Day 16 – Slice of Life Challenge – to many notebooks

I am fascinated by notebooks. I am always looking for, reading about or reading the notebooks of others. I seem to be looking for what people put in notebooks. I know there is much chatter about what kind of notebook one uses but I am interested in how people set up their notebook and what they put in them.

There are the:

  • scientists notebooks with facts, details, and formulas
  • naturalists notebooks with dates, weather, locations and descriptions
  •  artist notebook with drawings, dates and locations
  • gardeners notebook with plants, weather, phenology charts, dates, costs, drawings of garden layouts
  • writers notebook with observations, conversations, news clippings, lists, quotes, stories over heard, odd facts, questions, lines from books or insights. (Ralph Fletcher has a great chapter in Breathing In and Breathing Out – Triggers: Lines, Bits, Lists, Questions)

I have written about notebooks before since I am always trying to find a way to combine my notebooks. I am also always trying to switch between a paper notebook and a computer notebook. (using one-note, or any other apps that are currently popular). I know it would be easier to search my notebooks if they were all on the computer but I like the feel of paper and pencil in my hands. I love taking my garden notebook out in the garden or woods to track and record what I see. I love making charts and drawing funny pictures along side my writing. This is harder to do on the computer.

I have on my computer a health notebook (started after the heart attack), a garden notebook but also a garden paper notebook, a writers notebook that is paper and one on the computer that does not have much in it. There are also the many partially filled paper personal journals that basically say get your act together and think positive. I also have notebooks that really are just lists of things to do. Those notebooks connect to work projects, meeting notes with actions or just plan notes to remember it might be wise to clean the house and get some food in the refrigerator. Ok, so I also have an artist notebook with funny drawing in them. They were not suppose to be funny but I am only a beginning artists when it comes to drawing.

In truth this blog also could be thought of as a notebook/journal. It is a place I record my thoughts and thinking – it is just that this one goes public. This one takes a bit more thought, it gets editing for mistakes and I am a bit more careful about how I express what I am thinking – I try not to swear in this “notebook”/blog or rant about my health or the state of the government.

What kind of notebooks do you have? What do you put in them?

I know you have them because you are all writers and teachers – teachers are known to have many notebooks!

I would love to hear from you about the insides of your notebooks! What do you put in them?




About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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5 Responses to Day 16 – Slice of Life Challenge – to many notebooks

  1. Alice Nine says:

    AH! I’m a lover of notebooks: new ones, filled ones for writing, sketching, and a bullet journal. I think you would like Mary Gordon’s words that I used in a found poem: “Subscribe to the cult of the notebook”

  2. Liz McKenna says:

    One thing that’s helped me get my notebook act together is keeping a table of contents in the front. I number pages and add a quick note about what’s on each page. This helps me figure out where everything is when I need it. Right now I have a writer’s notebook, a dissertation notebook, a jots notebook, a work notebook, a carry with me notebook, a quote notebook . . . I could go on! I don’t think there’s such a thing as “too many” as long as the system works for you!

    • Joanne Toft says:

      I love it -I have never tried to put a table of contents in the front of my notebooks – I know I tried it with students once but the idea needed some help. I may have to go back to that idea and see what happens. Thanks

  3. bevbaird says:

    So enjoyed your slice. I too have notebooks for different reasons. and art journals. What to do with them I’m not sure. But they do add up.

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