New B2B contest: Taking notes

UPDATE: And we have some winners. I’ll be contacting Andrew, Rachel and Kris to get their contact info and will send them the small Moleskine journals (after I finish the screenprinting). Thanks to everyone who participated!

After some Twitter friends started begging for my extra Moleskine journals that were not given away at Christmas, I decided maybe I should use them as a contest prize. I plan to design a custom Gocco screen print for them.

What I want in exchange, are your comments about how you take notes. When I translate a Hebrew passage, I create a notebook which contains all the details and notes of my translation. When I read a book, I put Post-Itâ„¢ notes in the margins and write my thoughts. But I also love to carry around mini Moleskine journals for keeping track of expenses, photography details, book finds, and newly made contacts. I do take notes with my laptop and iPhone too.

So, what kind of note-taking preferences do you have? Digital or paper? Do you back up notes on Evernote? Do you scan paper notes for archive purposes (I do)? What computer software or iPhone apps do you use? What kind of physical paper or notebook do you prefer?

I’ll keep this contest open until January 15th, and then I’ll pick a few comments at random to receive the Moleskine journals.

14 thoughts on “New B2B contest: Taking notes

  1. David Cortinas

    Well, for the most part i am a note taking fool. I take notes on anything and everything. I love using my moleskin, but i also use my phone. I have a blackberry, nothing fancy, i just use the stick em notes on it. Usually the phone i use for things like things to look up that i don’t know. I was in “Nawlins” recently, and i had/have about 8 things to look up that i want to know about. For example, what is “creole”? and how long is that bridge across Lake Pontchartrain…

    My moleskin i have divided into several sections. 1)to do lists, 2) spending lists 3) Dump (where i put random notes or thoughts) 4) bucket lists (things i wanna do) 5) blog where i write daily thoughts or aha moments 6) 2 week plan or calendar (plans onwhat im going to do each day) and finally 7) notes which is similar to the phone use, but more indepth.

    As far as other notebooks, i have several notebooks or journals depending on each topic of study i have. One for my football notes, one for my self improvement plan and one for my goals and bucket lists.

  2. John Murphy

    I use mainly Circus Ponies Notebook app for Mac. I’ve fooled around with a lot of journaling and note applications and Notebook is the best by far. You can link to the web, or another software application, highlight, automatic indexing of words, sweet program.

    Rather than archive with paper, I backup with my gmail account. I use gmail for backup of everything I really, really do not want to lose.

  3. Karyn Post author

    John, I always do a double-take when I see your name pop up in my commenter notifications. My maiden name is Murphy and if I had been a boy, my parents would have named me John.

  4. John Murphy

    That must be a little strange indeed! By the way, I’m praying for Mark and his treatment. One day life is going fine and the next things swirl out of control.

    Thus it was for Matt Chandler (@mattchandler74) at Village Church in DFW. Pastor of a big church one day; life-threatening brain tumor the next. One of his tweets: “When the illusion of control disappears we become men and women of prayer.”

  5. Ros

    Karyn, I’m not entering because I already have the two beautiful Moleskine’s you gave me at SBL. I just wanted to say – gocco prints? I am SO jealous! I have been drooling all over the internet at people’s gocco machines and the amazing prints they make. But those things are expensive and hard to find. I’d love to see any pictures of prints you do.

  6. Karyn Post author


    I’ve used my Gocco press to print snowflake designs on shirts and celtic knots on stationary. It is fun to use (Ethan and Maggie and I printed some fun gecko designs) but the consumables are not inexpensive, so I don’t use the press as often as I would like to. I found my machine either on or ebay. I’ll take photos when I do the Moleskine journals!


  7. Andrew Vogel

    I use a sketch book and fountain pen for my notes. As I read through a book I draw lines beside key passages, and as I finish a chapter (or sooner if need be) I write my thoughts in the notebook and outline what I’m reading.

    The purpose being to clarify and think through the material, and that if I ever lose the book I still have my notes (at least some of them).

  8. Rachel

    I take a small acer netbook with me most places I go so that it is less intrusive, especially in chapel. If a book is brilliant and I know I’ll have to return it to the library soon, then I scan it in, convert it into word and copy and paste the quotes I think I might make use of in an essay.

    Also to say hi. Your blog is great and we are both in the top 50 biblioblogs, indeed perhaps the only women in the top 50. I have put an ad on my blog for yours because I think some of the stuff you are doing would be great for those of us at theological college taking Hebrew.

    God bless

  9. Karyn Post author

    Good ideas, Andrew. A good pen makes such a difference!

    Welcome, Rachel! Thank you for linking to my blog. Congrats on being in the Top 50 biblioblogs yourself! I’ll look forward to reading your posts.


  10. Kris Lyle

    for my iPod Touch I like using “Awesome Note.” wasn’t free, but so far it’s been worth it as you can have various files and then files within those files. i like things to be ordered cause i tend to get messy and not-ordered; so this works for me.

    aren’t you at Stelly with Christo? God willing, my wife and I will be joining you guys in late Jan.

  11. Beck

    I am a big fan of visual thinking/note taking. Here is an example of my notes while visiting the Picasso exhibit at the Nasher:

    I use 5.5″ x 8.5″ Strathmore recycled paper sketchbooks, 005 Micron pens (for the most part), Prismacolor 20% gray markers for shading. On the go I carry the sketchbook with a 005 tucked in the spine.

    When I start a new sketchbook, I pre-number all of the pages with a soft pencil. When I finish a sketchbook, I scan in all the drawings and import them into Evernote so that I can search my handwriting on my computer and iPhone.

    Sometimes, if my ideas are very solidified, I will sketch on larger grid paper (11″x17″). When I cannot get my mind around something at all, I usually resort to whiteboard and dry erase markers. If I get somewhere, I’ll snap a shot of it with my iPhone.

    Neat question!

  12. Karyn Post author

    Wow, Beck. Very cool! I like your method of merging paper and digital. I also scan some of my notes for archiving, and have most recently started to use my iPhone for saving info. Are you familiar with Seems like you would like building presentations with it.


  13. Pingback: Notes! iPhone + Books « City on a Hill

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