Bring Back the Desk Journal

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-03-2010


I know that most desks or offices seem to run on sticky notes.  I step into a colleagues office and I see them everywhere.  Stuck to the computer monitor, stuck to the wall or in neat little stacks on the desk.  If you ask someone a question there is a flurry of the little pastel squares to find the answer.  People that don’t get to a sticky pad fast enough will often jot down information on any scrap available and just hope they have that scrap available when they need the information.

In days gone by, long before the advent of computers and even before paper was taken for granted people kept all of the daily business in a a journal. Every transaction, every meeting, every detail of a days business was jotted down and dated.  Somehow, with everyone using computers, handwritten information has lost its importance until its lost.

A good way to declutter your desk as well as save your mind frdesk journalom having to remember where all the scraps of information lay, is to re establish the use of a desk journal.  Of course you can go and purchase a wonderful, leather-bound book to do this.  That might work for you.  Personally I use a thick spiral notebook from the drugs store.  Here’s my technique:

I sit down at my desk in the morning and flip to the next clean page in the notebook.  I take a ruler and make a vertical line down the center of the page and the days date at the top of the page.  Notes, information, to-dos and even phone messages go in the left column separated by at least one blank line and then a horizontal line (I use my ruler for this line as well).  As the day goes on and I take action on any of this information, further notes and actions are made in the corresponding space in the right column.  This gives me one place to look to find any info or answers I need.  It also gives me an archive to go back to to find old information I might need.  More than once I’ve had co workers come to my desk and ask me to check my spiral notebook for a phone number or clients name.

As for sticky notes.  I still use them.  Mainly I use them to give information to other people and they hand me info on them as well.  The trick is to either transcribe the info into the notebook, or, more often than not, I just take a bit of tape and stick the note right to the page.

A book is a container

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 25-03-2010


6a00d8341bfcdc53ef01156f9c5e46970c-300wiI think that most people see a journal as a wonderful handwritten log of events and thoughts.  I guess that works for some people.  But the thing to remember is a book can hold so much more than words.  More than drawings even.   Grab your tape and glue and fill the thing up!

Try a couple of pages of movie tickets to chronicle the films you’ve seen

I have a thing for feathers.  There are always one or two stuck in the pages somewhere

Wrist bands, wine labels, snapshots, peices of maps, a dab of the perfect color paint for your bedroom,  A journal can hold it all.

From time to time I scour Ebay for journals that I buy and read (if they are legible)  I have one from the late 19th century that has a recipe for lemon cake I am trying to decipher and in the middle of the book are two locks of hair, delicately spiraled and pinned to the pages.  I’m afraid that the journal was kept with a pencil and it is much faded now, so I have no idea who the hair belonged to or what its significance is to the journaler.  Actually most people are grossed out by it, but I am facsinated by this tangible link to a life or lives from a century ago.

Okay, I’m Back

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 25-03-2010


Due to silliness beyond my control, I sort of dropped the ball on this blog.  But I’m back now.