Somebody once told me that a wise man always carries a pen. Of all the advice I’ve been given in the last 23 years, that one stuck. It was such a simple solution that I felt there was no excuse for not doing it. But, I soon realized that if you’re going to have a pen you’re going to need to have paper too. And so, for the past five years, I’ve carried a notebook.
In doing this, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I now know that when I write down my thoughts immediately, I’m more likely to remember them. If I write a list, it’s more likely to get done. And for somebody who actually enjoys being hyper productive, it’s a relief to have a notebook telling me what’s next.
My notebook also helps me keep track of important moments. For example, I know exactly where I have travelled and when I was there in the last 5 years. Notebooks tell me the interesting thing I did or ate, and who was there with me, giving them the distinct ability to take me back whenever I pull one out of my pocket.
I know to most people carrying something in your pocket that isn’t a cell phone sounds outrageous, but honestly, the phone just doesn’t do it for me. Yes, I realize my iPhone has a notepad and no, it’s not the same thing. I can’t cross things out on my phone, I can’t flip the pages, and I can’t give myself those damn paper cuts with a phone. Ok, so maybe the last one isn’t a valid argument.
The point is that notebooks are tangible. I can rip out pages, draw on the cover, and keep all the information even when I spill coffee on it. A notebook has become a part of my mind and for that reason, it makes the list as an item for every day carry.