The Craftsman’s Humility: The Inkleaf Leather Company’s Notebook Cover Giveaway

by A Manly Guest Contributor on October 12, 2010 · 1,384 comments

in Blog

Editor’s note: There are few things more manly than the independent craftsman. The Art of Manliness would like to support the independent craftsmen out there by featuring from time to time a man who’s trying to make a living working with his hands. Today we spotlight Jazeps Tenis, who started Inkleaf Leather Co., maker of leather covers for Moleskine and Rhodia notebooks. He has generously not only shared his thoughts on the philosophy of craftsmanship and the story of how he decided to become a craftsman himself, but is also giving away one of his handmade leather notebook covers to a lucky AoM reader. See below for details on the giveaway.


The Craftsman’s Humility

The path to joy begins in humility.  The arrogant man may mistake power or influence for joy, but he is a builder of invisible empires, an illusion which is upheld only by a persistent act of the will.  The man who works with his hands, however, hasn’t any room for conceit.  The materials with which he works are unsympathetic towards his inflated self-image.  It responds only to skill born upon many hours of practice.  This is the craftsman’s humility.

Not only does this humility produce the foundation for joy and satisfaction in one’s work, but it also teaches us about the temporal nature of things. We begin to appreciate that what we create, even if made to last for a long time, will not last for all time. It is in some respects a reminder of our own mortality. This perspective on the material elements of life focuses us on the personal.

We create and pour our hearts into these things because they are a reflection of us. With everything the craftsman creates, he says, “Here I am.” If a flaw is noticed, is it fixed or hidden? Is proper care given to the details of the work, or is it hastily put together? All of these elements reveal something of the man that made them. They tell a piece of his story. They give him occasion to take pride in what he does, and from that pride comes satisfaction.

The act of working with the hands also makes us more present to ourselves and the world around us. Imagine a reality devoid of sensation. One which had neither sight, nor smell, nor sound, nor taste, nor touch. Now imagine that these sensations not only had been but now were not, but had never been at all. How would you know if you existed? There would be no basis for thought, no means of relating one thing to another. The very notion of existence would be irrelevant. Why is this important? Because we perceive through the mind what we experience through the body.

When our work is unnecessarily abstracted, we become divorced from it and from ourselves. The connections we maintain with our physical selves keep us bound to reality. It is therefore perhaps understandable that with work related depression also comes a lack of sense of self. These ideas of course apply to more than the craftsman. For example, the man in the gym engages with the weights so that he might feel a sense of self in his muscles. Were there no sensation either of tension during the act, nor growth afterwards, it would feel like a futile action.

I had often been told growing up that the surest path to a satisfying life (or at least a secure one) was through a college education. There was an unspoken assertion that to work with one’s hands implied a lack of ability in using one’s mind. While the mind is a wonderful thing, it has always struck me as misguided to separate it from, much less elevate it above, the body. The ideal ought to be cohesion. The craftsman draws upon the abstract capabilities of the mind in pursuit of the concrete realization of his craft. It fuels his creativity and aids him in solving problems. Without it he is an automaton. With it, he is an artisan.

The motives of the craftsman are also one of the primary causes of his joy. There is a Japanese concept called wabi sabi. It means beauty in imperfection. It means not just accepting, but cherishing what is and what will be. The act of recognizing this beauty is a joy unique to the craftsman. When you remove the craftsman from the equation, beauty and perfection look like mass production. You have consistency from one product to the next, but the concerns which motivate their creation are very different. Whereas the business man creates a product in order to maximize profit and is often divorced from its creation, the craftsman has the pleasure of creating something so that it might be excellent in its own right. It is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. The slight variations from one project to the next do not represent a failure on the part of the craftsman, but instead reveal that with each new project the pursuit of perfection begins anew.


My Path to Becoming a Craftsman

My journey to becoming a craftsman began on the heels of a job loss.  I had been working as a video editor for a small production company.  I took the job right after college and though I began it with great enthusiasm, the tediousness of the work began to dull me inwardly.  It was essentially the same project over and over again with different PR people whose perfectly framed words couldn’t hide an underlying uneasiness and lack of genuine conviction.  Not to mention that sitting at the desk all day had adverse effects on my health and exacerbated an existing condition which though not life-threatening, had been quite severe.

At a certain point, due to a lack of work, my hours were reduced.  I was barely getting by and very much doubted they would return.  Several months later, the job was gone entirely.  Having evaluated the previous years, I knew first of all that I didn’t want a desk job again.  I don’t think humans were made to sit all day.  Second, I knew that I wanted some degree of autonomy.  I had read that at the start of the 20th century that 9 out of 10 men owned their own shop or business.  A man ought to be able to chart his course and follow it.  Lastly, I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful.  I’m sure someone, somewhere convinced themselves that the editing of PR people that I did was valuable, but I’ve never been able to see it.  My work always felt detached from my convictions.  We can only fragment ourselves so much before we are irreparably broken.

As my fiancée, Steffi, and I considered what we would do next, we reflected on how we had both always enjoyed working with our hands.  Had we been born 150 years ago, we might well have been farmers.  The notion of leather working came to us one day while discussing our books.  We threw ourselves into learning the trade, spending thousands of dollars and often working 16 hour days.  We were both delighted.  It felt real and substantial.  Our work mattered.  Just knowing that we were creating something which someone else would use, something which might very well come to be dear to them over time, it made all the difference in the world.

As our skills improved, we began selling our products and doing custom work.  Up until this point, the leather working had largely been a hobby.  Our journal covers started out not because we were looking to create a niche, but simply because I wanted to put some leather on my Moleskine’s.  In August of 2010, we decided to try our hand at doing leather full-time and started Inkleaf Leather Co. We saw an opportunity to reach a broader audience online and that brings us to where we are now, working with our hands and enjoying every minute of it.


The Inkleaf Co. Leather Notebook Cover Giveaway

We’ve been talking a lot about the manliness of pocket notebooks here on AoM lately. If you’re fond of the Moleskine or Rhodia variety, then enter to win one of Inkleaf’s leather notebook covers. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and are hand cut, hand tooled, hand dyed, hand stitched and hand finished. These leather covers protect your notebook and look handsome. Mmmm, and they smell like leather.

How to Enter the Giveaway

Leave a comment telling us what you use your pocket notebook for.

We’ll randomly select one comment and that man will win a handmade leather notebook cover from Inkleaf Leather Co.

The deadline to enter is Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:00 CST.

1001 Brent Strange October 13, 2010 at 9:32 am

My Moleskine is my brain on paper. I use it to journal, write prayer requests in, jot down gift and date ideas for my wife and 2 daughters, drawings for home improvement projects, supplies and cost for said projects, receipt holder, to do list for work, school, and home, sermon and lecture notes, and pretty much every thing else that needs to be remembered. If my wife mentions a particular store as having clothing that fits her . . . in the notebook it goes and when I have saved enough in her closet go the clothes. I also keep a list of her sizes, her favorite stores, styles and colors, etc.

I am in graduate school working toward a degree in library science so call numbers, assignments, journal titles and articles, and all other school related items go in there as well.

1002 Alan Guagliardo October 13, 2010 at 9:36 am

I use my notebook to keep track of all my goals.

1003 Chadventure October 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

I’ve taken my moleskins with me to record my explorations in Asia, South America and Europe. I continually write in them discovering more about faith and myself.

1004 Eric Erskine October 13, 2010 at 9:38 am

I use mine to record sermon ideas and other thoughts related to preparation for Sunday messages or Bible studies.

1005 Tony October 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

I use my pocket book to record my goals for the day–be it a to-do list, a “learn something new” type action or currently, my assignment for my month long rejection therapy exercise.

1006 James Inglis October 13, 2010 at 9:56 am

I carry by notebook for jotting down my flashes of brilliance and inspiration. Unfortunately those flashes occur as often as I get hit by lightning so my books end up tattered in my pocket. One of those snazzy leather covers would solve one of my many problems.

1007 Jason October 13, 2010 at 9:59 am

I would use my craftsman for a number of things which include notes for my men’s group at church and ideas for my personal finance blog.

1008 Ryan W. October 13, 2010 at 10:03 am

As a freshman college student, I consistently use my pocket notebook for writing down any key one line phrases of self-improvement that pop up throughout the day around campus. A few include, “Always smile when you look someone in the eyes.”, “No matter who is teaching, there is something to be learned. Listen and find it.”, and “A person’s character should be as clean as they dress.”
I also use it to take notes on different lectures, devotionals, and church meetings.

1009 Jordan October 13, 2010 at 10:08 am

I always keep one handy to write down items I need to research when I have a computer available.

1010 Jared October 13, 2010 at 10:09 am

I use mine to remember all the good quotes my friends and professors say during the day, as well as the little details. I then review it at the end of the day to review the occurrences and relive the memories.

1011 Keegan October 13, 2010 at 10:10 am

I leave my notebook beside my bed so I can write down anything that keeps me restless at night. This way its out of my head and on paper to be dealt with another day.

1012 Britton October 13, 2010 at 10:24 am

I have two. One is a Ben Franklin style daily checklist. The other is all-purpose (notes, journal, lists)

1013 Thomas Duff October 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

I use mine to jot down ideas about different projects as they come to me. Otherwise, they would be gone before I had the time to act on them.

1014 Andrew October 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

I use my notebook to write down any sparky thought that I stumble upon.

1015 Shawn October 13, 2010 at 10:44 am

i use my notebooks to jot down ideas, in words or sketches so i won’t forget them. i also take a lot of notes during meetings.

1016 jayberry October 13, 2010 at 10:56 am

i think notebooks are a very handy things especially
if combined with The Inkleaf Leather Company’s Notebook Covers

1017 David October 13, 2010 at 10:57 am

I have two notebooks. The first is used for jotting down daily to-do lists, and to keep track of developing ideas for my business that I run in my spare time. The second one is used to journal, and to write down quotes, poems, or other interesting ideas that I may find. Both are in graph paper in case I need to graph or chart something.

1018 Aaron October 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

I started using a pocket notebook to remember some of the random little things that happen during the day. I could never remember if someone told me the name of a person or place I should check out, so I started to just write them down.

1019 Ryan Latvaitis October 13, 2010 at 10:59 am

There’s nothing quite like a Moleskine notebook. I have a pocket Moleskine, it’s served me well.

1020 Spencer Powers October 13, 2010 at 11:01 am

My pocket notebook has been a great tool! I use it all the time to record general notes, project details, sketches, quotes, and stories.

Beyond using it to help me remember the details of everyday life, I also appreciate the ability I have to jot down stuff that my kids and grandkids will hopefully find to be valuable pieces of the legacy I leave them.

1021 Brentt October 13, 2010 at 11:08 am

Use it to keep record about the fish I catch off the coast of North Carolina.

1022 Ben Mc October 13, 2010 at 11:13 am

I use my notebooks to craft sermons from topics and thoughts about God. I teach the youth class at our church, and all the time have nuggets I want to write down. Thank you and God Bless.

1023 Dave October 13, 2010 at 11:20 am

As a law enforcement officer, a notebook is among my most relied upon tools. Weather I am conducting an interview of a witness, source or subject, or trying to console a victim while at the same time getting important information from them, weather I am conducting surveillance, acting in an undercover capacity, or writing personal notes on how to proceed with a case my notebook is a constant necessity.

1024 Chris October 13, 2010 at 11:21 am

I use my notebooks to write down ideas and observations.

1025 Anthony October 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

I use a notebook for a variety of things, graduate work, personal impressions and for simple note taking. I buy moleskines regularly and enjoy writing in them. I don’t see using a laptop for typing up notes.

1026 Aaron M. October 13, 2010 at 11:41 am

I am constantly searching for and absorbing music, and I use my Moleskine pocket notebook to jot down artists, songs and albums that I want to go back to. I also use it for book and film recommendations people give me, and to take note of names and phone numbers of people I need to follow up with.

1027 Ryan M October 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

Unlike most guys on here I don’t have a notebook to write anything down on, I use a legal pad. I’m a computer tech at an elementary school in charge of maintaining over 300 computers in our building so the jobs I need to accomplish tend to add up quickly and the only thing around that I have are legal pads. I little bit of manliness never hurt a computer tech…

1028 paul d. October 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

I use my notebook for a personal journal. I have an electronic PDA that I use for the day to day scheduling and of course a ready reference for work related stuff. I know old school. I still find that writing on paper to be a joy. I write weekly my thoughts as a divorced father of raising three kids the oldest, my daughter is a senior and that is NOT like the TV shows…sometimes the answers I give don’t turn out right unlike the TV programs LOL.. so I keep track and make notes so I don’t repeat myself…lessons learned maybe even publish them so other divorced DADS can read a lessons learned

1029 Seamus October 13, 2010 at 11:53 am

I work in theatrical design… in production meetings and rehearsals, I’m never without my pad and pen… I’ve actually been given grief for still taking notes the old fashioned way.

1030 Shawn M October 13, 2010 at 11:54 am

I use notebooks to draw out sketches and ideas for my woodworking projects. I am still somewhat of a novice at woodworking but have enjoyed the path so far. I have another notebook I use for philosophy and reflection. These last two months have been particularly interesting in this regard as I have been trying to keep track of ideas and thoughts to do with my brand new son Isaac.

1031 Andy October 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm

At work, I attend meetings on a daily basis where note-taking is a must. In addition to everything else I need to write down, I use a lot of notebook space every day. I am relatively young in my field, so I feel the need to look as professional as possible. One of these would be perfect!

1032 Stephen C October 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

What don’t I use my notebook for? I take notes for my job on things that I need to remember on what different clients’ needs may be, I also use it for shopping lists, writing down my attempts at solving puzzles, different random ideas I may have for my writings, or really just about anything. I have filled up quite a few of these pocket notebooks in my day, and I find them to be amazingly handy. Also, it’s helpful for keeping track of dates, or if there is something I need to remember that someone said, I quickly jot it down when they’re not looking. I will never forget an important fact about a date I went on again!

1033 Jose Gurule, Jr. October 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Although I do not own a moleskin.. Yet!!
I use my pocket book for all of my jobs. Whether it be in law enfocement, jotting down quick notes ranging from inmate activty to transport orders and directions, or in my volunteer time with the fire dept as a firefighter/emt where I constantly jot down runtimes and vitals!

1034 Thomas Goormans October 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I use it to note down measurements and other important information when I’m on a building site for my schoolwork (I’m doing my first first bachelor year in architecture)

1035 CCW October 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm

i work at an urban design firm and take copious notes all through the day. this would be a HUGE step up from my standard recycled paper that i wire bind and call a notebook. props to jazeps, these are truly beautiful!

1036 Andrew Berry-Ashpole October 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I work as a Sous Chef, the moleskine notebook I own is crammed full of recipes, methods and notes…the cover would make a tattered tool look handsome again.

1037 David October 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I am a senior in college, and I use my moleskin to write down assignments, reminders, and any ideas I get for my senior design project (Mechanical Engineering major), as well as any random thoughts and observations throughout the day.

1038 Matt Stone October 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I use my pocket notebook all the time. Mainly for daily tasks, but also for memorable quotes that I hear throughout the day.

1039 Paul October 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I’ve carried a pocket notebook for most of my life and use it extensively when I need to record something on the fly. No battery life or signal strength issues to worry about with a notebook and a good pen. Stick a few 3 x 5 cards inside the front/back covers and you have the best PDA ever made. The index cards are professional and people seem to appreciate getting notes written on a file card over a napkin or post-it note.

1040 Ryan Waldron October 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I would use it to take note for my job (Civil Engineer), but also for self improvement. I’d note how i felt each day (tired, hungry, anxious) and other factors (foods I consumed, nutritional info for said foods, stress inducing events, exercise).

1041 David Harvey October 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Such a pocket book as this would greatly influence my memory; for if it so happens that I would need to jot a number, I would.

1042 James Murla October 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Great article!

1043 Sam October 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I never leave my house without a notebook. At any given time, I’m using four different Moleskine notebooks – I have a large diary style book plus another the same size that is a 2010-2011 day planner, a small pocket sized cahiers, and another small, hardcover that I keep on my bedside table to record those random thoughts that come to me at night. As a food writer, I would be lost without my notebooks. I can record my thoughts on a restaurant’s decor, or on a particular dish. Sometimes, while on the subway I get a great idea for a short story. And you know what else they’re good for? Grocery lists. One day, a long time from now (God willing) my grandchildren will find boxes filled with notebooks from over the years and will know that their granddad liked to write about food – eating it, buying it, & cooking it.

1044 Matt Pettus October 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I’m a bioloist and I’d love to get a leather cover for my field notebooks. Something strong and something that would mature in time. Leather seems to be the perfect material.

1045 David McLaughlin October 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I document the steps I have to take to become a better person

1046 Moses October 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I use notepads, memo books and planners for everything. Scheduling, reminders, goals, budgeting and ideas. I use them for both work and home. This habit has helped me change my productivity. I looked at a couple of old ones awhile back (keep most of them) and noticed that the goals that were on paper were met and boals that i did not wriet down, not so much.

1047 jraypritch October 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I work in an environment where I have to keep my blackberry/droid x turned off so I’m constantly taking notes, jotting down ideas, to-do lists and random acts of manliness. Having a leather notebook cover will add a lot of class to my “mundane run of the mill” moleskine.

1048 Kevin October 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm

While my phone is invaluable for planning, scheduling, and rapidly communicating, there is something about the visceral, timeless notebook that it cannot rival. I must write periodically to empty my head and establish perspective on who I am and who I am becoming.

1049 John Garner October 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

The Inkleaf Leather notebook cover is the right tool for the job! You can’t do your best work without the right tools.

As aBoy Scout leader or church board member, I contantly have to have take notes and keep records. In my work, Mergers and Acquisitions are based on understandings from two or more parties, detailed note keeping is essential to getting the right deal done right.

1050 David Triplett October 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

In the Marines I used them to record all sorts of info from, my M1A1 Abrams main battle tank maintenance issues, weapons and ammo inventory on the tank while in Iraq, and places we had been. Now I use them as note keeping while riding on fire engines as a firefighter or ambulances as a paramedic student. Electronics do not fare well on tanks or fire engines.

1051 Jazeps Tenis October 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Steff and I are overwhelmed by the response here. It’s been an amazing 24 hours. Thanks everyone for your compliments on the article and on the leather! We hope that all of you who have placed orders love it!

1052 Matt S October 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I use a notebook every day for lists, notes taken in meetings and in the hall when people need something. I also use it for measurements when woodworking. I saved the notes from every improvement project I’ve done for the past 15 years!

1053 Steve October 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I’m a traveller by nature and I use mine to keep daily journal entries of what I experience in the places I visit.

1054 Patrick October 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I’m currently a student, so having an awesome Notebook cover like this would make taking notes in class much more enjoyable!

1055 Chris October 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

I use my notebook for everything. I find I’m lost without it and in a pinch have used everything from a napkin, my hand to someone else’s hand to write down some essential piece of info. The funny thing is, I’ve gone back to my notes from years ago and found them to be so cryptic that I have no idea what I was talking about at the time. These notes though have inspired me in new directions … which I guess is the point.

1056 Tom October 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I would like a place to keep all the information on my customers like their contact info and what types of special items they have requested. I would also like to start a notebook for my thoughts when I am out in the wilderness camping or backpacking.

1057 Charles October 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I keep a journal and sketiches of my thoughts and musings.

1058 Tommy Myers October 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm


1059 Aaron October 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I use my notebook for everything; ideas that hit me throughout the day, lists of what needs to get done, notes for other people (although the calling cards should replace this use), and any other time I just need to write something down.

1060 nrepose October 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I carry one notebook on my person: a blank Field Notes that I turned into a six month calender with room for notes and ideas in the back. At home, I have several different notebooks: Personal journal, Religious growth journal, Journal for my son and a personal growth/Manliness journal. Nr

1061 Dave Hill October 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I have one notebook. It is rather useful.

I use it to jot down ideas for cool projects and strange doodles too. It’s rather more awesome than computers for planning too.

1062 Sean October 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I use mine to take notes at guest lectures, as well as writing letters of correspondence to friends who don’t have access to email or just simply enjoy physical letters.

1063 Phillipp October 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Being in the military I am constantly taking down notes throughout the day on anything from meetings and things that need to be accomplished to notes about things that are important to remember in the future. I am also guilty of using the same notebooks for grocery lists and things that my wife tells me not to forget. I admit that although I am not a song writer nor an author, I have looked back many times through the years at notes that could potentially be songs, poems or even possible book ideas. At any given time I carry at least 2-3 notebooks around with my gear. Without writing things down, I would be completely lost at times.

1064 Randy Murray October 13, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I use mine, divided into thirds: personal project work, client work, and todo capture.

The client work and todos I transfer to other systems when I get back to my desk. I keep the notebooks as project records for my personal projects.

1065 Jason S October 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I use my notebook to log everything I eat throughout the day. I believe the path to healthy eating starts with being aware of what you eat now and how much, before blindly trying new food habits.

1066 Eric V. October 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I almost always have a notebook on me. It is full of to-do and grocery lists, notes from vacations (especially what I took photos of), beer recommendations, and short bursts of creativity that always seem to happen on the subway.

1067 sig October 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I keep a special one for projects or future advice / thoughts / musings for my 5 yr old daughter

1068 Luke D October 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I’m a writer and I take notes on almost everything – things to look up and read later, food to try, people’s names and dates, anything that gets my attention or that I want to remember. I use the same notebooks for grocery lists, to-do lists and meeting notes – Somehow I manage to keep it all straight.

1069 Kenneth October 13, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Use it to keep up with school, numbers, thoughts, favorite quotes etc…

1070 Jonathan October 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I only use pocket notebooks and large writing pad folders because I am left handed. To anybody who is right handed this may not mean anything but to anyone left handed we can know how much trouble it can be, painful, or just plain annoying to have to deal with binders and spiral notebooks. I found that pocket notebooks and writing pads are the only things that I can use normally due mostly to their ambidextrous qualities. As a history major I am also writing something down throughout the day and would love to have a nice sturdy leather pocket notebook with me instead of having to pull a legal pad out of a backpack or case every time I need to write something down

1071 Donald H October 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I am quite the Moleskine fan as I have several active notebooks that I use through out the day. A pocket ruled I have been using professionally for project/task tracking aka GTD. I have a large soft side plain that I keep my professional accomplishment noted.
I’m now on my second large rule used as my travel journal. Another soft side ruled is used for note taking on books that I have read. I have a large and pocket sketchbook for those creative days. An finally I have a large ruled note book that I have been using as a tailgate journal.

1072 Steve Grossi October 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Inspired by the AoM book, I use my pocket notebook to keep a record of how well I live up to Ben Franklin’s 13 virtues each day. If you haven’t tried it, it really helps!

1073 Scott October 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I sketch and take notes all the time. I don’t have a pda, and I don’t care to. I would rather have my own writing to look back on than to have some faded memory of a cellphone that fell apart a year ago.

I would be proud to have a handmade cover for my notebook.

1074 Jack Saddleback October 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I would use the Inkleaf to bring more character to my writings

1075 Josh October 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I use mine to log my notes, hours while taking flying lessons….I write bands that I like while listening to radio so I don’t forget….and random thoughts, phrases, quotes that I don’t want to forget.


1076 Brent October 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I keep everything in an old mead notebook that holds my goals, my guide to Ben Franklin’s Virtues, work to-do list, and a reminder of friends that I need to keep it up with. Writing in a notebook is like stapling a post-it note to your brain.

1077 Tripp October 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I will use this notebook to Get Things Done, jot notes, prayer needs, to-do’s, etc…

1078 RMC October 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

A record of tasks, thoughts, hopes, dreams… and shopping lists

1079 Lewis Isaacs October 13, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Since I first picked up a pencil I have always had atrocious handwriting. My marks in primary school were always good, but I was never able to get straight As because my handwriting grade would linger around a C or D.
I have carried this burden with we for most of my life, but at the beginning of the year I made the conscious decision to change this. I went online and researched how to improve my handwriting. I swallowed my pride, bought graph pads and large textas and began to relearn this basic craft.
Now I am an exchange student studying journalism in the United States and this book would be extremely helpful in my note takings both in the classroom and for the my own personal writings. I finally feel my handwriting is deserving of stationery as fine as this.

1080 Curt October 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I use mine to jot down random thoughts of inspiration during the day, quick notes, and to diagram drills for the team I coach.

1081 Mitch Hulse October 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

My notebook allows me to capture any moments of inspiration I have throughout the day – be they new phrases someone else says or simple creative thoughts that I may build on later.

1082 Michael October 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I use pocket notebooks of various sizes to record ideas for new photographic shoots as well as the details of those I have done already so I can replicate them..

Never leave home without one of the many notebooks I have… Great success story, btw! Inspirational!

1083 Nuruddeen October 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

My notebook is always around, ready for me to capture my thoughts and drawings of the world around me. For the most part, I find myself jotting down ideas for future scientific experiments, as this is my profession. My brain has trouble remembering most of what I think about, so I use my notebook to keep track of the important, and unimportant, ideas.

1084 Matt C. October 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I started the pocket notebook habit relatively recently.When my wife and I were courting, I would think of things to talk to her about at random times and then forget them when we were actually talking. So she bought me a little notebook which I used to write down things to talk to her about. When we were married seven months ago, I quit using it–for a little while. Recently I started using it again, and this time much more broadly. I use it to write down something I need to remember, to note something I want to look up later, to record a random thought or musing that occurs to me, to take notes on a sermon or lecture, to write down books I want to read, to keep track of ideas for my own writing, to sketch invention ideas, to keep a prayer list, and whatever else occurs to me. Now I wonder how I ever did without it.

1085 ansis October 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I use my notebook to write down telephone numbers whenever my Sony Ericcson refuses to work. Then I rip out the sheets and make a fire to officially commemorate this technological breakdown.

1086 Aaron October 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Early morning journaling, writing down parts of conversations to revisit and deepen relationships.

1087 J Jacob Marsh October 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I am busy, by choice. My pocket notebook reflects this tendency of mine in two ways: by keeping my daily agenda on the right side, and by keeping poems, quotes, and words of wisdom I hear or think of on the left side. It has become an instrument to maintain my concentration on the task at hand and to allow for reflection and calm in the frenzied world in which we reside.

1088 Nick October 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

As a gardener in a large city park I have two notebooks that I use daily.

The first is a simple pocket 3′x5′ that I use throughout the day to take down immediate notes, form to-do lists, whip up simple sketches of garden layouts, record botanical names, make quick rubbings of leaves or just jot down observations on how things are changing (things are always changing). Most importantly it helps me capture the myriad of details that easily slip ones mind before the end of the day.

My second notebook I use as dairy that acts largely as a slightly more polished and organized dump for all the bits of information that I collect in my pocket-book. Here I keep track of watering scheduals along with how much water the lawns and perrienal beds have recieved. When, where and often what I have weeded out the flower beds or within the woodland areas of the park. I track what species are where and how well the are growing. The notebook acts as calander with which to plan future large scale projects, like the renovations of lawns or the thinning out of woodland areas. I keep maps of the different ecosystems I am responsible for, and record when and where new plants are placed. I keep track of sightings of interesting animals and where they are living. I also include such things as brief daily weather reports and large events happening at the time. It is a great resource to return to when I need inspiration or need to estimate how long it will take for the recently deadheaded roses to return to bloom. In addition, it acts as a history of the lanscape and my work in it.

While both my books help me stay organized and on top of the tasks I need to do, they primarily help me stay attuned to all the different details of my day. It is honestly for these details that I do the job I do. Gradually and carefully watching my surrondings shift through the seasons or respond to a new rainfall after a period of drought is sustaining, and to help shape those changes is thrilling. This is why I do what I do. And my notebooks are to help me observe and shape my landscape.

1089 Matt October 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I use a small notebook to keep track of things that I need to do (usually school related).
I also use a larger notebook to write thoughts that I like and events that happen. I’d like to write a book one so I guess that is almost building a source of ideas. That or a potential source for my biographer because positive thinking and planning ahead has never hurt anybody. Besides the ambitious purposes I’t's always interesting to read thoughts from a while back.

1090 John Mason October 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Everything! I mean, what can’t you do with a pocket notebook??

1091 Dave October 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm

The covers look great, can’t wait to buy one if I don’t get lucky! I’ll be keepin’ all my fantasy football stats in it.

1092 Taleswapper October 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I use mone to keep track of deadlines and jot notes when I get ideas to test my students.

1093 Michael October 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I use it daily to write down what’s going on in my day-to-day life. I hope to look back upon it someday and appreciate how far I’ve come. I’d also like to pass them onto my children and grandchildren for them to see what was going on in the world and in my life in 2010.

1094 Scott October 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I keep trip logs for my backpacking trips.

1095 Code October 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I use mine to capture various ideas that occur to me in everyday life. I also use it to sketch things occasionally.

1096 Mike Kemp October 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Various thoughts and to dos during my college day to day work.

1097 Brandon October 13, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I use mine to keep track of my financial goals and to make lists of what my dream house will include.

1098 Benjamin Ulfers October 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I’d love to start keeping my day planned well, knowing what I’m doing would help me in my quest for manliness.

1099 Mark October 13, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I’ve found as I get a little bit older it has helped to have a notebook to keep track of those small details.

1100 Chris October 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I use my notebooks for a lot of things………….but mainly to remember stuff.

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