Capturing Ideas = Yes!

Paper + Organization — ways to capture ideas… Love it!
I’m always looking for new paper and organization books. When I give one to a friend, I’m saying something to the affect of, I care. Because ideas are like gems, and I’m saying, go get some gems. Or better, find our own gems within you. And, definitely, keep your gems for later.
My favorite type of journal books:
Mole book. Duh, who doesn’t. I gave one to my friend Martin recently and his is full of book ideas for Kepler’s.
Circa by Levenger. I buy them for other people but not for me. Seems too rich for every day use and definitely too bulky.
Ciak Journal. Nice paper, my fountain pen likes it. But too thick to carry all the time. Better by the bed side.
I found the perfect one in this store about a year ago in Paris, off the Rue de Buci. I bought one for $6 bucks. Only 1. Still haven’t found anything as perfect since then.
David Sedaris wrote this incredible zany article on what on carrying a small notebook for notes.

For the past ten years or so, I’ve made it a habit to carry a small notebook in my front pocket. The model I favor is calle the Europa, and I pull it out an average of ten times a day jotting down grocery lists, observations, and little thoughts on how to make money, or torment people. The last page is alway reserved for phone numbers, and the second to last I use for gift ideas. These are not things I might give to other people, but things that they might give to me: a shoehorn, for instance—always wanted one. The same goes for a pencil case, which, on the low end, probably costs no more than a doughnut.

I just found another great note capturing idea, courtesy of Marsha Keeffer on my team, its this credit card sized note-pad with pen that is covered in the Rubicon copper paper. Wonderful. I squealed when she gave it to me. You can take a look at it at

0 Responses:

  1. mashby. May 12, 2006 at 9:53 am  |  

    I LOVE the Moleskine pocket journals. I’ve just started my second one a few weeks ago and they’re so much fun to write it. I also use the larger Moleskine as a journal, but don’t carry it with me everywhere.
    Since you’re a fountain pen user, it’s important to know that most fountain pen ink will bleed on the Moleskine paper. The only ink that I’ve found that doesn’t is called Noodler’s ink ( It’s inexpensive, but it does require that you use a bladder system and not the typical cartridge.
    Oh and another type of paper that I enjoy using is the Levenger Personalized 3.5 cards ( I found that when I had someone a card, I’m ususally writing something on the back and the 3.5 card provides for a lot more room and they also allow me to use one card for the many hats I wear. Saves having to carry around a bunch of different cards.

  2. Nilofer Merchant. May 12, 2006 at 12:45 pm  |  

    Mike –
    Yeah, me too about the Moleskins. I’ve found 1 type of fountain pen that doesn’t bleed. It’s a Pilot Inktomi Fountain pen. Colorado Pens carries it. And while I get it in ‘bold’ tip, it writes ~ 7mm type which is small and doesn’t leak at all. More importantly, instead of a cap, it just clicks on or off so it never dries out. So it’s practical. I now have two which is kind of crazy but still, I love it.
    I have the levenger cards too, but find what I most want to do is hand out business crds. I’m embarrassed to note that I don’t have my blog on my business card (different timing in production) so now I write on it to give my blog address. That’s not too cool so gotta solve for that.
    Check out the Pilot pen online and see what you think. Maybe you’ve looked at them before. But given how much you sketch you’d like it. Operates more like a mechanical pencil but with the elegance of fountain pen.

  3. Mike Rohde. May 15, 2006 at 2:05 pm  |  

    Nilofer, thanks for publishing this post! I’ve been moving back toward paper, pens and penciles over the past few years, especially for logo design, icon design and web layouts. I find I think better when I’ve worked in this way.
    Anyway, I love my Moleskines. Mike is right about fountain pens and regular Moleskine paper. The only fountain pen I’ve found that works on the M paper is a little keychain Chinese pen called a Speeno, because it has such a fine tip and a built-in ink bladder. I think the main issue is less ink-related and more related to the thickness of the fountain pen nib.
    The PicoPad is pretty slick — being a make it myself kind of guy, I might just dry to create one of these. I’ve been carrying around a Moleskine Cahier (squared) and my Speeno, and I’m good to go. However an even smaller sized pad like the Pico would be attractive.
    Long live pen and paper! 🙂


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