The Evil and Catch-All Notebooks

notebooks1.jpgThis is in response to Marcia Francois's post a few days agoMy Favourite Organising Tools #1 – Notebooks.

I, too, looove notebooks! Michael's Arts & Crafts carries a variety in their dollar bins – you can't beat 'em.

But I have notebooks for everything and friends and family muse as to how I can keep track of stuff in so many notebooks. Well, they all have a purpose and that purpose needs to be designated before starting the notebook. Some examples of mine include Books I've Read, Affirmations, Client Hours & Other Info, Organizing Tips… Then there's my two favorite: THE EVIL NOTEBOOK and the Catch-all.

The EVIL one is basically a journal with my most wicked, nasty thoughts – filled with profanity, I'm sure. Thing is, I never go back and read it like I do other journals. This is the one I grab when I hate my husband (come on, I know you all hate your sig others at one point or another), when my crazy M-I-L does another stupid, off-the-wall, hovering behavior in regards to her darling son or my darling children, when the mail lady leaves me just one too many nasty notes – you get the idea. I yell, I scream, I holler, I call names, I say lots of things that I don't mean. Sometimes I draw mean pictures and scribble them out. Doesn't that always feel good? To press really hard and scribble something out? And then I feel better and can move on. When the notebook is full it goes right into the fire. Kind of symbolic.

My kids'll make me mad about something and then sheepishly ask, "Am I going to be in the Evil Notebook?" :)

All my notebooks are fair game and open to inquiring eyes, but not the Evil one. That one's under lock and key.

The Catch-all notebook is to me like barnacles are to whales. It goes everywhere I do. And functions just as that – a catch-all: a journal, a to-do list, a place to put cool quotes, voice message notes, grocery lists, recipes, phone #'s etc. At the end of every day or every few days, I transfer what needs to be, otherwise it's a permanent record of my life. At the end of a notebook, I will go back and pull out anything that needs to be, otherwise a few post-it flags go in for future reference if needed and it goes on the shelf with the rest. And I think it's really fun to pull out notebooks from years gone by and remember. OK, it might not be coffee table reading, but it's a personal biography without actually having to write one!

How else do you guys use your notebooks? I just remembered that my TMJ dentist wanted a record of my wearing my appliance. Guess what? Yep. Got it's own notebook!

And is there any cooler feeling than staring at a crisp new – front page – of a notebook?! You almost don't want to ruin it by writing in it!

8 thoughts on “The Evil and Catch-All Notebooks

  • March 7 2008 at 10:23 am
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    Oh, Tami – we are kindred spirits – I also have many.

    I have one specifically for brainstorming because it has a blank page opposite the lined page.

    One for scribbling notes when I'm in front of the computer…

    One in my handbag for all my business to-dos…

    And the list goes on and on :)

    Thanks for carrying the notebook torch!

  • March 7 2008 at 10:37 am
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    I love to have mine altogether in one neat litte place (I'm a minimalist at heart). In the notes section of my planner, I have it divides into separate lists: things I need for the house, the pets, the family, gift ideas, music I want to get, movies to rent, books to read, and a listing of all my computer passwords for work and personal.

    I do need a cute little idea book like yours, though, Marcia!

  • March 8 2008 at 8:52 am
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    Ah Ha! NOW…. I will definitely open up those crisp notebooks that I keep buying and definitely put them to use. I have bought two lovely looking notebooks, thinking that I'd use them for messages/todo's etc…but they were so nice and cheap too (from Ross) that I didn't want to spoil them.

    I have one by bedside – I'm not one to daily journal, but on my birthday (3rd March), I decided I was going to journal nightly – so far I only made one entry. But, it looks pretty on my bedside table.

    The other one, I just wrote in yesterday, and thought that I would carry it around with me in my purse/car and use it for messages/to-do's etc…

    I love carrying around a pretty notepad, rather than scraps of paper. Plus, you can find them at great prices, especially at TJ Maxx/Ross/Big Lots…..

    Here's to notebooks!!

  • March 9 2008 at 7:29 pm
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    i love love love your idea of an "evil notebook". sometimes you really just need to let off steam, but don't want those nasty thoughts screwing up an otherwise lovely journal.

  • March 9 2008 at 10:13 am
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    I used to have notebooks that had different sections I used, then I started using electronic files. Now I have my files on google and I can access them anywhere!

    Of course is still have a little notebook I carry with me as a catch-all.

  • March 10 2008 at 8:26 am
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    I use a notebook at my job religiously. I write down every single thing that happens during the day, including instructions given, phone calls taken, notes on future needs, etc. I have done this for my entire working life and it has been a tremendous tool in keeping organized and in tracking archive information, such as when did I talk to so-and-so about this, etc.

  • March 13 2008 at 7:27 am
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    Oh I love ring bound notebooks so much. Especially how you can leave them open on your desk and use them quick sharp. But at some point I end up with loads of books and no good storage for them. They get stuck together in mag files and in piles I am always searching for the right one. Any good storage solutions?

  • March 21 2008 at 5:12 am
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    What a great idea to have an Evil Notebook.

    It's such a comfort to know that I'm not the only one who has finds release in venting on paper about husband and mil, but I never thought to put it in it's own notebook that I can get rid of, as you say, it would be it's own very symbolic method of release.

    Matter of fact, it might be time that I did let go of a few things. Hmmm…

    Will be going through stacks of old notebooks with a new eye, thanks for your candidness and yet one more great idea to use a notebook for.

    I also like the catch all. I've been meaning to do that for ages but still haven't, will give it another go, of course I will need to buy another notebook that is just right for the job…

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