Last year, as part of my Stationery Resolutions, I resolved to use up notebooks that have been started, but still have heaps of pages left. This was a good idea – I have stacks that are tested or have been started for some purpose but either the project didn’t proceed or I didn’t need as many pages as the notebook had and the notebook just got shelved afterwards.
During this resolution, I used up 1 ish old notebooks (more on the ish later) – this isn’t for a lack of trying, though, I just don’t write that much and my handwriting is small. I’m not one of those who can scribble a few words on a page, scrawled across the lines/dots/grid and leave that as “used”. I write within the lines, small, and use up the whole page before I consider it done.
As a result of this mindset, I got a bit carried away with “completing a notebook” – this is where my “ish” comes in. I used up an A5 Cahier notebook, but when I finished it, I decided that there were many pages where the page hadn’t fully been used up. This started with half pages, but I started getting carried away with say 5-10 lines that remained on the page. Now for all my completionist views on notebooks, let’s be honest here – we run a notebook business. I have easily a lifetime’s worth of notebooks available to me. This level of pedantic-ness is completely unnecessary even without the supply.
The main thing this did was made me feel extremely disorganised and stressed as a result. Altogether it wasn’t a pleasant experience and completely unnecessary.
At the same time, despite having so many notebooks, I go through a “notebook worthiness” mental check of anything that needs to be written down – does it deserve its own notebook? Why/why not? How will I organise? How many pages will this project need? What notebook would be perfect? What layout do I want/need? What pen will I use? I know many people go through this, so I’m not alone. It is only when the answers are right to all of these questions that the project is designated a New, dedicated notebook, which will have been picked to be the right size, dimensions, layout and paper.
So what is the take home out of all this?
- Catch all notebook – for all of those things that need to be written down but don’t need its own place for it. This can be an old notebook to be used up – but use whole pages and find a way to organise (table of contents of the Washi tape method).
- If I really want to start a new notebook – start a new notebook! I have enough of them.
- I will not finish all of the notebooks I own – in this business, I test out each and every notebook I purchase, so they all get “started”. You just can’t use them all up.
- Don’t get stressed out about notebooks! This is supposed to be fun. (also who stresses about notebooks?)