Tag Archives: work

Hands off my notebooks!

I have an obsession with notebooks that’s bordering on unhealthy; I have a shelf dedicated to my (unused) notebooks in the office. I also love backing cool new ideas on Kickstarter and Indiegogo (you should see my computer keyboard that feels like a typewriter!).

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw The Perfect Notebook: the notebook to end all notebooks, one that will make me more productive, happier and healthier, and a better friend, employee, wife and mother.

It’s pretty plain looking, but it has a “modular disc binding system” – you can move pages around in it. I like that; it made me click on the promo video. That’s when it all went wrong.

The video shows a young professional woman struggling to juggle everything in her life: she should be getting more done at work, she should be getting her startup off the ground in her spare time, she should be eating right and going to the gym. She should be better at life.

ThePerfectNotebook-Video

But don’t worry, help is at hand! All she needs to do is switch all her clumsy files and lazy ways for The Perfect Notebook and she’ll be running a marathon and a multi-million dollar business in a matter of weeks. The pages are already printed with the stuff she should be doing, and some space to write her own goals. She just has to get stuff done and tick away.

I’m a productivity tool junkie, so why did this notebook – which technically combines lots of my favourite things – turn me off so quickly? This made me think about all the reasons I love notebooks.

They’re simple.

Get a load of pages and bind them together. It doesn’t matter if it’s lined, squared or plain paper, fixed with staples, glue or thread, bound in leather, fabric or card, the notebook’s core structure is simple. And it works.

They’re multipurpose.

Granted, the first page of my used notebooks almost inevitably spells out all the ways I’m planning to use that notebook to change the world, but by page four it’s usually home to shopping lists, reminders and scribbled down phone numbers.

They’re inspiring.

Some of them are beautiful and all of them make me want to pick up a pencil. They inspire me to write down my ideas and worries, my daydreams and doodles. My notebooks are where my thoughts come together somehow, a meeting place for words and scribbles. They give me the space to be creative and pragmatic all at once.

They’re non-judgmental.

My notebooks don’t tell me I should be working harder, or make me hang my head in shame if I miss a gym session. They just listen to my incessant rambling, which is rather lovely.

 

Even though The Perfect Notebook claims it can make me a better person, I’m sticking firmly with my imperfect notebooks instead. Would you make the switch?

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Word invention challenge: Week two

I was beeing around in London during the second week of January this year, resting my head on various pushions around the city as I jumped from sofa to sofa. It was great to start the year visiting friends I hadn’t seen in a long time – catching up face-to-face is different to Skype or FaceTime, however regular they may be. A virtual hug is never as lovely as a real one.

But my visit wasn’t just pleasure – I was working hard, having a great time helping out on different projects and cracking through some editing. I was trying to be as googsey as possible in meetings (which had earned me my nickname many years ago); it’s always good to resolve issues and think up new approaches on the spot, without having to break to check things online.

After a few days in London I hopped on a train to Surrey for the weekend, to see my family. Unsurprisingly, there were works on the track, so the train took a (very) long route, chugging through the countryside and giving me plenty of time to tap away on my laptop. An indlewink that jumped out of the river we were passing left me temporarily blinded, so I was doubly shocked when the loudspeaker next to my ear blasted out its mundane announcement, leaving a squelp in my left ear.

Finally, after an epic journey, dinner at Dad’s was wonderful – time to rest, relax, take time out from the tapping, and enjoy some great food. Far from being smurry, dinner was delicious, so I was unimpressed when I had an escapea – a morsel of yumminess I wouldn’t be able to enjoy.

The weekend was fabulous and inspiring. I spent lots of time with Mum, and my two super smart brothers, who put all sorts of exciting ideas in my head. So watch this space for a brilliant app, and some great stories (eventually)!

  1. Pushion (n.) – a cushion you use as a pillow when you sleep on someone’s couch
  2. Googsey (adj.) – knowledgeable; like an offline Google
  3. Indlewink (n.) – light that hits you in the eye by surprise after being reflected off of an object
  4. Escapea (n.) – a piece of food that jumps off of a plate; a pea that falls on the floor
  5. Smurry (n.) – a disgusting substance, usually sloppy or liquid
  6. Bee (v.) – to hurry around being productive
  7. Squelp (n.) – the wet feeling in your ears after hearing a loud noise

Two of this week’s words were inspired by (ok, invented by) friends, so they should be recognized here. Colin, the ultimate nickname-giving media mogul who I was fortunate enough to work with a few years back, invented the word ‘googsey’ when he gave me the nickname Googsey. I think it deserves to be a word. And escapea is an old one but a great one, and a word that has been successfully integrated into our family vocabulary after Philippe used it every time a pea jumped off his plate (which was every day). This rolled out into other words (escapotato, escapecarrot etc.) but I think escapea can be applied to all food.

What do you think? Which one’s the best?