Creativity & Motivation

Uses for Notebooks: “Time was when readers kept commonplace books…”

Whenever they came across a pithy passage, they copied it into a notebook under an appropriate heading, adding observations made in the course of daily life. Reading and writing were therefore inseparable activities. They belonged to a continuous effort to make sense of things, for the world was full of signs: you could read your way through it; and by keeping an account of your readings you made a book of your own, one stamped with your personality.

Robert Darnton
Extraordinary Commonplaces

I came across that article last year when I was stumbling around, searching for purpose and it seemed to me like a great and wonderful idea. I grabbed one of my new Moleskines and set out to write things down.


A year later, this notebook has become one of my prized possessions. I take it everywhere with me. In it there are quotes, thoughts, observations and snippets of life; like a scrapbook of words. Whenever I’m feeling down, or low on motivation, I pick it up and start flipping through it. It never fails to lift me up and inspire me.

Of Life & Randomness

I could probably spend 3 hours trying to come up with a post title (this one took me 2)

The other night I watched a really terrible movie called Racket Girls. Well, technically, it was an MST3K episode, but I still had to sit through this terrible movie. It was so terrible that even with the snarky commentary, I wanted to turn it off and run screaming into the woods, naked. Don’t judge me.

You know when people eat something, and it’s horrible, and they go, “THIS IS REVOLTING!” Then they follow it up with, “Here, try some.” Well…

Here—watch a clip of this terrible movie:

70 minutes of uninterrupted action!


Now that I’ve wasted [insert amount of time you lasted] seconds/minutes of your life, I’ll tell you what I did to regain my sanity:

[continue reading…]

Creativity & Motivation

My System for Organizing Thoughts and Ideas


First, I must say that I am not, by nature, an organized person. In the past, I’ve tried a lot of different approaches to getting organized and failed at them all. During my frequent “must become organized” phases, I’d download countless iPhone and desktop productivity apps and I’d use them once or twice before ultimately forgetting all about them.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve realized that getting some stuff organized wasn’t ever going to work for me. It wasn’t enough to put “write 1000 words of TBSOL today” on my to do list, because there were too many other factors contributing to my lack of productivity. I talked a bit about this in my Searching for Purpose and Something Happens Here posts, but this post isn’t really meant to be about my life’s philosophy. It’s also not a post about productivity (because I’m still not where I want to be with that).

Instead, I want to talk about how I go about organizing my thoughts/ideas/etc.

Until recently, I didn’t take the time to write important things down. I have always kept a notebook in front of me and with me, but other than jotting miscellaneous info, I’ve never been consistent at getting things out of my head and onto paper. The problem with being inconsistent is that I’d have one notebook in which I’d write down everything and then I’d forget that I wrote anything down and it would be lost amidst a lot of unimportant information.

Recently, I decided to solve that issue.

Here’s my current system: [continue reading…]