What to do with a paper notebook

In an earlier post I shared couple links which outline why you need a paper notebook. Now that hopefully you have one I’ve listed few more posts which will give you an idea what to do it and how to use it.

  1. Keep paper notebook
  2. My first Baron Fig
  3. An Illustrated Guide to Using the Sh*t Out of Your Notebook
  4. How to Use a Simple Pocket Notebook to Change Your Life
  5. My GTD “Get Things Done” Moleskine Setup

Obviously these reflect other people ideas and circumstances to make the paper notebook become part of your every day carry you need to find your own uses.

Experiment, test and refine.

Why you need a paper notebook

A lot of people I admire and follow and learn from use some sort of notebook of regular basis.

These posts came across my radar recently I thought it would be worth sharing them as they nicely show why it’s worth having one.:

  1. Why Should you always carry a notebook

  2. Why I keep a paper notebook and you should to

  3. The Manly Tradition of the Pocket Notebook

I’ve been carrying a number of notebooks for last few years and experimented with different formats. I found that pocket size works best when it’s relatively thin say 40-60 pages tops and used for quick capture of ideas on the go. The larger size (13 x 21 cm / 5 x 8.25 in) works better for notebooks with more than 100 pages and suits to planning and writing.

These are my observations you best bet is to try and see what works for you.

Build it gradually

I’ve been listening to some old episodes of Weekly Briefly podcast. The episode I really likes was (Lifestyle Practices)[http://weeklybriefly.net/lifestyle-practices/].

The point that hit home with me was the idea of turning a long term commitment into a series of short term ones and gradually increasing the lengh of each interval. This is very simple approach but gives you an opportunity to check things out and reduces the psychological burden of making a huge commitment.

I practice this works as follows:

  • select something you want to implement.

  • get very excited and decide that it’s a thing you want to do.

  • so rather than jump head first and crash an burn take it easier.

  • set to do the thing for 30 days first.

  • see how it goes, can you do it? is it the thing you expected to be. Keep your eyes open and observe your progress.

  • once the 30 days is up. Set another goal for 60 days and keep observing.

  • once that is up set another interval for 90 or 120 days. Once this is done you have stuck with the change you wanted for 7 months.

  • Continue on until you reach 1 year by that time things should be automatic and well established.

  • one more added benefit of using interval

**Good way to apply and execute a commitment is to make it a short term one. Start with a month then 3 months then 6 months, then 12 months and so on.

This way you implement a change that builds up from short term want to a long term habit.**

Algrothims and biases

Sometimes the complexity of our creations can outgrow our understanding.

With algorithms, we don’t have an engineering breakthrough that’s making life more precise, but billions of semi-savant mini-Frankensteins, often with narrow but deep expertise that we no longer understand, spitting out answers here and there to questions we can’t judge just by numbers, all under the cloak of objectivity and science.


However, while we now know how to make machines learn, we don’t really know what exact knowledge they have gained. If we did, we wouldn’t need them to learn things themselves: We’d just program the method directly.

The Real Bias Built In at Facebook

Read Less. Learn More.

Before you crack open another book have a read of this.

Reading is not a race, there is more value in re-reading a single good book than chasing the latest published. The essence of this post is below (with my highlights)

It means setting limitations for yourself. It means turning off notifications and focusing on absorbing what is in front you. It means allowing yourself time to reflect instead of continually dipping into your phone for a fix. It means not rushing yourself to the ends of books; not challenging yourself to finish more books than your neighbor. It means keeping a notebook next to you while you read and writing down your thoughts. It means re-reading sentences again and again, reasoning them into understanding. It means remembering how to see reading as a way to grow and not as a stat to collect. It doesn’t matter what device you read from or what content it is that you choose to read, but when you do so, dedicate your time to it. Worry less about what you are missing out on and allow yourself to get lost in thought. Concern yourself less with how much you are reading, and instead invest in how much you are learning. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.”

Read Less. Learn More.