today’s tools & food

estimated 5 min read

Food first. I’m almost always hungry ..

On my way to the library one day, I stopped in a deli on Flatbush Avenue (near Seventh Ave) and found these dry roasted edamame (lightly salted). I am addicted and am trying desperately not to finish the bag before I get my hands on more. Soo incredibly yummy.

Ok. tools.

Hi, my name is Penny and I … am addicted to the following: books, notebooks, stationary, yarn, pens, pencils, little Japanese stamps, penguins, bags, calendars. Not necessarily in that order, but I think that covers the serious addictions. Oh, and caffeine and soda (black cherry or ginger ale).

So, today’s tools are going to give a nod to several of those addictions. I want to talk about a CommonPlace Book. I have a collection of four that I use throughout the day. They are currently all Moleskine, but that could change in the future. In the past I’ve used 99¢ composition books, Miquelrius, and many others. I’m currently using these because I like the grid, the paper stood up to most of what I threw at it, and there is a hard back option with an elastic closure. Why do I have four? Well, I try to keep some of my many addictions separate and I have a separate work book for tax/business reasons. My flickr set includes notes on the photos which is similar to what I will post below. What four are there? There are two large moleskine, one is a grid and it is work, the second is a 18 month planner weekly view with notes, the third is a small grid for personal, and the last is a small grid cahier which contains books I want to read.

The book addiction was separated recently. I write books down as I find out about them, then cross them off as I acquire and read. I wish it was organized a bit more, but it is working much better than my previous non-system which included post-its and things.

But why a commonplace book? I don’t know it until it is written down. I may forget what I wrote down, but I will remember that I wrote it. If I try to limit where I wrote it, I am better off. :) I try only to write on one side of the page, then when reviewing I add notes to the facing page. I have found this works quite well for me.

So how do I remember what I need to do? I keep a calendar. Well, I keep many calendars but I’ll get to that point shortly. Here is a view of my planner. There is a ton that is there. Some of the recorded details were acquired from a practice my mother had before my father died. Every day she would record the weather by drawing a picture of Sun, Clouds, Wind, Snow, etc and recording the temperature and anything significant about the weather (18 inches of snow! hurricane gloria!) in a monthly wall calendar. I love this memory and the pictures she drew. I have calendars from before I was born through 1989 when she abandoned the practice. I miss it and every year give her a calendar to try to nudge her to start the practice again. Anyway, I digress. Today I record the weather and if there is anything very extreme I write that down. When I went to Tokyu Hands in August I picked up a bunch of these little stamps (sunny, cloud, rain (umbrella), snow) [i picked up a few others as well (book, cat with yarn). I’m looking for MORE. Can anyone help me out?] and have been stamping what the weather was. I also try to draw what I wore that day as I tend to go to the office once a week and I could very easily wear the same thing several weeks in a row but wouldn’t remember. Since they only seem me weekly I try to vary my wardrobe a bit more diligently. [for the record I own 2 each of the following: black wrap dress, black skirt A, and black skirt B] In the appointment fields (on the left side) I put date specific information, such as my MMR records were due to my University or they would put a hold on my registration. On the right side I record phone numbers to call, library books that are due that week (and get crossed off as they are returned or are renewed), the cash I’ve spent during the week, and other odds and ends. I use color to help me out as well. Work is Brown, Person is Purple, Books and School are Green, Judaism is Blue (thus why school can’t be blue), and birthdays and knitting are Pink. Temporary items are inserted with a blue no-copy pencil. I wouldn’t say I follow this 100%, I make mistakes, but that is the general path it takes.

For “safe keeping” I also store all of my appointments and other odds and ends in a calendar. Actually many many calendars. I like color and this enables me to have different colors to organize all the different topics. I can also group similar calendars together in this manner. Then I print a day view with iCal, including the location description and fields. This version includes specifics of my syllabi, addresses, phone numbers, etc. I scribble all over this copy with no concern for color or other details. Nightly I update both of my permanent records.

Next week I’ll try to get more into the nitty-gritty of why this is done and how it helps. Thank you!

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One Reply to “today’s tools & food”

  1. […] Overall it’s a bit fun, I think a larger layout would work better for me (i.e. 11×17, then folded in half for transport) but I don’t think I have the ability to print that size at home. I’m a sucker for color, that’s for sure (now that our printer [canon pixma i4000] has been fed $70 worth of ink; of course all of it had to go at once, no?). I really can’t say much more at this point as I’m at the library and realized I left that sheet at home along with snowflake’s power cable. Darn, they would be quite useful right now. Don’t worry though, I have schlepped my full collection of other notebooks plus my laptop in the rain to campus. ;) […]

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