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I’m a big fan of the Moleskine (5.25 X 8.25) notebooks, and I’ve gotten to the point now that I feel lost if I happen to leave the house without mine. I’ve finally got a time and information management solution that works for me. It’s hard to convey how liberating it is to know that you don’t have to remember everything. Of course, like every other geek, I’ve got a system.

The pristine blankness of a new notebook can be intimidating. The urge to only write really deep, worthy thoughts is fairly common. So, I start out by completely obliterating that idea nad writing on every other page. That is, I number the odd pages. I’d number them all, but frankly that’s a lot of work, and having the odd pages numbered gives enough information to find whatever page number I’m looking for.

After the odd pages are numbered I flip to the very last page and title it “Index”. The index starts at the back and goes toward the front.

The first page gets a line right down the middle, and then a horizontal line across the top with enough space to write the date in.

I tape a small yearly calendar to the inside front cover with special dates (birthdays and holidays) marked on it. Below that stick four or five post-it notes and chuck a couple of 3X5 index cards in the back pocket.

That’s all the set-up. For actual use, the left hand column of the page is where I write down stuff I’ve done. Usually just a dash and a title works for me. The right hand column is for the day’s reminders and stuff to do. Every morning, I draw a new set of horizontal lines for date and start over. Any reminder’s or “to dos” that didn’t get completed the previous day immediately get copied to the next column. At the end of the day, I put an entry in the index noting the page number, the date and anything special I might want to refer to.

If I get a rash of ideas for a project I just go forward to the next page, title it and put an entry in the index.

That’s my system. What’s yours?

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