Tag Archives: record-keeping

West Yorkshire Police Switch to Electronic Notebooks

Which would you rather see a police officer using? This:

Or this:

I suppose for the sake of efficiency and accuracy in reporting crime, electronic record-keeping may be a good idea. But that old fashioned notebook looks nice!


Read more at West Yorkshire Police to say “Goodbye” to traditional notebooks – Huddersfield Examiner.

Moleskine Monday: “Tactile Aesthetic Technology”

Daniel DiGriz has decided that “the Moleskine is the perfect notebook.” From his blog, The Rules of Work:

When I look at a moleskine, the miser in me says ‘too expensive, decadent, not sustainable’. But then I haven’t looked for knock offs. The moleskine is flexible in its cover. That’s huge. You get a kind of subtle portability off of a soft, flexible cover that doesn’t come from a hardback lined blank book, which is cheaper. The ribbon marker is hugely important. You might think it wouldn’t be, but it just is. The size is crazy important. The smallest bit too big, and it’s not going with you just when you need it. The smallest bit too small, and you won’t use it. Moleskine size variations are wonderful. It’s not that you might not find a blackberry useful, for instance, but it’s not useful for every kind of writing activity. The moleskine is very netbook like, as a paper object. It says ‘write in me’, not ‘play games on me, set me to vibrate, play with me on a subway’. Also, I could throw 10 moleskines into a manila envelope if I needed to move them – a moleskine doesn’t beg to be offloaded/scanned – it’s made to keep a record of your thoughts in between its covers and nowhere else. The kind of thoughts that either become something else in a different venue (like a book or blog) or aren’t meant to be shared – only used.

Read more at Moleskine – Tactile Aesthetic Technology : Rules of Work.

Field Notebooks from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Some nice images from field notebooks shared by four people from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology:

Read more at Keeping a Field Notebook, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Which Notebook Did I Write That In???

I’m impressed by Anne at Tagged and Cajoled, who writes about here notebooks in this post. She always knows where to look for things she’s jotted down. I sometimes know but often I might have to search back through several notebooks for something I know I’ve written, but I’m not sure exactly when or where.

I do not throw these notebooks or writing pads away, because no matter what, if I’m looking for a lost piece of information that is not otherwise filed away regarding work or some such other, I can reach for the exact pad or notebook where I last jotted that information.

It’s like photographic memory gone wild, but it works.

Can you remember where to look for things in your notebooks?

Read more of Anne’s thoughts on notebooks at Tagged and Cajoled …: scrawlllllllllllll ………………………..

The First Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper

Welcome to the first edition of the Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper!

Some carnivals have roller coasters, fried dough, and oversized stuffed animals as prizes. This carnival offers just as much fun and variety, if you love handmade Japanese paper, fountain pens, Filofaxes, and 15-year old spiral notebooks. Every month, a different blog will host this traveling collection of the best posts about pens, pencils, notebooks, and other related topics. (More information here and here.)

I’m so excited to be launching the Carnival with such a great collection of posts. The submissions were everything I’d hoped for: a wide range of topics from a variety of blogs, some that I knew well and some new ones I’ve just discovered. It was hard to select a few favorites to highlight as Editor’s Picks, so I chose a few from the blogs that were new to me.

ferris wheel

Editor’s Picks:

archer notebooks

Clement Dionglay presents I Love Notebooks posted at Rants of the Archer.
Nifty says: If this hadn’t been in the carnival, I definitely would have made it an “Addict of the Week” post!


Kim presents Head to Head Highlighters posted at Prosaic Paradise.
Nifty says: you don’t see too many side-by-side highlighter comparisons–especially not ones that conclude that they’ve found the holy grail of highlighters!

blackwing pencil

Blackwing 602 pencil presented by pencil talk, who says, “a pencil review, in fact :-)”
Nifty says: wow, there is an incredible amount of detail and history in this review of a no-longer-made pencil with an unusual design. Great photos too.

dar minutes

Monda presents Reading the Minutes posted at Fresh Ribbon, saying, “Sometimes old notebooks have secrets…”
Nifty says: I love it when notebooks can capture bits of history like this.

Now on to the rest of our carnival, organized by topic.

cotton candy

New Product News

Tom Oddo presents Cross 2009 Fall Line Sneak Peek posted at Goldspot Pens, saying, “New Cross products due out Sept 1st.”

Alberto presents Pentel Slicci 0.8 mm metallic gel pens first impression posted at Lung Sketching Scrolls, saying, “Some sketches and initial review of the new Pentel Slicci 0.8 metallic gel pens”


Notebook Reviews

Sam presents Review: Asda Executive Notebook posted at Future; Nostalgic.”

Judy Hudgins presents School (supply) Time! posted at Knottyneedle, saying, “Just a general statement on the advent of school supply time and notebooks purchased recently”

Michael C presents The Quo Vadis Habana Notebook posted at Takenotesonthis’s Blog, saying, “Hopefully my wonderful experience will radiate through this review. I intended for this review to spark some great interest in not only Habana and Quo Vadis products, but also in all notebook and stationary products alike.”

Flea presents Ode To Shakespeare posted at Be A Survivor.

CynthiaNiklas presents Review: Pen and Paper Test in a Ciak Journal posted at Journaling Arts.

tilt a whirl

Pen Reviews

Nrepose presents Zebra Clip On Multi posted at Unposted.

Okami0731 presents Featured Pen – Retro 51 Cioppino posted at Whatever.

dowdyism presents Review: Zebra F-701 posted at The Pen Addict, saying, “The Zebra F-701 is a pen that has been around for a while, but it is new to me, and many other readers as well.”

Kew L. Ang presents Lamy Safari posted at My So Called Life, saying, “Lamy Safari is an entry level fountain pen and it is also the cheapest from this German Company. The pen has a black chromium plated steel tip and the body was made of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) plastic. In the middle of the body, there is a little window displaying the ink level and the pen cover has a gigantic clip. At first glance, it is young, chic and colorful. The pen screams our practicality rather than something that look nice on your pocket. The pen comes in Blue, Black, Red, Yellow, Orange and recently in bright Pink as a special edition.”

Margana presents Time for a Purple Fix posted at An Inkophile’s Blog, saying, “Inkophile is about fountain pens, ink, and the paper that suits them best.”

John Hartzog presents Tommy And The Platinum Pro-Use 03 MSD-1000A posted at Pens And Pencils, a drafting pencil review.


Sketchbook Art

Cheryl Lowry presents Ampad 8×5: Notebook of my youth posted at Strikethru.


From Our Own Collections

Nan Barber presents It’s That Time Of Year Again!! posted at Philofaxy.

James presents A Fountain Pen of Note posted at Everyday Correspondence, saying, “Not exactly from my collection, but from Thomas Jefferson’s. On a recent trip to Monticello I was able to photograph this pen from the 1820s. In my post about it, I also mention Jefferson’s ivory notebook and provide a link to the history of Jefferson’s involvement in the development of the modern fountain pen.”

Steve presents Filofax – My Own Story posted at Steve Morton.

Jackie Flaherty presents Pens & Notebooks posted at Letters & Journals, saying, “I am one of those people who collects notebooks and pens unabashedly. I don’t even need a reason to write…just a fine tip pen and smooth writing paper.”

Vintage Writing Keepsakes, because I’m Sick of Talking Politics is presented by No Telling, who says, “…because sometimes the perfect little notebook has a bit of history…”

Mom Birthday Cards Printable is presented by Home Life Weekly, who says, “I have put together my printable Mom Birthday cards to share with you. They are really easy to make all you need to do is download the Mom Birthday Cards print and fold”

Hilary presents Decorative Japanese Bindings posted at A Yen For Paper.

That concludes this edition, but don’t worry, another Carnival will be rolling into town soon! The next edition will be hosted by The Pen Addict on September 8th. Make sure you submit your post by5pm on September 6th using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. The carnival is organized by me, Nifty at Notebook Stories, so if you have any feedback or suggestions about the frequency or topics of the carnival, or if you’re interested in hosting, please contact me! Thanks for reading!

Jack Kerouac’s Notebooks: Not What You’d Think!

What would you expect to find in Jack Kerouac’s notebooks? Probably not this:

Jack Kerouac — Mr. On the Road, the King of the Beats, who begat the beatniks who begat the hippies who begat the hipsters — Jack Kerouac, the fountainhead of cool — that Jack Kerouac was obsessed with — guess what. Freedom? Alienation? Restless, rootless wandering? Mad pursuit of the beatific vision? Nope. Jack Kerouac’s deepest-rooted, longest-lasting obsession was … fantasy baseball.How obsessed was he? So obsessed that, years before fantasy baseball existed, he invented his own version of the game, with whole teams and leagues named for colors and makes of cars, and series and seasons played out with marbles for balls and toothpicks and matchsticks for bats. So obsessed that he filled notebooks with meticulously recorded stats, made illustrated team rosters, and wrote letters back and forth between his various team-managerial personae, haggling over trades.

From The Huffington Post, who unfortunately have decided that this particular aspect of Kerouac is “uncool.”

Notebooks With Pre-Formatted Pages

Biffybeans has a review of an interesting travel journal.

Although I’m sure this is a great product for some people, I was somewhat turned off by the highly formatted nature of the pages:

Sometimes it’s nice to be prompted to enter certain data, but for the most part, I think I am more of a free-form person, and would prefer to just take my own notes about places I visit. These pages, for me, would probably have too little space for “grub and grog” and too much space for “recommended guidebook” etc. It would end up just being messy and inefficient.

Do you ever use notebooks that are pre-formatted with spaces for specific information, or do you prefer to use totally blank books?

Notebook Uses: Food and Exercise Journal

Here’s someone who is just starting to use a notebook to track food and exercise:

First things first, to find out if I can keep track of my eating and exercising, I have started a food and exercise journal. This is nothing fancy right now, it is just a spiral notebook left over from school. Once I have proven to myself that I can actually keep track of everything I want to keep track of, and that I want to continue with this nonsense, I might actually buy a Moleskine or some other “nice” notebook.

The format of my notebook is currently free form. I tried to find some templates, but this apparently is not as common as I would have thought. I think I will discover would have been a helpful template to follow.

Drawing the line in the sand, I wrote down my weight, bodyfat percentage and all the common lifting measurement (arm, thigh, waist, chest, hips and neck)

This brings up two common notebook questions:
If you are just starting to use a notebook, is it better to try it with a cheap one and then upgrade to a nice one once you’ve gotten into a routine? Or is it better to start with a nice notebook to encourage yourself to keep using it?
Is it better to use a notebook that has blank, free form pages, or is it easier to have template pages when the use is something specific like this?