PP9: Capture notebook and pen – One book to rule them all

(Part of the series: 12 Favorite Productivity Principles)

9. Capture notebook and pen – One book to rule them all

What do you do with all the miscellaneous information and ideas you come across during the day? Hopefully you are storing any information you need for the future in your information tool (see principle #5). But what about quick ideas and info on the fly? A lot of time we find ourselves scribbling things down on a random piece of paper or sticky note, which is fine until you can’t find the paper or sticky note.

The best way to capture random information throughout the day is to carry a small capture notebook and pen with you. Write everything down in one place. Then you will always know where to find it. Plus, instead of throwing the paper or sticky note away when you’re done with it, you will have a running log of the information in case you ever need to access it in the future.

I use the Moleskin Cahier Journal for this. It’s a durable soft-cover notebook with lined pages. It’s 3.5” X 5.5” and fits in my shirt pocket so I can always have it with me. It has tear-out pages in the back in case I need to write something down and give it someone else. And they only cost about $3.00 each.

The best pen I’ve found for this is the Fisher Bullet Space Pen with clip.These pens were developed for use by NASA in the Apollo missions. It has a compact design but opens up to a larger pen when you’re ready to use it. It writes the first time every time with no smudges. In fact, it can write under water, in zero gravity, at any angle and even upside down. You can get it with or without the clip, but I like the clip for my shirt pocket.

Whatever notebook or pen you use, I encourage you to carry a single notebook with you to capture miscellaneous ideas and information throughout the day. It’s a great way to capture ideas as they come, and you will always be able to find what you are looking for later.

Next in series: PP10: “Briefcase” principle – Avoiding the last-minute rush

Leave a Reply