Saturday, March 12, 2011

For the love of Notebooks...

Have you ever happened across the blog Stuff White People Like? It's incredibly brilliant, and if you are a white, urban, liberal like myself you will find that more often than not the entries apply to you in a pretty sad way. Entry #122 hits home particularly hard because it'd devoted entirely to a brand that I covet: The Moleskin Notebook.

Do yourself a favor and read #122 then jump back here for the remainder of my entry.

Done? Had a chuckle. Good, let's carry on.

I do adore my Moleskin. Or rather I should say, my Moleskins as I have multiple. For I am incredibly white if you haven't noticed. My journal is a black leather bound Moleskin and I have a mini version of the same one that I keep on my bedside table to jot down important thoughts (which for the purposes of transparency I will admit I haven't written in since probably 2008). My dear mother, at my behest, purchased a Moleskin recipe notebook for me last year, and a few months ago I bought a set of Three Ruled Cahier Notebooks in Navy Blue.

My initial intentions for these notebooks was to make customized day planners for myself, but I decided I didn't like their size for the intended purpose. To be clear, yes you did just read that I wanted to make a customized day planner, I have since made one but it was not created in a Moleskin Journal. The levels of dorkdom in my life are at a alarmingly high percentage.

However a good Moleskin is never to go to waste, so instead I created a trio of notebooks that sit to the left (naturally) of my computer, held in place by a paperweight which was gifted to me by my Alma Mater for being what they called a "Lifer" (that means I went to the same school from Kindergarden through Twelfth grade). Could this scenario get any whiter? I'm not sure.

     From left to right: Money Matters, My Wish Lists and Free Time Fulfillment

The notebooks have been created to keep organization and focus in my life. The first one, Money Matters houses my records of personal spending. I have a set budget each month and different allotments for various spending categories. Every month I create a new page with each category listed and I leave a page blank for detailed notes on where my money goes. It's a system that works for me, and I have tried more high tech approaches to money management, but this simple and relatively old fashioned way seems to be the best bet so far. I write in it almost daily in order to keep my finances in check.

The second notebook, titled My Wish Lists, is where a keep a running tab of all the things I hope for one day. These are physical, tangible items, not wishes like world peace and rock hard abs. I have a page for each room in my house and I write down all the things I would like to eventually have for that room. Items may include: A new couch, bathroom accessories or a countertop compost pail.  I make note of this because I read somewhere once that people who actually take time to write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. Also, because if I ever happen upon extra spending cash or gift cards it helps me spend said money on things I actually want/need rather that impulsive non-necessities. I also paste pictures of images I find in magazines that inspire me, and I am currently using it to keep track of the money I am saving up for one of the larger and more pricey items on my wish list.

Free Time Fulfillment keeps a tally of things I could be doing when I find myself with nothing to do. Up until recently one of the tasks was "organize storage unit". So often when I have time on my hands I watch useless videos on Youtube. This helps me remember those projects that I say "some day when I have free time.....". There are a few things more satisfying then crossing things off of a to-do list. And while I am being totally open and putting my insane and neurotic ways out there, I should tell you that I never cross things off in pen, I always use a highlighter so I can still see the task that I accomplished.

Yep, I am utterly and completely uncool. And as white as they come.

Oh and I created the labels for my notebooks during Snowmageddon. Nothing like having no TV or internet to get the creative juices flowing.

Check out these entires for more Stuff White People Like entries that are a little too familiar for me: #123, #91, #88, #60, #54, #40, #24, #23, #8 and #5


  1. I have missed your posts! Glad to read some again!

  2. Dear Blair, Clearly you have inherited the "list making" gene that has been passed down in my family. Yes, they can keep us focused and productive and give us a sense of accomplishment when we cross an item off the list - just one problem I seem to have these days is remembering where that darn list is??? I am happy you are so disciplined and organized-( two qualities I lack )- and so pleased that you have started blogging again! Love from your list-maker mother!