Tips From BlogHer For the Blogging Notebook

I’ve been rediscovering the joys of jeans with pockets over the past couple of weeks. One of my pockets is dedicated to carrying a small composition book dedicated to all of my writing tasks. So far it’s been a happy relationship, and I’m forgetting less of what I want to post about when I get home from work. I’m even getting the occasional flash fic written over the course of a week.

During the BlogHer conference, many posts relayed the goings on and conversations out to those of us unable to go. My favorite was one from Amy Gahran sharing tips for keeping a good blogging notebook that she and a handful of other bloggers came up with:

  1. Size matters: It has to be small enough to fit easily into a compartment of your purse, or your pocket, so that it’s not a struggle to yank it out in an instant.
  2. Stiff cover: this can either be the notebook’s binding, or a snazzy cover like Lisa uses to carry a simple spiral notebook. This not only protects the pages, but keeps you from searching for a usable writing surface.
  3. Make it a habit. Get used to pulling out the notebook every time you think of something you want to remember. Pretty soon you won’t have to think about it, and you’ll start to feel naked (not in a good way) when you don’t have your notebook handy. I think of this as “Harriet the Spy Syndrome.”
  4. Capture choice phrases. Jen said that often she’ll be on the go, doing something, and a perfect sentence, metaphor, or point will occur to her. She’ll scribble down the wording, not just the concept. Same for good quotes — capture the phrasing.
  5. Carry multiple pens. Your notebook won’t do you a bit of good if your pen dies. Since I fly from mile-high Colorado to many sea-level destinations, I’m forever killing ballpoint pens. They can’t handle the pressure change. I’m going to switch to exclusively carrying felt tips.

I carry a mechanical pencil because I’ve been a pencil girl most of my life, but I absolutely adore these tips. Having a notebook on hand is one of the smartest decisions you can make.


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