Operation NoteBook

By Alison November 3, 2010 5 Comments 3 Min Read

So it seems to me that when we decide to do something absolutely new or shake up what already exists, we need a place in which to store even the most fleeting of thoughts on the matter. We can’t FOCUS on anything if we have to chase our thoughts around the dark and murky corridors of our muddled brains and so I believe in writing things down.
One might be tempted to get a bit technical and open up a network of computer files in our efforts to look busy and determined and a little clever but might I suggest not bothering?
You see I do believe there is a direct route between the brain and the pen that cannot be taken when we are trying to spill our brains on to the screen. Somehow things get complicated. We start getting all pernickety and weird about format and spelling and our inner censor starts shouting about the ridiculous things we want to commit to our daftest schemes.
So no my dears, I do not believe the computer file is the place in which to begin our new FOCUSED lives. Might I suggest instead, one darling, little dedicated notepad in which to capture our dreams? Our own handwriting. Our own dear little spelling misdemeanor’s and a whole heap of our own truths.
Choose a notepad that gives you a giddy sense of possibility: the kind of notepad that looks as if it could contain the schemes and plans of the woman you want to be and then spend an entire afternoon traversing the aisles of the largest stationery store you can find in search of a pen that will not hamper what you want to say with blots of sticky ink or a roller ball that just won’t roll. Focus for today on this task and this task alone.
Should you get to feel a little precious about what it is you want to capture in your notebook (shame on you!), then I have always found it terribly helpful to pin down a long, long length of lining paper and just start writing. I write whatever is on my mind. I draw ludicrous charts and maps of all that is cluttering my head. I write lists in huge writing, long enough to cover my dining table and then I take a long, hard look at everything I’ve written and using a yellow highlighter scrawl through everything that strikes me as important: everything  I will go on to write in my project notepad. And then I scrunch up the lining paper and put it in the bin.
You of course can do this anyway you like. If you have the space, do as Eric Maisel suggest and have three big boards on which to scrawl your plans.  If not use your project notepad to brainstorm if your awkward little muse will let you. Stick in images of all that is inspiring that on which you want to focus. Write  a huge big list of everything that is wrong in your life and all that you will need to do before you you are physically and emotionally free to FOCUS on your hearts desire.
Stop thinking and just start writing. You may be harbouring all kinds of dirty secrets and elaborate grand schemes you barely knew were there, so let your hand do the talking without trying, always, to censor who you are.
My notebook of choice? Cath Kidston of course.
I’m a Cath kinda woman so Cath it’s gonna be. Let’s get busy girlies!


  1. Sasha says:

    Well well well, how very spooky indeed! This just happens to be the EXACT notebook that found it's way into my Waitrose shopping a week or so ago, and into which I have been making copious notes on the unfolding project that is our new house!!! FOCUS is indeed what is needed here when making notes and keeping track of tradesmen, appointments, what needs doing when etc. And all this before you had even written your last post……………… are you reading my mind missus??!!
    Exciting times ahead for us both! x

  2. Jenny says:

    I know just the notebook, it is languishing in the pile of miscellany sitting on top of my dishwasher. I also need to find one for my Christmas planning. Otherwise, I remember all of my ideas far too late to implement them in time. For example, I need to order snapper strips for Christmas crackers…

  3. Ali H. says:

    My notebook is red leatherette covered. I keep a diary and other scribbles in it. I get in and out of the habit of writing in my notebook/journal, so I've found your article inspiring!

  4. I always have a note pad (or three) with me. They get filled up very quickly so I have a removable cover which I can transfer. It's red patchwork.

  5. Katherine says:

    This is great timing…we had our baby last week, and now I am ready to get organized–in my mind and for the holidays! 😉
    I wanted to ask–is the Christmas planner the same as last year's? If so, can we join in the Christmas countdown without buying the planner? (If not, I'll get both!)

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