You should always have a small notebook on you.
I use Field Notes notebooks, but any small notebook that fits in your pocket, purse, or backpack will do. You should have it with you at all times.
If you ever meet me, I can promise you that I’ll have a notebook with me. It is a very rare occasion that I go out without having one with me. Sure, I have my phone and iPad with me and can make quick notes on those if I need to, but I find that nothing focuses me better or is quicker to go back and flip through than handwritten notes.
Once you have your notebook, be sure to put some form of contact information inside the front cover. I have yet to lose one, but I hope that if I did, whoever found it would take the few minutes to contact me; I can’t imagine my scratches are going to do much for that person, so why would he or she want to keep it?
Another trick that I’ve learned over the years is to date each notebook as well. Inside the front cover or on the first page, write the date you start to use the notebook. When you get to the end, it is always fun to look back to see when you started it. Plus, if you save the notebooks (and you should), it makes keeping them in order much easier.
I have to give special thanks to two close friends who showed me the way of the notebook: motivator Julien Smith and multimedia storyteller Clarence Smith Jr. were ...