Moleskine and OneNote

The funny thing about using this Moleskine to take some of my notes... I've become a much better note taker in OneNote. Here's what I think is going on: I don't write a ton of stuff in the Moleskine. I usually write "To Do:" and then I add a date and a list of stuff I need to do for the day. The Moleskine usually stays at my desk and I write things in it when I feel like it. I also check off stuff that I do on my To Do list. So this little notebook is what's replacing my post-it notes and assorted other pieces of paper when I need to write something down quickly.

OneNote, on the other hand, is my power application for capturing important, work-related information. This week I spent about 11 hours in meetings. I could probably fill a notebook every couple of weeks and what I would have at the end of a quarter is a beautiful stack of expensive little notebooks that I would never be able to find any information in. (And my little Moleskines deserve better than that.) So I'm finding that I'm using my OneNote for the larger meetings and I'm using my Moleskine for very small meetings where a laptop might be a bit of a distraction. If the information from the small meeting is something I need for later, or if I need to send out minutes, I type the notes into OneNote and I send them out directly from there.

So here's the breakdown as I experience it:

Moleskine - Small, convenient, personal, creative, beautiful, relaxing, analog, un-plugged
OneNote - Powerful, effecient, organized, searchable, archivable, e-mailable, digital


Comments (7)
  1. Cindy Winegarden says:

    I’ve been using a 3×5 loose-leaf notebook for about 20 years. I use a page a day and write date headings on new pages when I have a few minutes with nothing to do, so I’ve always got a couple of weeks ahead. I use it for to-do lists, shopping lists (example: to collect a list of things to look for next time I go to Target) and so on.

    When it gets full I remove some pages and put new blank pages in the back. I had reason to look at some 10-year old pages recently and all my notes are right there for my reference.

    For the past several years I’ve been using a leather-bound Aigner (as in shoes) address book with 3×5 inch filler paper. It’s a lot less expensive than pre-printed calendars and I can add pages between dates if I’m at a user group meeting taking notes, for example.

  2. I’m not a OneNote user (Mac user) but do have the same sense of online/offline use of technology and tools that you have. My Moleskine is for notes to self in the coffee shop or on the bus that might turn into blog pages some day; the application of choice on the Mac (a wiki) gets the intricately detailed interconnected and intertwined commentary on things too important to lose.

    Next step in my iteration of things is to scan in Moleskine pages and use annotation tools (like Fotonotes or Flickr) to make some markup sense of them.

    I find the analog tools more *fun* overall – it’s so nice to be able to invent quirky layout and linking and just experiment without having to conform to any software limitations.

  3. Brian says:

    That note to self thing is the key I think. The Moleskin seems to be the perfect notebook for things you don’t want to forget, or things you want to keep, and OneNote is a great app for things you want to store. Keep=memories, store=old tax forms 🙂

    I really like the idea of using a Wiki to capture data. It would be great if OneNote supported some more of the same sorts of views and features of Wikis in future releases. (I have no idea of what’s actually planned for that product.)

    I’ve got a Moleskin-sized scanner in my office. I should try to scan in some pages and see how it turns out. 🙂



  4. Brian says:

    Interesting system Cindy. I’ve got 6 years worth of Franklin-Covey binders on my shelf. My big problem with these is that I never really followed through with the indexing and so I’ve really got no hope of ever finding anything important in them again. 🙂



  5. Fred says:

    There is my 2 penny. This is a little Moleskine hack that I think of (not really true, it’s an amalgam of already discussed hacks with some changes). I called it an Analog Blog. Tell me what you think of it, how it can be improved or if you think it’s just a load of crap 🙂


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