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If you dropped your notebook
in a lake

I got better at using a notebook when I stopped thinking of it as an important artifact of my life.

If you feel any resistance at all about the value of your notebook as an artifact being higher than the value of your stupid, crappy thoughts that go into it, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Merlin Mann on Episode 287 of Back to Work (~42:30)

I’m happy to say that I’ve been through a fancy, expensive notebook phase and made it out the other side.

I used to stockpile notebooks from Muji and Moleskine. Hard-cover, soft-cover; Squard, lined, blank. My obsession with fresh school supplies carried on. But I was scared to put pen to page, afraid that an errant stroke would tarnish an otherwise perfect symbol of organization and productivity. Four pages in and a smear was all it took to start over with a completely new book.