STYLE Savvy: The Joy of Notebooks

"STYLE Savvy: The Joy of Notebooks" by Lisa Hess (

Via Pixabay (2017), CC0 Public Domain

I am the notebook queen. As a writer, I never want to risk losing a good idea, so I have notebooks in a variety of places: the car, the chest beside my bed, my office, the kitchen. Inside every purse I own.

These notebooks collect my writing thoughts, but they collect other things as well. The titles of books I want to read. Things I have to do. Stuff I want to remember.

As organizational systems go, they’re not the best, but I don’t expect them to be. Their purpose is to work as a temporary measure until I can get the information where it belongs — in my calendar or on my to-do list. Without my notebooks, a lot of information would slip away, or, just as bad, I’d be forced to try to remember it all.

I guess you could call them my brain back-ups.

When you think about it, multiples are common in organizational systems. We don’t have just one cabinet in our kitchens or one drawer for all our clothes. Multiple tools in various places or serving various functions can be efficient if we have a system for their use. And they work especially well if we use them to target our weak spots.

For me, keeping track of everything in my head doesn’t work (weak spot), and seeing reminders of what I have to do does. Sure, I could put it all on my phone, but that doesn’t work as well for my I need to see it personal style as going “old school” with paper and a writing implement. And, using notebooks instead of scraps of paper helps keep things contained, as well as limiting the number of places I need to look to see where I might have written something down.

"STYLE Savvy: The Joy of Notebooks" by Lisa Hess (

Via Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain

Is there a weak spot in your system? What measures can you put into place to shore it up?

Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.


  1. My system’s weak spot is my tendency to say, “I’ll just put this here FOR NOW.” My office is nice and tidy because there’s no room for a mess, but everywhere else, if I have a horizontal surface, I’ve GOT to fill it!

    Also, I have quite a few notebooks I’m saving–for what, I don’t even know. Time to start putting them to good use!

  2. Yep. That’s a drop and run habit! And I can definitely identify with saving notebooks for the “just right” occasion!! I have a supply of those myself. I have a few standbys — notebooks I use for the same task and when I finish one, I replace it with a new (identical) one, but finding the “right fit” for a new project is sometimes more challenging than it should be!!

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