I’m an obsessive about notebooks.
As well as obsessing about suitable devices for taking notes, I use notebooks extensively, and I’m picky, very picky. Moleskine or Rhodia for bound notebooks for use as travel journals, and Clairefontaine, Rhodia or Moleskine for working notebooks.
It might seem a bit excessive picking upmarket brands, but they last (I’m still using the Moleskine notebook I bought as a travel journal before going to Laos in 2005) and the paper is usually such good quality that one can write on them with a liquid gel pen or a fountain pen even when the humidity has reached some tropical level of ridiculousness.
I’m prepared to try some of the cheaper own label versions available from the big box stationery stores, but I keep coming back to those three brands.
But there’s one exception – an Aurora Bur-o-class notebook that I bought from somewhere in York in 1998 …
I bought this incredibly tough fabric covered A6 notebook made by Aurora, a Belgian manufacturer shortly before going to Turkey in 1998.
I’ve never seen them for sale anywhere else, but a Google search confirms they’re still around and available in Belgium and possibly elsewhere.
Along with a small hardback notebook that lives in my daily use backpack, I’ve used it as a daybook ever since, and I’m reaching the point where I need to get myself a replacement, preferably equally hard wearing. and yet equally compact and equally good quality.
What’s a day book?
It’s that incredibly useful thing you carry round with you to write down useful things, like the phone numbers of taxi drivers and tuktuk men – they might have a hazy grasp of English, but they can write their mobile number in your book and you can text them to come and pick you up from a restaurant to take you back to you hotel, or the names and partnumbers of something you’ve seen you want to check the online price of, or someone’s email address and so on, or indeed somewhere to stick the postit someone’s just given you with meeting details.
In other words a book for the ephemera of life, yet incredibly useful for the few days you need the info, or before the note gets transcribed or the meeting date ends up in your calendar …