How I use my notebooks is something I think about a lot. In July 2015 I wrote a post on my notebook set-up exploring what notebooks I used and more importantly how I used them. However since July quite a bit has changed therefore I wanted to post a February 2016 update running through my notebook usage.
The Daily Carry Notebook
A daily carry notebook is really important for me. Without this I would feel lost and not have somewhere to scribble down random thoughts that pop into my head. For the past couple of months I had been using the passport Midori Travelers Notebook as my catch all system, however last week I moved into a Raydori and two Field Notes memo books. I may switch between these two notebook systems, but a portable, pocket or passport sized notebook will always be an essential carry around. One of the Field Notes contains the mundane and boring things that I need to remember on a daily basis such as shopping lists, things I need to do, doodles, tattoo ideas and garden plans. I complete one of these notebooks every month. I am using a second Field Notes to doodle. I am not very creatives but having a blank page notebook with me at all times gives me the opportunity to doodle or sketch out something I may see during my day. So far this has been going pretty well. Depending on the notebook I am using I will have a pencil, a Pilot Hi-Tec-C or a fountain pen to make notes.
My Travelers Notebooks are used for various things and I have wholeheartedly jumped into this system. I have two Travelers Notebooks on the go each with two notebooks inside. My brown Travelers Notebook houses a plain refill used to hash out anything to do with the blog and outlines of post ideas.
My second refill is the monthly planner where I have a full picture of what my month looks like. In this calendar I note down blog related content, when drafts are started, when photos are taken and when the final review is done. I also add in when I need to get some studying time in. I don't include anything from my personal life in here, I use this planner to see what work I need to do and how I can fit it all in.
My blue Travelers Notebook is where I have a weekly calendar refill and a ruled notebook. The weekly planner is somewhere I can record the days events, no matter how mundane they are. I try and add in a small doodle to be a little bit creative. On the right hand side of the page I add anything I feel could be memorable to that week. Sometimes I just draw on this page, I mark down books I have read, or starting reading or may stick in a ticket from something I have done that week.
I love using the Travelers Notebook and the refills. The size of the notebook means that you can get that little bit more onto the page without the notebook becoming too big and bulky. You also get to enjoy a wide variety of different pens on this paper without any fear of fountain pens feathering or bleeding through on the page.
I am still using and enjoying the Hobonichi Techo. I use this to record a more in-depth and personal account of my day. This year I was leaving space on the page each day to include a photo as a visual momento of my day, however after filling up January I am not sure the Techo would make it through the year. I have therefore abandoned that idea, but may include the odd photo here or there over the course of the year. I am not very creative with the Techo and I don't try and get crafty with this at all, I purely using this as another outlet for writing.
Midori MD A5 Notebook
This doesn't get used that often, and when it does it's usually because I have a lot of things in my head that I need to get out and I've run out of room elsewhere. This notebook isn't pretty. There are no doodles, sketches, or pretty handwriting. This notebook is scruffy and has pages and pages of scribbles. I include in here the date and time of an entry and one long stream of consciousness.
Rhodia A5 No 16 Notebook
This is my review notebook. It has great paper especially for fountain pens and I have been steadily working through one of these notebooks since I started The Finer Point. I really like the Ice edition as the grid colour is grey and blends nicely into the background making the words and beautiful ink colours stand out. I would happily use these notebooks for other tasks if I had a need as they are so lovely to use.
The Work Notebook
I have often neglected the work notebook, but for my day job I need to take notes. I am currently trying out the Word Notebook for this due to its list making layout. I have been using this mostly with pencils as the paper in these notebooks does not like fountain pens. The more toothy paper works well with pencils and means I have a dedicated place to work with graphite, which sometimes takes a back seat when there are so many pretty pens lying around.
The Study Notebook
I use my Field Notes to take notes on my course work. This year I am doing an introduction to design course and I didn't want to lug around or buy more notebooks when I have a healthy stock of Field Notes. Since I started in October I have gone through 4 of these notebooks and I almost completed the 5th now. They are perfect for writing down small notes that I need and for doodling out ideas and designs.
I am obviously not a one notebook sort of person but I feel that each of these notebooks has a purpose. I use several notebooks to record my day which may seem excessive, however they each fill a different role and allow me to enjoy a slightly different system. I am sure as time goes on these may reduce down as I find something that works just right for me.
By having so many notebooks on the go at one time it does mean that I get to enjoy using my pens and pencils. At the end of each day I spent anywhere between 15-30 mins reflecting and recording my day. After using my Travelers Notebook weekly refill since December 2015 I have flicked back through my completed weeks and it's really nice remembering what I have done. I don't do this as much with the Hobonichi Techo as it's long blocks of writing so perhaps in the long term how this notebook is used will change.
Some of my other notebooks are functional and needed just to do the normal day to day things and I need a dedicated place for these notes.
I'd love to hear how many notebooks you use at one time. Do you use as many as me, or are you the one notebook at a time person?