How to Use a Simple Pocket Notebook to Improve Your Life

It’s really hard to believe, but I have to say that one of the most – and perhaps the most profound changes I have made in my life over the past few years has been the simple decision to start carrying my pocket notebook and pen with me wherever I go. went. Unless I made a mental mistake when exchanging a finished notebook or something, I don’t leave the house without my pocket notebook in my hip pocket or shirt pocket, with a secure pen next to it for jotting down notes.

This post was originally published on The Simple Dollar .

Benefits of a pocket laptop

Why was this such an important turn for me? Simply put, it has helped me in all aspects of my life.

I don’t forget names, phone numbers or other contact information. Of course, I can put this information on my smartphone, but it ensures that I can always do it, even if my smartphone is out of battery power. It also allows me to add specific notes about the person right after their contact information so I know why I wrote it down, rather than just dropping the number into my phone without any context.

If I find a task that I need to complete, it is immediately saved, so I don’t forget about it. I don’t have to keep this in my head and hope to remember later. I just take out a notebook from anywhere and write it down.

When I have a fleeting idea, I do not lose it and I have to work very hard to remember it. Sometimes I have a great idea for an article for The Simple Dollar, or I hear a great idea on a podcast or on the radio. A note in my pocket notebook allows me to memorize it so that I can explore it further when the time is convenient.

I, too, am not so distracted by these fleeting ideas. When these ideas come to my mind, I either have to try to keep them in my head for a while until I have the opportunity to do something with them that distracts me from what I am doing, or I have to let them go. … A pocket notebook solves this dilemma, as I can immediately jot down the idea and return to the task at hand without distracting me from the thought or losing it.

I learn much better, both when I plan to do it and when the opportunity to learn comes up unexpectedly. Using my pocket notebook to take notes during lessons, lectures, etc., I have found a very good strategy that works really well for internalizing and processing new things that I am learning. I’ll explain this in a little detail, but the pocket notebook was the key.

My brainstorming session is much more effective than ever before. Not only can I brainstorm almost anywhere I go, the results of this brainstorming are already part of a robust system, so I can get the results of this brainstorming later and actually do something with them.

These and many other things have greatly influenced the quality of my personal, professional and spiritual life.


Before I tell you in detail about how I use my pocket notebook, let’s talk about what I use.

What Kind of Pocket Laptop?

Most of the time, I carry a pocketsized field notepad with me. I’ve tried a bunch of different pocket laptops and I think I like them for several reasons.

First, it is held together with staples, not a metal spiral. I used to use regular pocket notebooks that were tied either at the top or at the sides with a metal spiral. It didn’t take me long to see problems with this binding, as the metal coil felt uncomfortable in my pocket, and with a lot of wear and tear, the laptops seemed to fall apart. The metal spiral often poked my leg, the pages began to fall out, and if I got even a drop of moisture there, it turned into a disaster. They just didn’t work. The paper clip is very important as it keeps the sharp metal away from my leg and makes the laptop much less bulky.

Secondly, the quality of the paper is good. I can write on it clearly and legibly with just about any pen or pencil I can sketch. There are some differences between field notes editions, but they all work well with the pens (and sometimes pencils) that I use.

Third, it is great for living in my pocket for weeks no matter what I do. For the most part, field notes fit very well in my pocket. After a day or two, the laptop bends slightly around the contour of my body, and soon after that you may start to see some scuffs on the cover, but the laptops hold up incredibly well. They will not fall apart even as a result of many walks and all kinds of activities.

Finally, they are available in graph paper format. I just prefer to jot down my thoughts on graph paper. I find it easier to do things like create checkboxes, write horizontally or vertically as needed, and create simple charts and images as needed.

It doesn’t hurt me that they are also very aesthetic to me.

My only gripe with them is the relative price. Typically you’ll find three packs of them – 48 pages each – for $ 9.99 MSRP. Sometimes I can find them a little cheaper. The problem is that I get out of them in about a week . I personally think it’s worth it, but if I could find a less expensive alternative with the same functionality, I would use it. (Most other similar laptops either have the same price or some significant flaw.)

What about page size? When I first tried pocket notebooks, I was really wary of page size. How will it handle large blocks of notes? I found that it was never a problem. I never had enough room for anything other than one or two very large drawings, and this was mainly due to the fact that I was drawing without any organization. The extra size of a larger notebook is a much bigger disadvantage than the relatively small page size of a pocket laptop.

What pen?

I do have three demands to handle my pocket.

Firstly, he should write with a very high degree of reliability in the pocket notebook that I use. Handles “dud” unacceptable, like pens, which are sometimes prefer to write only at a certain angle. These knobs must be accurate and reliable, always write when I pull out one to write a note.

Second, he must not leave excess ink on paper. If the pen leaves a large ink stains during normal writing, the ink will spread everywhere, and what I wrote would be completely illegible. This is unacceptable.

Third, it should never occur in my pocket. If the handle runs in my pocket, I immediately put an end to it. If the same pen runs twice, with this type of pen I’m done. This should never be.

I prefer to handle with a thin tip, but it’s a personal preference.

In the end, after I tried a lot of feathers, I prefer pen Uniball Signo 207 Micro Ultra . These pens are suitable for each of the above criteria, and you can buy them in bulk at a reasonable price for the handle.

How do I use a pocket notebook

My process of using a pocket notebook in general is based on the ideas outlined in the book by David Allen’s “How to do everything” . In this book, Allen describes a very robust strategy for tracking tasks and pieces of information that can be collected. Although I do not use the full Allen’s system, I use a large part of it, and my pocket notebook – a key part of this.


“Collection” simply refers to how I actually use my pocket notebook to take notes and collect things .

Everything about what I might want to think about later, recorded in my pocket notebook. If there is even a chance that I would want to think about it later, he was lying in my pocket notebook. I’m not trying to filter in advance – just put everything back.

I’m not afraid to remove it almost anywhere; If someone were to ask, I tell them, they just told me something important about what I want to remember or think about later. I have found that over the years, people will find it quite a positive thing. People would be pleased if you tell them, they just said something so important to you that you want to record it, to think about it later.

Think about it – what if you someone said something, and he said: “This is really exciting! Thank you for telling me! I’m going to write it, to later learn it more! “And then I wrote down what you said.

Most items are stored in the form of simple notes, preceded by a dash. I use a small dash or a period at the beginning of each note. Most of my collection – it’s just a long series of these notes.

I do not worry about the order or organization in my pocket notebook so I will treat it all later. For the most part, I do not care about the organization of these ideas when they write. Much of the material in this book – it’s just a series of unrelated notes.

I stuck pieces of paper directly into the notebook with a paper clip – for things like receipts, business cards and so on D. I usually have two paper clips attached to the back of the laptop lid.. If I find a piece of paper that I want to store and process later, I’ll simply insert it into the clip.

If I’m going to do a long note about something, I’m drawing a line through one of the empty lines as a separator before and after the notes and indicates what the notes and where I took them. Say, for example, that I look a lecture in the classroom or online that I did attend an event where there Rapporteur. I just did one line in your notebook, write the name of the class, lectures, book chapter, or something else in the next line, and then begin to take notes. When everything is ready, I draw another line under it. (If at this I’m having some strange ideas, I’m missing a page or two and write them down, and then go back to your notes.)

I keep my pocket notebook in front of him on the table while I work (with a pen next to it). I found that while working I have a set of random ideas, so having this notebook in the most convenient location, I can easily take notes when they come to mind. (Sometimes I just insert them directly into the program if you already know what to do with them.)


Processing means that I look through my pocket notebook and come up with what to do with all the little notes that I made.

I treat my pocket notebook a couple of times a day (if I am not on vacation or something like that). I just sit down at your computer, pull out a notebook and begin to deal with what is written there.

I start with the previous double line. I use a double line as a separator to indicate where I last stopped the processing of his notebook. Thus, when I’m ready for processing, I get back from my last note to the previous double-row and start with it.

I move the names and addresses in your address book and contacts on the social networks – to the relevant social networking accounts. Usually, I have a note explaining why I should contact with this person, and if so, I either get help right away or adds an entry to your list, explaining that I must follow (it’s what I do, if subsequent actions require any serious reflection).

I transcribe the recording of the lessons, or of what I learned. This is a key point, which helped me to process and assimilate information much better than ever before. Whenever I read a book in which I try to learn something, attend the performance or listen to a lecture on the course (I take a lot of online lessons for personal gain), I make a note in his pocket notebook.

These notes are great for helping me process information when I hear it, but they don’t really help me process it. I find that the best absorption- meaning that I integrate ideas into my thinking and interpretation of the world occurs when I rewrite these notes.

I usually copy them to Evernote . I take a new note in Evernote with the title of the talk, and then transfer my notes from my pocket notebook to my computer inside that Evernote note. As I go along, I look for things I’m not sure about and add those details to my notes.

This process is incredibly useful for actually learning the material. I had no idea how useful it really is, and I really wish I knew about it when I was in college. It helped me really understand a lot of different subjects.

I add cases to my to-do program. If an item is a task that I need to take care of, I either do it immediately or add it to my favorite to-do app , Todoist . (During the day, I usually just follow my to-do list and try to accomplish as many of the things on it as possible.)

I figure out what to do with the rest of the things I have recorded. There are usually a few other different things I need to deal with – things to look for, expenses to be recorded in You Need a Budget , and so on. There are usually obvious things to do with each of these things, and I’m trying to do that right now; if this is not possible, I make it another matter.

I do a double line when I’m done. When I get to the end of the last page of my notes, I just double-line like before so I know where to start next time.

Replacing old laptops

Gradually, the notebook fills up. When that happens, I have to do something!

When an old laptop is full, I put it in a storage box – not for posterity, but in case I need to see it again in a week or two. I have a box full of old notebooks, but as such I don’t need to keep them. Sometimes I need to go back to the last couple of notebooks because I have the feeling that I forgot something (but this happens very rarely because my system will just take care of everything).

My grandmother kept a notebook very similar to this one and I really enjoyed reading it and seeing her random thoughts and gift ideas. She liked to write down the weather every day and make notes about what she cooked or about gifts for people. I think my children and grandchildren will love it too if they have my old notebooks.

I am starting a new notebook by putting my name and contact information on the inside of the front cover and also offering a reward if found. The Field Notes I usually use have a blank space on the inside cover just for this information. If there is no such space, I use either the inner front cover or the front page of the notebook for such notes. In fact, because of this, I twice lost the pocket notebooks that were returned to me.

If I get to the end of the book, I start lugging around a replacement. I don’t like when pages run out, so I usually start carrying a new notebook with me when my previous notebook runs out of the last few pages. This way I can immediately switch to the new one when the old one runs out.

Final thoughts

These days, I rarely leave the house without a pocket notebook. It has become such an important part of my daily life that I don’t even think about grabbing it when an idea comes to my mind. I just pull out my notebook, jot down that idea or fact, and put it back, almost effortlessly.

This saves me time. It saves me money. It helps me build social bonds. It helps me learn. It helps me remember important things.

It’s just an integral part of my life.

How to use a simple pocket notebook to change your life “wiki useful Simple dollar


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