the blank page

estimated 2 min read

As my two long-time readers know, I keep a daily work-log book to track all those random things that happen throughout my day that I need to record in one way or another. I’ve been going through several different types in an attempt to find what works best for me.

For the past several volumes, I’ve been back on my Moleskine kick because composition books, while affordable and not likely to induce the “oh no! i just bought this pricey notebook and i’m going to write in it and ruin it” syndrome, were just too large as I attempt to slim down my everyday bag.

My first several volumes were large squared notebooks, with a hard cover. But they are slightly heavy and the large page count meant I was schlepping around information that could be put away in storage long before I finished the book.

On December first, I started with a large squared cahier.

Why all the squares? They appeal to my wannabe-engineering brain and let me “sketch”. The squares help me keep lists neat and provide ready made check boxes for when I actually complete something.

This cahier held up well during the month, except it fit exactly December within its pages. I don’t write important things (the work log stuff) on the tear-away pages so I was only using the 64 pages that are sewn in. The remaining 16 were filled with lists and things that while important and useful, don’t need to be retained in my document management environment.

I liked that it fit a little bit of information and was thing and light, but I worry it’s not enough. While most of my life can be easily filed on a monthly basis I’m not sure I really want to have 12 or more of these each year. That December was a quiet month makes me worried that I won’t have enough pages in the busier times.

So I went to Strand to pick up some Large Ruled Volants or so I thought. This small purchase was made after a busy morning at the office and after the completion of several other errands, so I was hungry and tired. I grabbed a package that was within a bunch of Ruled notebooks and checked out. It was only on the train home that I discovered I was not the happy owner of Ruled Volants… no no. I had purchased Blank Volants.

The last time I tried a blank page journal (several years ago) did not result in success. It was frustrating and stressful.

I decided however, to give this a go. There aren’t squared Volants, so I took a blank tear-away page from my cahier and set to work using it for 2009.

I’m surprised to say that I’m happy.

The notes and thoughts are flowing freely and I am letting myself scribble and annotate with a freedom I’ve not had recently. I guess the rigidness of the squares was stifling for my creativity and thoughts. I have a sheet which I can use to provide both lines and squares. But mostly I’m just writing.

I’ll try to update this post with a photo of my new work-log and an example of my life in a squared one, but right now I’d have to mangle and render anonymous so much of the writing to make it something I’m comfortable posting that I need to write up a false page or two.

Stay tuned for next week when I give a shout-out for a friend’s business. In this new year, I hope to do this every few weeks featuring another enterprise each time. My friends are very creative, clever, talented and just plain amazing and I want you to know about their work too.

שׁבּת שׁלום

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3 Replies to “the blank page”

  1. I just bought a couple of the squared Moleskines (small) because I want to do lists and numbers, and I’m hopelessly scattered without the rigid structure of squares. Last year I tried an unruled journal but I didn’t like it because I got no sense of completion when I’d finish a page but see a lot of blank space.

    Funny how these details mean a lot to some people ( like us), and are utterly irrelevant to others (like Them…)

    melanie recently wrote: patience

  2. I’ve been carrying a hand book for awhile now. I love it. http://www.dickblick.com/zz118/69/ It is square and awesome. I got used to unlined because even though my handwriting slants terribly [blame that on being a lefty!] I’ve always used them for design work, and I like having the blank page for that.

    TheBon recently wrote: Eight Down

  3. I have a moleskin that I use for my art/craft doodling and designs. I’ve had it for a couple of years. There’s something about having a tangible notebook with ideas that’s inspirational. The daily stuff is for the blog. :)

    Dave Daniels recently wrote: Handweaving – A Personal Observation

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