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« Drawing Near - January 13 | Main | Fighting against the world »

Fighting chaos

... on my desk, that is.

I'd like to say that I work better with scads of paper and pens and books on my desk, but I'd be lying.  I find as I get older, having a clearer workspace is much more important to me than the days of sitting on my bed with papers and books scattered, but still knowing where everything is.

I do a lot of writing on paper, in notebooks, etc.  I had too many notebooks.

I was at one time a devoted Moleskine user, and I still have one for my purse, but for my journaling in the morning with my bible, I use the black one sitting on top the spiral bound notebook.  It's cheaper, bigger, and the paper likes me better.  Moleskines are all the rage, and I do like them, but I actually like the paper in the other one better.  Comfortable writing is a marriage between pen, paper, and writer, and while I use my Moleskine for haphazard note-taking, I like my other thoughts to be legible, rather than something scratched out by a serial killer.

I also wanted to consolidate things so that I didn't have a pile of notebooks.  I did some research and after Christmas, I decided to re-visit Circa notebooks from Levenger.  I used to get my Waterman pen refills from Levenger, because I could not find anyone who sold black fine point Waterman pen refills.  They also have nice lap desks. I bought a letter size, fold back notebook.

They do have leather ones, but they are really pricey.  The idea behind this is that the paper is re-fillable, so I'm not storing used up notebooks, but just the the insides.  I can save the notes if I really need them, or I can use them to start fires in the fireplace.

The things holding the layers together are plastic discs, 3/4" in diameter:

The thing I like about the disc idea is that there are bigger sizes if I want to expand the size of my notbook.  I can't see going much more than 1" simply because I don't want to be carting around a phone book. Remember phone books?  I wonder if people still use them.

I bought dividers for mine.  They're plastic, not paper, and I already found a use for three of them.  There are sticky pieces of paper for labelling:

I decided to be organized about studying and blogging, and I'm keeping a place where I have blog ideas. Perhaps this will make me more thoughtful about what I post, because I can keep the ideas simmering on paper.

The paper I bought is annotating paper, which means it has a margin on the left side for extra notes. It is very nice to write on not only in felt tip pens like Zig Millennium and Micron, but also ball point pen and pencil.  I can't bear not to write on both sides of the paper, and there is no bleeding through, even with Micron pens, which I find can bleed in Moleskine notebooks, depending on the size of the pen.  My daughter informs me that this paper is horrendously expensive, and perhaps she's correct.  I don't do nearly the amount of handwriting she does.  As an aside, I think she's somewhat of an anomaly in the student department.  She's only 23, and lived with technology most of her life, but she writes all of her outlines and essay drafts on paper first.  Hence, her disgust at my paper.  She ends up recycling it once the paper is written.

I have spent a lot more time handwriting things in the last month, and I must say, I missed it!  When I was a young woman, I spent hours at night writing in sprial notebooks, with paper that was too thin, where the felt tip pens bled through.  I like this thicker paper.  I'll still use my other black journal for personal writing and general nonsense, where I churn and cry out to God.  But I feel so organized without having a lot of clutter on my desk.  It makes finding the dust a whole lot easier.

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Reader Comments (5)

Thanks for sharing this. The Circa notebook looks interesting; I'll definitely be checking them out. I like simple spiral bound notebooks, but having a sturdy one that is refillable - sounds right up my alley. :)

January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelli Bourque

What a neat system! Thank you for sharing this. I think I'll start writing again in my old spiral bound notebook again to see if I enjoy it (and am more productive) before investing in a Circa. Could be a great birthday gift. :)

January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelli Bourque

Thanks for sharing. I love handwriting, notebooks, pens, etc! I'm a tangible soul. When I sit in my classes, I'm usually the only one (or there might be one other person) that takes notes by hand in a notebook. Everyone else is typing away on their laptop!

January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Love this post. I will definitely check out all the items you mentioned and give them a try.


Thanks for such a practical post and help in organizing one's writing and studying. I loved it! It is an encouragement to organize my own space beginning this month. I regularly journal so found this blog helpful to continuing to do so. And thanks for including pictures along with your suggestions :)

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

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