The iPad as a diversion

I’m tired of computers. I spent hours today rummaging around my notes and trying to figure out if I should write some new thing in Emacs or Obsidian or Tinderbox or what? It’s confusing and frustrating, and I need a break. I’m typing this on my iPad Pro using the Magic Keyboard. I won’t lie, the iPad is too limiting for me under nearly all circumstances. But that’s exactly why I need it right now....

February 9, 2023 · 164 words

Moving my journal to (mostly) digital

For years, I’ve kept a paper notebook at hand. I always have a Moleskine-style bullet journal or a Field Notes pocket notebook or a Hobonichi Techo nearby. Sometimes all three. Lately, I’ve been feeling hampered by keeping my journal on paper. My handwriting is terrible unless I write very slowly and deliberately. I worry that personal journaling suffers from too-slow, overly-deliberate writing. I spend too much time deciding between and playing with various writing instruments....

June 5, 2022 · 547 words

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen

It’s been a while since I bought a new fountain pen. This is about the Pilot Custom 823. Literally every review I’ve read says the same things: “It’s not a looker, but what a great writer!” I can only resist that kind of consensus for so long, so I bought one. I have the “smoke” color with a fine nib. I ordered it from JetPens for $270. I’d say this puts it well into significant purchase territory, so I was very excited when it arrived....

June 11, 2021 · 538 words

The Memex Method. When your commonplace book is a public – Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow The availability of a deep, digital, searchable, published and public archive of my thoughts turns habits that would otherwise be time-wasters — or even harmful — into something valuable. What a great piece by Doctorow. It inspired my previous post and made me want to write here more (in addition to pouring stuff into the wiki).

May 17, 2021 · 58 words

My Holy Grail Pen and Paper – CJ Chilvers

Writers spend way too much time and money seeking out their “grail” pen and paper combo — the tools that will make their work so much “smoother.” It’s a pattern we’ve seen repeated in all creative pursuits. CJ Chilvers Why does he quote “smoother” here? Is that from something? It’s an odd word for describing creative work. I’m happy that Chilvers has a setup that works for him and that he doesn’t feel a need to try anything else....

April 18, 2021 · 160 words

My new note-taking system: Don't take notes.

It feels like the entire world (or at least my corner of) is consumed by the “how” of note-taking. Tools, workflows, processes, backlinks, and on and on. Obsidian? Roam? Paper? I read it all. It’s fun and interesting and there’s no end of things to distract myself with. A distraction is all it is. None if it really matters, though, and yet we endlessly split hairs and wring our hands and gaze at our navels over irrelevant minutiae....

April 12, 2021 · 291 words

A Remarkable Tablet

I was skeptical about this tablet’s ability to replace paper. I needn’t have been. It’s a terrific paper notebook replacement.

February 21, 2021 · 754 words