Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Take note

Several notebooks with writing in
Do you have a weakness for notebooks? I admit, I do. A notebook full of family history notes. A holiday journal. One with the menus we’ve served when we have people round for a fancy meal, so we know what worked, what didn’t, and don’t risk serving the same people the same food every time they visit (that one hasn’t been used in ages; we’re so reclusive). A notebook for the book I’ll never finish writing. When we first bought our house, I started one for planning the garden. It’s been hardly touched since, but I’ve rediscovered some of the joy of gardening of late, and have picked it up once again to record what grew well this year, and what would be worth trying next year. I’ve recently started one to keep track of my sewing progress, complete with fabric swatches. Let’s hope it goes better than the gardening progress, eh?

When I was at school we had ‘commonplace books’. The name was a mystery to me at the time, but keeping those books, with their quotes, notes and other information, had been around since the middle ages. They were a place for scholars to track interesting things and develop their ideas. In the Sherlock Holmes stories, the famous detective keeps commonplace books. My notebooks are somewhere between commonplace books and journals. The genealogy notebook and writing book are full of facts, my holiday journal is definitely a journal, and the gardening, knitting and sewing volumes fall neatly in the middle, containing both what I’ve done and observations on what I’d like to do.

Several closed notebooksThese little books are definitely useful. The knitting one is packed with reminders on how I resized patterns – very handy if I want to reknit something, or knit something new and want to know how something similar got tweaked – and patterns I designed myself. The sewing notes are accompanied with swatches of fabric and other images. It’s mostly bare at the moment, but hopefully it won’t stay that way forever. Having so many books is possibly a modern luxury, but putting all the information in one book would be very messy and disorganised, and make it difficult to find the right notes straight away.

If you do keep notebooks are you an ‘all in one’ person, or do you have books for different topics?

16 comments :

  1. I have a notebook filled with clipped recipes that have worked well and become family favourites. It is now bursting with exra sheets slipped between the pages and after 15 years am ready to start a new one. Danny has kept a garden journal since age 5. Each season he pastes the empty seed packet into the scrapbook and makes notes about planting, growth, harvest, location etc. I think it will be a nice thing to look back on when he's older and has completely forgotten about it.

    There's some things you need to see wruitten out in your own hand.

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    1. Danny's garden journal sounds excellent. I plan to stick pictures into mine to liven it up a bit.

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  2. I love notebooks, I am an all in one person but have one on the coffee table, one in bag and one at work LOL

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    1. I'd forgotten about work notebooks! Though mine aren't keepers, they're just for things I need to keep track of.

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  3. I used to write a list of books I'd read with a few observations in about the book in a notebook, but now use good reads and instagram to record them. My union is taking part in the reading agency's reading challenge so I am filling in that book. I have very tatty notebooks at work where I've written down all sorts of procedures and am shortly going to start a new job so was only thnking the other day that I need a new book!

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    1. A good excuse to go stationery shopping!

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  4. I have anotebook for pretty much everything. I have to write things down or I'll forget so they're essential!

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    1. Yes, they're a good way of not forgetting stuff. My knitting notebook's a good way of ensuring I always do identical sleeves.

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  5. I always write a journal when I'm on holiday, and I've now got quite a collection of notebooks, which I love to dip into now and again. And when we first moved into Dove Cottage, I kept a garden diary, which I gave up after a couple of years. I used to have a notebook in my handbag in which I wrote down any ideas for the blog, but I'm afraid that's been replaced by my phone. I still have a couple of empty notebooks lying around should the need arise. I quite like the idea of notebooks with scraps and cuttings pasted in ... xxx

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    1. Pasting in scraps and cuttings and the like, is something I can't do on my phone. And I do like to see those scraps of ephemera. Tickets especially seem to bring back good memories.

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  6. I love a good notebook and I buy them obsessively. Everything from Moleskine to glitter covered ones from Paperchase. I go through lots of them at work and always have at least one in my handbag. I did start a sewing notebook, they are a great idea especially to capture any changes in sizing or sewing construction notes, but I always lose them or they end up being repurposed for work. I would love to keep a note of fabric swatches of fabric in them so that I could buy stuff that coordinates with my stash but that is far too organised. :) Xx

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    1. I'm starting my sewing book with good intentions, but it may not end up staying as neat and organised as I'd like.

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  7. Oh dear I'm afraid I'm a disgrace when it comes to notebooks. I have many as I am a bit of a stationary fiend (Paperchase is one of my happy places!) however as a rule I never use them! I just keep them...

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    1. You, building up a stash of something? Never! ;-)

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  8. I love a notebook! I keep a journal when I'm travelling and also have one for list making and planning things. xxx

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    1. There's such potential in a blank page.

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