Posts Tagged ‘todos’

Word. Notebooks Built For To Dos

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

The folks at Word. Notebooks sent me a few of their notebooks to take a look at. They’ve sat in my “Action” file during my recent convalescence, but I’ve been giving them a go recently. I can’t help but  compare them to the Field Notes Memo books that I regularly carry and love.

They are very similar in several ways. They cost within pennies of each other for packs of three notebooks—Field Notes for $9.95 and Word. for $9.99. They are almost exactly the same size. Almost. I’m looking now at an example of each. They both have 48 pages. What is different is their “fit and finish.”

The Field Notes Memo book lies flat on the desk surface. It is exceptionally well crafted. The Word. notebook bulges up and the cover points out at nearly 40 degrees from the desktop surface. That’s a matter of paper stock and how they’re manufactured. It’s not a big deal for many, but it can matter to the rather compulsive notebook connoisseur like me. The flatness of a book that you carry in a pocket, especially a shirt pocket, makes a difference. The Word. notebooks are stiffer and perhaps sturdier, but they bulge.

Perhaps the bigger difference is the purpose of each notebook. The Field Notes memo book has only a general purpose: write things down. The Word. notebook is designed for to dos. Each page has a very simple symbol running down the left side of the page—a circle with a dot in the center, faintly printed. The inside cover has a key that allows the notebook’s owner to capture things to do and then use the symbol to highlight the following:

  • Darken the center dot to indicate a bullet point
  • Darken the circle to indicate that this is important
  • Draw a slash through the circle from left to right ( \ )through the circle to indicate that the item is in progress
  • Draw an X through the circle to indicate that the time is complete.

This isn’t a bad system. It’s very efficient and properly used one can maintain a very neat notebook of captured and working todos.

But I’m not a neat person when it comes to note taking. I capture far more than things to do. I capture ideas. There’s nothing that keeps me from using a Word. notebook to capture an idea, but it rankles me to do so. I’m messing up this very specifically designed notebook and feel like I should be making the note somewhere else. That’s just me and no fault of the notebook.

Frankly, I prefer Patrick Rhone’s notation formula and find it much more flexible. It doesn’t require special paper and it can be used mingled amongst other types of notes. I’ve been using it since 2006 when he first published it and I find it easy and effective.

I can recommend the Word. notebooks, especially if you are dedicated to capturing to dos. You can purchase them here.