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Using a pocket notebook

Using a pocket notebookT

There’s a very good chance that you’ve seen a great looking pocket notebook online or in a store and bought it with the best intentions. There’s an equally good chance that the notebook is still sitting where you left never being used.

Many people buy notebooks with the best intentions and for a number of reasons they never get started. Do some of these reasons not to use a pocket notebook sound familiar to you…

  1. It’s not part of your daily routine, so you always forget to take it.
  2. The notebook is too beautiful the way it is, it seems a shame to ruin it
  3. I want the first thing written in the notebook to be profound, and I don’ know where to start
  4. I’ve already got a todo list on my phone, I don’t need another place to write it down…

Have you got another reason? If you do please let me know in the comments, but lets look at a couple of ways you can use a pocket notebook and avoid some of those issues.

Using a pocket notebook is not part of your daily routine, so you always forget to take it.

The simplest way to make using a pocket notebook part of your daily routine is to start to introduce it into your daily routine.

For me, this started with making it synonymous with my wallet, phone and keys. Whenever I leave the house I do a quick little pat down dance where I pat my back right pocket for my wallet, front right pocket for my keys, front left pocket for my phone, then back left pocket for my pocket notebook and pen.

Incorporating the use of the notebook into your daily routine helps as well. This could be sketching, taking notes in meetings, listing songs you want to play on the ukulele, jotting down presentation ideas, creating a to-do list, or as low key as writing your shopping list. The key is to keep it consistent and soon enough it becomes second nature.

The notebook is too beautiful the way it is, it seems a shame to ruin it

I’m a little biased here, but I think the BackPocket range of notebooks certainly falls into this category, but, do you know what is even more beautiful? A BackPocket Notebook full of sketches and ideas.

For example, the picture below is from one of our Responsive Web Design Notebooks that we gave to artist Hiroko Imada to try out.

Hiroko Imada night time painting in Backpocket Notebook

Hiroko is a Japanese artist based out of Make Space Studios in London and does most of her work with paint. I was over the moon last week when I got the notebook back from Hiroko which showcased her amazing talents.

The point is that it didn’t matter what the notebook looked like at the beginning, it is far more beautiful now that it is full of ideas and expressions.

It doesn’t matter how you use your notebook, whether it be for shopping lists, scribbles, to-do lists, or mini canvas — the fact that you’ve used it will always make it a better notebook.

I want the first thing written in the notebook to be profound, and I don’ know where to start

Everyone wants the first page to be amazing rather than a shopping list, we want to look more clever than we really are (or at least that’s what I strive for ;)

Try starting a couple of pages in on the notebook, or start from the back and get going. What you will notice by starting is at some point you’ll get that profound moment as you’re scribbling away… then you simply flip back to the front and amaze everyone!

I’ve already got a to-do list on my phone, I don’t need another place to write it down…

Me too! I use OmniGraffle to capture the things that I want to do and have a number of different projects and contexts that keep me mostly organised… but there’s something nice about writing it down in a notebook.

I don’t always want to be “that guy” who pulls out a mobile device when catching up with people and want to jot something down. On the plus side there’s something nice about when someone writes something down that you’ve said in a notebook, it makes you feel as if what you said really mattered because someone took the time to push ink into an old tree they carry in their pocket so that they can go back in the future and read it again.

There can also be a social issue with pulling out mobile phones in the middle of conversations, it can sometimes look like you’re not interested in what is being said and, if you’re anything like me, there are far too many distractions that can be caused by email, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc etc.

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