June 17, 2017

Notebooks for every occasion - by Rohadi

Notebooks for every occasion. Never leave home without one. That and pens. Never leave home without a pen. The last thing you want to do is scrounge up a pencil from your car, or a ballpoint from the bank. 

When it comes to notebook selection some things matter and others don't. I’m more lenient on what qualifies as a “notebook” as I've been in the past, opting to accept the electronic variety in a pinch. 

Here’s a snapshot of of both process and hobby when it comes to selecting my writing tools.
  • Every new book project gets it’s own notebook. Not just any notebook mind you. Utility has to outweigh beauty. Thick pages that can take ink from the fountain pen (usually the quickest pen so long as it doesn't skip) without bleeding through. They can be short, 48 pages maybe, and small, 5x5 perhaps.
  • Meandering thoughts can go in notebooks that have a certain stylish flair. I’m not picky with quality, albeit the pen needs to run well along the pages. 
  • I tend to have different notebooks for different tasks. For example, one devoted to ideas on faith and ministry, another for random reflections. 
  • Then there’s the tiny notepad, the one I can fit in a coat pocket or briefcase. It’s for jotting down random thoughts. You know the ones that find you out of thin air. I got tired of using the napkin or grocery receipt, so I have some little pages at my disposal.
  • If all that fails, I’ll pull out my phone and use the Evernote app (that syncs with my desktop). I’ve tried OneNote but simply didn’t get the hang of it. Evernote has been useful to organize thoughts in broad categories. That makes returning to an idea and following through a little bit easier. 
  • Category use in the app is also why I chose Scrivener to complete writing projects. It's critical to organize ideas, and Word can't match the power and features in Scrivener. 

What I haven’t yet mastered is what to do with all the ideas. Most of them turn into nothing, ideas jotted down that I never revisit. I wonder if some “spring cleaning” would de-clutter the list and increase creative use? 

Finally, how do I approach the regular rhythm of journalling? I don't. In fact, I’ve never consistently journaled. I do it, but merely as a way to reduce the noise in my head by transferring it to paper. I rarely go back into my journals, mostly because I write too fast while journalling. Which is fine because that’s not the point. Journalling is a necessary outlet to keep the writing mind, and the soul, healthy. Rarely do thoughts escape into projects, or new ideas emerge. It's merely a release, a dump of letters to complete the day or season.


P.S. I would love to reply to comments but I've been unable due to login issues (that I don't know how to remedy).....so thanks for all of your thoughts! 


  1. Great line: "a way to reduce the noise in my head by transferring it to paper.". I notice a pattern developing in this months posts. Really enjoying it.

  2. Thanks for sharing about your notebooks, and also some of the electronic tools you find helpful. I'll take a look at the login information and see if we can get it sorted out so that you can reply to comments :)

  3. Your post is, as usual interesting, Rohadi. I know it is difficult to find the time to go back over our journals, but I strongly suspect you would find nuggets of gold in those noise-reducing rambles. Have your ever thought of panning for gold?

    1. You're right. I love the analogy....


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