- Twitter for meeting new people.
- Facebook for keeping up with friends.
- iCal for managing my schedule.
- Apple Mail for handling my email.
- Chrome for browsing the web.
- Google Reader for blog subscriptions.
- My iPhone for all of the above.
Yes I love these tools, but my favorite of all is this…
A plain black moleskine notebook.
Yes. I just dissed my iPhone for a 200 year old piece of paper technology. To my credit, great creatives such as Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, André Breton, and Ernest Hemingway all made heavy use of the moleskine. (Thank you, Moleskine website.)
Contrary to popular opinion, Hemingway did not write For Whom the Bell Tolls on an iPad while plucking away on a tiny bluetooth keyboard.
We have so many different tricks and tools today. We often forget the most basic items can be the most useful. I put my moleskine to work in lots of ways. I’ll give you ten of them:
- Meeting Notes – I used to carry around a clipboard. It worked, but was unwieldy. I was also tired of being the ‘clipboard guy.’
- Book Journaling – It’s so easy to just pop the moleskine open, while reading, and jot a few notes. It helps me get smarter.
- Sermon Notes – I always lose the pre-printed notes. I also don’t like filling in the blanks, so I just take notes in my book on Sunday mornings.
- Observations – The world is racing by at the speed of life. When something remarkable happens, I need to write it down. If I don’t, I forget. If I forget, then it never happened.
- To Do Lists – The more you keep in your head, the less new information you’re able to retain. If I find out that I have to do something, I’m writing it down in the book. It gives me permission to forget about it for now.
- Lesson Outlines – Teaching from an elegant little notebook is a lot classier than reading from an outline, no?
- Conference Notes – I don’t want to be the clipboard guy and my laptop distracts me when I’m listening to solid speakers. The simple moleskine to the rescue again!
- Business Plans – There’s something exciting about putting the pen to paper and writing a plan to create something. I could do this on the computer, but the joy is lost somewhere between my fingertips and the keys.
- Blog Outlines – Even this one. Most posts are born out of disjointed ideas, chicken scratch, and lists.
- Ideation – This is where I get to wax intellectual, sit in the corner of a coffee house, stare off into the sky, and write down whatever crazy idea pops into my head. Why not?
Don’t get bogged down with your technology today. Embrace something simple and make it work for you. Yes, I love my Twitter and I’ll check email at least 10 times today. Still, nothing carries me further than my little black moleskine.
What’s your favorite piece of technology?