I recently discovered Tom MacWright’s blog, and I read some of his blog-posts, and found one about paper notes. I highly recommend checking it out.

In 2018 I discovered bullet journaling. I’ve been trying to write consistently ever since, with a somewhat success, but always miss some months/weeks every year. I’ve used this to remember what I’ve done for specific days, what appointments and events I’m attending or going to attend. And it works, but I usually don’t write in it everyday, I write every two or three days, depending on how busy I’ve been that week.

And when it comes to notes in general, I’ve been trying to use my reMarkable 2 to write notes about work related stuff and other “discoveries” I come upon on the interwebs. But I always seem to forget it when going to work and I think it’s a hassle to take in and out of my backpack and remembering to charge it.

And like Tom, I bought nice notebooks for my bullet journaling and managed to write a lot, but suddenly I abandoned it. I never brought my bullet journal to work or when I travelled, it was just too much of a hassle, and what if I lost it?

Then a few weeks ago I found a Norwegian store that sells Field Notes, which fit my back pocket perfectly, and I thought maybe I should try to keep a small notebook with me at all time. So I bought six, because I’m going all in.

And I’ve written notes everyday, and I’ve had a blast, it just works. Whenever I just remember something I just write it down and forget about it. In meetings I use it for the same thing. I use it for todo-lists for the day or future. The other day a colleague and I were going through a presentation we were preparing for the University of Bergen and I wrote down all the comments and ideas I came up as we were presenting for each other, instead of trying to remember all of them in my head. And man did that work wonders! I made it into a list and we adjusted everything and nailed the presentation!

My field notes. Photo
My field notes with my Space Pen.

Like Tom, I treat them as append-only, and when I started doing this, it came naturally for me to only write down my notes in the paper notebook instead of having to rely on a digital notebook. No more needing to organize my notes, if it’s more important and useful in a project sense I add it to its specific place when I get time. I flip through my notes every now and then, and weirdly enough, I started to flip through the notebook instead of checking my phone.

And now, after a week I flip through my notes and add what’s interesting to my bullet journal and keep the other stuff in the field notes. It’s quick and easy, and I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to remember what I was doing earlier that week.

Again, I highly recommend reading Tom’s post, and checking out his blog in general.