Pocket Notebooks

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Because life isn’t complicated enough, I always have 3 notebooks going at the same time:

  1. My logbook stays on my nightstand.
  2. My sketchbook stays in my office or goes in my bag if I’m traveling.
  3. My pocket notebook goes with me everywhere.

I love the classic Moleskine and Field Notes sized notebooks, but they’re still a bit big. To be able to carry it everywhere, I need something that will really fit in my pocket — the notebooks I use are no bigger than my iPhone 4. (Because I know people will ask: I carry this type of Moleskine and usually a Pilot G2 or a PaperMate Flair pen.)

These notebooks are workhorses—they aren’t about pretty drawings or good penmanship, they’re about capturing ideas and the general debris of everyday life. It’s funny, but because I don’t treat them preciously, they’re often a more honest documentation of my scattered, day-to-day process than my logbooks (which are always recalled through my poor memory at the end of the day) and my sketchbooks (which I use a bit more intentionally, trying to work out a problem, map out a chapter, get a drawing right, etc.)

I always stamp my address in the front page.

The majority of pages are taken up with to-do lists. (I start each week with a date stamp.)

Sometimes I’m just making a note to follow up later or trying to work something out…

Sometimes thoughts come fully-formed and just need to be dictated.

Dreams and quotes (and apple stickers?)

Sketches at the art museum.

Doodle at a Bill Callahan show.

If you think about it, a map can be a sort of to-do list laid out in space. (This is a map of Maui that I drew on vacation from tour guides.)

Phone doodles.

Here I’m trying to figure out a cover for Steal Like An Artist.

When I had a day job in marketing, I doodled a lot more.


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