Moleskine notebooks as offline blogs

Posted by jerry on February 2nd, 2005 — Posted in Journal, Writing

I was reading Fred On Something today, and he had a fascinating post on the complex problem of organising offline information contained in notebooks, like the wonderful Moleskine ones. Clearly some people had taken issue with the idea of linking ideas in an offline journal, resulting in a small clarification post. I think the concept is great – but then i’m too lazy to do anything that ambitious.

Leonardo da Vinci ran into the same issue – several times he attempted to organise the thousands of pages of his noteboks into some sort of publishable form, or at least in a form that would enable him to find information again, having once recorded it.

The problem of linking information and referencing it is practically as old as writing itself. The ancient Assyrians used referencing to keep track of clay tablets. The Library at Alexandria used tags on the ends of scrolls to reference the contents of information – Each group of tablets contained a brief citation to identify the contents and each room contained a tablet near the door to classify the general contents of each room. So the issue is not new.

It comes down to levels of personal organisation. how to link information across notebooks, or link later comments on earlier entries without having to re-write the whole entry. As I said I doubt I will ever be that organised, but I do use titles and dates in my Moleskines – that and the fact that I draw a lot of diagrams, means I can usually get to what I want by knowing either roughly when I wrote it, or by flicking through and looking for the drawings.

Anyhow thanks to Fred for a stimulating post 🙂


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