Almost a year ago, I began using the Midori B6 Slim notebooks for my everyday carry notebook, and it’s turned into one of my staples – I almost always have it with me.
I use it for all sorts of things including:
– funny things Caleb says
– ideas for blog posts
– ideas for the shop
– planning for meetings/projects/blog posts in their beginning stages
– grocery lists
– “thoughts” that I want to think about more, or journal about
– quotes from books or other places I come across
– to-do lists
– general notes for appointment times or dates, etc. that I eventually need to transfer into my planner
I keep index cards and sticky notes in the back in case I need to make a note to give to someone, and sometimes have a pencil or thin pen in the pen holder. The pen holder is very slim, not big enough to hold a fountain pen.
I also use this notebook for ink swabs, since Midori has very good paper, both their standard MD paper and their cotton – even sheen shows up very well. Every once in a while someone borrows it to take a look at a new ink, and I can feel my heart palpitate as my notebook leaves my possession. It’s not even about anything private written in there, it’s just all of my loose and disorganized thoughts jumbled onto the pages.
It’s been a relatively recent thing, about 6 months, where I’ve begun to use my pocket notebook more “aggressively,” although I have been on and off with using pocket notebooks for the last decade, and have filled a few. However, I find as life seems to get a bit busier (preschool, babies, appointments, renovations, new shops, new lines) and as I’m also trying to balance things like reading and writing and plants and adventures, that it’s been sort of a relief to not have to hold things in my head all the time.
I used to rely a lot on my memory – to remember to ask someone about this, to remember to check my library books online, to remember to send that email – but either my memory is getting fuzzier or there are just a lot more balls in the air. Probably a little of both.*
In any case, I write things down in here and then I can completely forget about them, rather than trying to hold things in my mind until I can attend to them. If I think to myself I need to mention this at our staff meeting and just try to remember it, I’ll spend more mental energy trying to remember it for days, and then again after I’ve forgotten it, whereas if I write it down, I can just “forget it” and get on with my day until I need it again.
I cross off things or entire pages as I’m done. Almost daily I flip through the last ten or so pages and see what’s been going on and what needs to be taken care of. I generally have an on-going to-do list but if it’s trailing back and I’ve already crossed off several items, I might cross off the whole page and re-write the items still on the list on a fresh new page.
It’s a great size for me in many aspects: not only is it a slim size (in terms of the thickness of the notebook) which fits easily into my bags, the longer page size means it’s great for lists and getting a bit more down on the page, as compared to the standard “pocket” size (like A6 or Field Notes).
I use the Midori MD B6 slim leather cover with mine, which I special ordered. For some reason I forgot this chain of events, and after receiving a few questions about it on social media, and I kept telling everyone we had them, Jon brought a few in for the shop.
It’s slowly taking on a good patina, and also has taken on a few stains. It always seems such a slow process to warm up, especially when I usually look at it next to my light brown Superior Labor Portfolio or pen roll, but every time I have to open a new sample one for the shop, I’m reminded of how much the colour has really changed.**
It’s only been about a year, and I can’t wait to see it in five years, ten years, or even more. Sometimes I feel like our culture demands a lot of instant gratification, or immediate and noticeable change, but I’m enjoying and savouring the slowing down of time.
I try to limit how much random doodling/scribbling I do, although there are a few pages of that as well, especially since Caleb loves to also “take notes.” If my notebook is the only thing I have nearby to do a test scribble on, I have no problem breaking it out, but I’m trying to be a bit more organized about it in general.
At the back of my notebook, I have a list of books or authors to look into or to read. To be honest this is a bit of a meaningless practice, as I have a pile of books three feet high on my desk waiting to be read (Caleb piled them up), but it feels nice to write it down when I stumble across an interesting recommendation. Too many books, too little time.
In other news, it’s been one of those weeks. On Sunday, our water tank finally died.
The water tank in our bathroom has been leaking for literally months, and the amount of hot water I’ve been getting in my shower has been slowly decreasing. Jon said it was one of those silver lining things, since it meant my showers had been getting shorter and shorter, which meant he had to hold the baby for a shorter and shorter amount of time. Silver lining, that is, until Sunday when he had about 60 seconds in there. And also Sunday night when he had to fill up the tub for Caleb’s bath bucket by bucket from the sink in the warehouse, with the working water heater. (And also Monday and Tuesday nights). Additionally, with the leaking, we had this huge blue recycling bag catching the water in order to funnel it into the sink so it wouldn’t drip all over the place, which was surprisingly oppressive, to have this giant, plastic thing looming over your head as your brush your teeth.
Since Sunday, we’ve had a dozen workers trudging in and out, in their snow and slush covered boots. There’s a very complex hierarchy of maintenance workers in this building, where the guy sent to “fix the water tank” needs to talk to Pat, who needs to talk to Vip, who needs to talk to the plumber, who needs to talk to Vip again, and then they all need confer outside, and then they need like eight guys to come and take down the water tank over a period of three days because it was installed above our heads to save space, but (who’d think it) very dangerously. They’re all trying to problem solve how to get this 200lb piece of metal down, and I’m just trying not to passive aggressively stare at the puddles on the floor.
So they installed the new water tank on the floor behind our bathroom door, and there are pipes and tubes sticking out of the wall of our bathroom, and you can’t open the bathroom door all the way. Jon suggested we remove the door and just hang a curtain. You know, nice and intimate. But we have hot water again.
And just now, I found a dog hair inside my banana.
*Probably more the former.
**In case you really want to darken your leather, Midori includes this note with each leather cover. Essentially you should leave it in sunlight for a few weeks.