WHY THERE’S SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL ABOUT AN OLD NOTEBOOK

I’ve never considered myself a hoarder as such, but then again I don’t expect a hoarder would recognise him or herself as a hoarder anyway. They would probably prefer to be described as passionate or a collector.

Well if that is the case I am a passionate collector of notebooks. But then, who doesn’t love a notebook? You see, I’m already trying to justify it by making a generalised assumption that everyone loves them, the subtle suggestion being that anyone who doesn’t is in the minority.

Anyway, I’m going off in a tangent, which I’m sure I have a notebook about.

IN IT FOR THE LONG RUN

I have notebooks going back some 30 years that are partly filled. In fact, in most cases I don’t complete notebooks, but that’s no reason to throw them away. Usually, I’ll find some nugget entry that gives me enough justification to keep it even if I don’t use it for anything else.

I have several shorthand notebooks which are, on average, around half used. So far however, I’ve only thrown one out. It was painful. Sleep was lost. Self-recrimination followed.

You would understandably assume that with all of these half-filled notebooks I wouldn’t be in the slightest way tempted to buy another, right? Depressingly, no. When I see a new style notebook in the stationery section of a shop, I’m worryingly and hopelessly drawn to it.

Not long ago I saw one called ‘Things To Do Today’ and I just had to have it. It’s a brilliantly simple concept that shouts out at me in the way a caramel chocolate covered bar screams out at a chocoholic. A daily list of things to do. What, as they say, is there not to love?

And I’ve been using it; though not every day. In fact not even most days but I loved it so much that I bought another in case it went out of print even though I’ve only completed 23 pages since my first entry on the 24th October. Okay, so the lettering on the front looks like To and Do have been oddly pushed together to look like a single word but for me that just makes it quirky and fun. What that makes me I’ll allow you to decide.

THE CLUE’S IN THE TITLE

The sole purposes of a notebook, is there in the title. A book for taking notes. Jottings. Thoughts and insights. Its a journal to help carve a path to something bigger and more complete. Got an idea for a story? Jot it down. Heard something useful or interesting you wish to recall later? Make a note of it. Got a random stream of ideas you wish to shape into something more cohesive at a better time? Grab that notebook.

It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else, or if only the author can decipher the excited scribble, once it is down it’s saved because those thoughts could be gold dust. Or they could be just dust. Until they are read back at a time where they can be more objectively considered why take the risk in losing them?

LAST NIGHT A NOTEBOOK SAVED MY (FINANCIAL) LIFE

You may, or indeed may not, be wondering which is my favourite notebook. Well I’ll tell you anyway. It’s an exercise book (you’ve got to love an exercise book, they are quite literally the epitome of ‘old school’) on which I scribbled on the cover in black felt tip pen the barely legible title of ‘How To Get Out of Financial Shit As Quick As I Can Journal’. Snappy, eh?

It simply got my thought processes onto the page and kicked off a successful campaign that got me out of the deep and suffocating credit card crisis I had been in for years.

So this is a notebook that will remind me to take heed, to not allow myself to get in such a mess again. Maybe something similarly beautiful could work for you.

So go on, buy a notebook for yourself, just in case…

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