I’ve been thinking a lot about how people use notebooks at work. Yesterday’s post showed a few of Obama’s staff with notebooks among the tools of their trade. Certain professions use notebooks as a matter of course: reporters, for one. If you look at the Alwych website, they describe their notebooks as being used by “the Police, tanker and delivery drivers, milkmen, etc.” Maybe some of these occupations now have computerized ways of recording information, but not everything has to go high tech– I believe scientists also have to record their findings in notebooks that are dated and carbon-copied, so they can prove they haven’t faked their results.
My own office job is nowhere near as interesting as any of that, but it definitely requires note-taking. At meetings with my colleagues, I look around the room and notice a variety of notebooks. More and more are Moleskines lately. Some people use other brands of journals. Then there are many people who use the standard boring spiral notebooks that are available from the supply room for free.
I tend to use a combination of things for taking notes– if there is a handout at a meeting, I write in the margins and on the backs of pages. Sometimes I recycle the backs of old printouts of reports. Sometimes I use plain paper in a 3-ring binder. But occasionally, I use whatever notebook I currently have going for my own personal stuff. It’s my favorite thing to write in, and I also tend to doodle a lot in meetings, so it’s nice to keep those little drawings. But in a way, I feel like it’s a waste to use a nice Moleskine on work stuff. And Moleskines aren’t cheap– why should I spend my own money on something I use for work? (Though since I itemize my tax deductions, I can at least claim them as an unreimbursed business expense!)
How about you? What do you use for notetaking at your job? Do you mix business and personal when it comes to notebooks?