Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sticky Notebooks: Part 1

We've had two talks thus far-Matt Jadud on Notebooks, and Steve Gold on Sticky Ideas. It's actually kind of a good thing that I'm late on my first post, because the topic of sticky ideas ties in well with the ideation notebooks we're all carrying around for this course.

Most of what Matt talked about was his /own/ notebook-or notebooks, and what he's used them for, how he's felt about them. He highlighted how a lot of the information in them was just scribbles-the notebook wasn't some pristine space that he had to keep neat and clean. This made me think about my own notebook-

Right now it's lined..that's the first thing that comes to mind. And having lines makes me want to stay inside them. It structures my notes and ideas, and tends to limit them. Occasionally I'll realize the lines are there, and purposefully write against them.

That wasn't what I intended to talk about though: The story of my notebook starts last semester-before I knew about this class. I decided that I needed some kind of notebook to carry around with me, just for those little things that come up that I don't want to forget (like when a song I don't have in my itunes comes on the radio, or someone mentions a website or book that I might find interesting). I also decided that I'd write my thoughts in it. I didn't know yet what I'd do with them after writing them down, but I just had this feeling that putting them on paper would make them go somewhere. So I bought a nice little book at CVS for a dollar. It's spiral bound (the sprials are annoying already), and has a green plastic cover.

I lied, actually. I bought two. One's more pocket sized than the other, so it's easier to carry around. The conflict here? I have two notebooks. What am I going to do with them? I started writing tasks in the smaller one-I rip them out when I'm done (I usually can't seem to finish the tasks I wrote down though, so more often than not they stay in the book for a while). Even when I don't finish them all though, I find it helps to have everything written somewhere-like the planners we used to get for free in high school. I stopped carrying a planner once I came to Olin, but my planner was something I couldn't live without a few years ago.

In the larger one, I started taking notes. About anything. I've got notes about both Vital Ideation talks, notes and comments to the person sitting next to me on a robotics lecture I attended, and notes I took about Cafeteria workers for a design course. I’ve never had a notebook that served quite this purpose before-usually things get written on the last page of an existing notebook (who ever uses every page in their notebooks, right..? )

This is starting to get a bit long, so this post'll be continued in a few days :).

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