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December 9, 2016

Mike F.’s Fresh Take on the Moleskine

It’s been so fun to go through all of my photos from this summer’s Together Tour. That’s how you got Jacob’s Traveling Whiteboard and Cody’s Updated Clipboard, plus fun pencil cases and beautiful views and other such sundry items.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about notebooks, specifically Moleskine notebooks. People LOOOOOOOOOVEEEE their Moleskines. I think it has something to do with their size, compactness, and professional looking rubber band around the cover.

When I met Mike F., a VP of Secondary Programs for IDEA Public Schools, he literally hugged his Moleskine. He explained a common notebooker’s dilemma: “I was wedded to my Moleskine and a paper and pencil system to keep track of daily tasks. But it felt like my notes were separated from my calendar!”

You see, the challenge of a typical notebook is that it is full of what’s, but no when’s. This may be great for brainstorming and journaling, but ultimately it creates a fissure between your time and your To-Do’s, thus rendering your system not comprehensive.

Imagine my excitement when I saw THIS:

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Maia: What led you to modify your notebook?

Mike: I really liked the concept of the Weekly Worksheet as a way to have my calendar on hand and also keep a To-Do list or notes in the same place. Therefore, the easiest solution was to incorporate the Weekly Worksheet into my Moleskine.

Maia: This may sound silly, but what are the logistics of this? Does it involve tape or glue?

Mike: I tape the calendar into the left side and create and update my To-Do list on the right. On subsequent pages, I take quick notes or capture thoughts for the week.

Maia: When and how do you fill it in?

Mike: I update the calendar online and print it on Friday afternoons or first thing Monday morning during a Meeting with Myself. I move any incomplete tasks from one week to the next and then create my plan for the week. Throughout the week, I edit the To-Do list.

Maia: Of course, I’m very nosy. . .  What else is in your notebook?

Mike: A lot of meeting or random data notes. I also have a section in the back of the notebook that acts as a Thought Catcher.

Maia:  What does this notebook do for you? I mean, why bother?

Mike: More consistency. I used to keep a lot of tasks spread out across lists, Outlook, and then also a notebook. This helps me keep my day-to-day activities, basic notes, and tasks all in one place. I can organize my notes by week and maintain a running task list that matches my calendar. Also, it’s the one system I’ve used over the years that I have been able to maintain consistently.

Yet another case of lean into what you love. You may love your notebook, your clipboard, your iPad Mini, your index cards, your WHATEVER. Just make sure it is comprehensive, portable, accessible, and gets your time and To-Do’s into a single location. Make it work for you! Like Mike did!

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