My pile of books and journals haunts me. Each one doesn’t have anything to do or be part of at the moment; unread and unused, awaiting its destiny. But the potential of each one sits there and mocks me.
Use me, read me. You know you want to, and you know you will.
My idea of minimalism is to simplify. If I don’t need it then I shouldn’t have it. I should not consume more than I need. The simpler my life is the more I can do with it; the less I carry the further I can travel etc etc etc (I may be channeling Yul Brynner).
So why do I struggle when it comes to journals, notebooks and the like?
The image above is not what I have, my stash is in a box hidden away, but what I am actively using. This is a snapshot of my current daily stash. How can I possibly need all those at the same time?
- I have a Midori Traveller’s Notebook that is my diary and notebook
- A Moleskine that I am using for journaling and monthly focus
- A Moleskine for art, or quotes or inspiration
- A Moleskine Volant for blog planning
- A song journal, for song writing
- An Iconic Essay Book for noting things to learn (a commonplace book)
- A small prayer journal (two actually)
- An A4 pad for my morning pages
- A Midori Passport size, which doubles as my wallet
- An A4 layout pad, for when you need a little room for ideas
- An A3 sketch pad, for when you need even more room for ideas
- An A4 art pad, for those rare moments when I get visually creative
- A pocket Moleskine that is kept in my bag in case I forget to take out one of the above with me
At any given time there may be additional scraps of paper or post-its in use too. I am a stationery junkie, or at least the journal / notebook aspect of stationery. Now I know that there are some of you out there who have and use far more than me. I wonder if there is a need to set up a help group to discuss our addiction. However, we’d only share and inspire each other to buy more.
I don’t want to work, or be, this way though. I want things simple and in one place. Part of my problem is that I have decided a task should take place in a particular journal. Therefore I have a separate notebook for each task. However, I should, or could, have one notebook for several tasks. Have I confused my minimalism in order to absolve my stationery fetish?
The number of notebooks is a problem because I can’t keep them with me when I head out and travel. I find that I am also duplicating things in more than one notebook, this, for my minimalist intentions and general productivity, is a bad thing.
So one task for the next few months is to pare down the number of notebooks I use. I can already see that several can be combined. I will take it slowly though, this sort of thing can’t be rushed, and, of course, each current notebook will have to be filled and completed 🙂 . As you can see I have a long way to go when it comes to minimalism zen in my journal collection.
I’ll try and share my journey and any recommendations, hints and tips I discover along the way. I have a feeling this could take a while though.
I suppose I should also have mentioned that I use several electronic journals too, perhaps that’s another post.
For the first time in two years I won’t be using a Moleskine diary. For 2010 something else has taken my loyalty. A Wainwright was a walker and recorder of those walks from the last century. And his love was of the Cumbrian fells.
He basically journalled his way through this beautiful countryside. Anyway, whilst on holiday this year, I spotted a diary for 2010 that was illustrated with several of his pages. One look and I was hooked. So, for at least a year, I won’t be using any of the Moleskine diaries… that isn’t to say that I won’t be using Moleskine for anything else.