300 Seconds: Organizing the “One Notebook”

300 Seconds: Organizing the “One Notebook”

In a recent post [“Carry a Notebook. (And a pen.)”], I shared my practice of using one notebook for everything. All types of information (lists, thoughts, passwords, quotes, etc.) from all areas of my life (work, home, school, art, etc.) are compiled in one notebook. This way I know where to find any information I wanted to keep… just not in my head.

My current notebook will be full by day’s end, but before I shelve it with the others, I want to share the results of a hack I’ve been testing.

You see, I love knowing that all of the information I need is in one location. But it can sometimes be difficult to find that information when I need it–specially if I’m in a hurry. So with this last notebook, I used the last page as a filing guide. I wrote on it different descriptions of information to which I wanted quick access. These might include phone numbers, how-to procedures, or dumb things my daughters say. If a page in the notebook contains information I don’t want to lose, I’ll mark the edge of the page with ink. Then, for example, the next time I need to remember the procedure for recording an author interview via Skype, I can flip to that page in the notebook.

One nice thing about this technique is that you can make up categories as you go along. Or, you can just wait until you’ve searched for the information a time or two. Either way, it’s a nice, clean technique for keeping organized without the use of Post-its, flags or paperclips.

Why call this a “300 Seconds” piece when it take just a few seconds to ink the edge of a page? Let’s just appreciate the 300 seconds you will not spend searching through your notebook.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay