For those of you new to this everyday carry item, allow me to introduce you to Field Notes. This is the minimalist pocket notebook that has changed my life. I have been a disorganized individual for all of my life. My best ideas are always fleeting. My ability to prioritize things in my life is non-existent. And my to-do list often forgotten and never done. This notebook changed it all for me.
“Most people are on the world, not in it.” – John Muir
YEARS OF DIFFERENT PAPER NOTEBOOKS
When I first entered the corporate world, I bought a fancy meeting notebook to document notes and my “action items” for things that I needed to do and follow up on. I often found the notebook to be oversized and never with me when I needed it. Ultimately, that notebook ended up being something that I wrote on to portray a sign of my engagement. I can tell you that this effort was short lived. I often forgot to bring it to meetings or never referred back to it. The meeting template design made the notebook dedicated to work, so I never utilized it in my personal life. It was honestly the biggest waste of paper next to the direct mail marketing I receive at home.
APP BASED NOTE TAKING
I have always been a technology savvy person so my remedy to note taking and organization took a turn. I downloaded OneNotes by Microsoft onto my computer. I actually really, really love the functionality and features. I had the app on my phone and felt I could keep things neatly organized in this cloud based world. However, I found myself in meetings typing notes and getting the sense that my manager thought I wasn’t giving my full attention – I looked completely unengaged even when many times I wasn’t. I would be at conferences typing notes into my phone and suddenly becoming distracted by all the other social and news apps on my device. App based note taking is great, but also a catalyst due to all the other distractions centrally located on your phone/tablet/laptop. The app was also not something physical, so it was never in my face in a way that I could become regular at always utilizing it. Also, technology is great, but it just feels odd pulling out my phone on a backpacking trip when I want to remember a thought. OneNotes lasted me about 3-4 months. I never really utilized it out of work, and I was always in situations where it was not appropriate to be hammering away on my computer or smartphone.
I went back to my disorganized lifestyle for roughly a year. In that time, I had been carrying a small flashlight and folding knife for my everyday carry. I followed #EDC on instagram to generate ideas for tools or items to add to mine. Often times, I would see people referring to “Field Notes” included in their EDC kits, but I never really understood why someone would want to carry around a pocket notebook. My life changed the day that I came across a packet of Field Notes at a local boutique shop. Being the impulse buyer I am, I naturally paid the $9.99 plus tax for my 3 packets of 24 sheets of stapled paper, and walked out the door.
From the there, I started carrying Field Notes at work in my back pocket, and bought a neat little space pen to keep the paring light and compact. Each day, I would utilize roughly a page and I would also keep a page dedicated to my running “To-Do” lists for work. Clarity and diligence was beginning to take shape. Thanks to Field Notes, I was able to take control of this part of my life.
This notebook was the very first to transfer from work to personal life. For the first time ever, I was keeping track of both parts of my life in a simple, 48 page pocket notebook.
WHY USE FIELD NOTES?
- The notebook is pocket sized and can easily go wherever you go
- The notebook is made out of durable, yet lightweight materials that feel comfortable in your pocket
- No metal spirals digging into your body!
- The page size is just the right size to avoid wasted page space, yet helps prioritize how you document things in your life
- Simplicity is key here – do I really need to write this down? Will I refer back to it later?
HOW TO USE FIELD NOTES?
- To-Do List: Keep what you need to get done with you at all times
- Document Important Things: Capture important details of a business meeting, or your progress at the gym
- Journal: Document that next outdoor adventure or write down a few thoughts from each day
- Inspirational or creative thoughts: Record thoughts of life, love, politics, theology, business ideas…. carry your creativity with you!
These small memo books have truly changed how I write things down and manage my life. I’ve freed myself from the distractions of my devices and burden of oversized notebooks.
Check out The Wander|Passport Cover & Field Notes in our shop!