous to write on. There's a top margin of  ~2 cm, a left-hand margin of 2.7 cm and a line-spacing of 7 mm.

The top is perforated, so when I reach the bottom of the page, I just tear the sheet off, turn over, and keep writing.

And it's the fact that the pages end up loose that (for me) makes it work so well, because then, I have to process them.

Now, by "processing" I don't always mean that I've done all the tasks. I may well transcribe something that hasn't been done, out of a sea of completed tasks, on to a fresh page in order to see it better. But in order for my desk not to end up awash with loose sheets of paper, I actually have to do something with the pages - cross things off/transcribe them/decide they're no longer important.

If I use a notebook for that, it's all too easy to just keep going in the book and not have to process the daily scribbles. I can merely turn to a fresh page, make more notes, and it takes up no more space on my desk.

With the notepad I actually have to make decisions on things. Eek.

At the moment, I'm tending to write tasks on the lined bit and using the left-hand margin to indicate their priority and the day I may get to it. I also use the margin to tick things off when they've been done. Over the course of a day, I may also jot down a gazillion random things that I probably only need to remember for that day (or possibly only for a few minutes). It's a good feeling to go through the page(s) at the end of a day, tick off things that have been done, transcribe stuff that still needs to be done, and strike through anything that's not relevant any longer. And then toss the processed pages in the bin!

The notepads are a steal at only £4 each for the A5 size or £6 for A4 dot-grid version or A4 lined.