Bumblepost: Composition books

Owen here! Today I’d like to talk to you about how I use composition books for notes, ideas, planning, and more!

I have a difficult time with notebooks, because I’ll pick a topic for one and then start filling it in with other stuff as I discover I need a new notebook. This defeats my purpose of trying to organize, because then all my thoughts and notes get jumbled together. Can’t find anything!

To solve this problem, I use composition books. They are inexpensive enough that picking up a few isn’t a hardship. (Especially during back to school sales!) And having used them all through school, I feel comfortable with them.

To start, I choose a subject for my book and begin using it. Then as the need for a new notebook arises, I put a second label on it, and then begin with that section on the back page. I could start in the very middle of the book, but this way feels more like starting a new book. The benefit of using composition books this way is that I only have to deal with half as many notebooks, and it’s easy to switch between two related subjects if I keep them in the same book.

Generally I either do subjects/projects that are related, or I pair time sensitive subjects with ones I’ll be working on long-term. For instance, I had to study for my driver’s test, and wanted to take a lot of hand-written notes to lock it firmly in my mind. I’ve also been learning a lot about business, so I decided to put that in the back of the same book. If I got distracted studying by a business related thought, I could just flip through to the back and get it out of my head. And now that I’m done making driving notes, I can continue filling the book up with business notes until it’s full.

Another of my composition books has the front half dedicated to writing, and the second half dedicated to blog posts. Both are for writing, but one is for fiction and the other for non-fiction with a specific purpose. I often work on both kinds of writing in similar times and places, so it’s good to not have to worry about which one to take with me.