// what do you think?


My GTD Moleskine Hacks

Be sure to join the New Comm Biz Facebook Page or follow the Twitter account.

Why do I insist on keeping a notebook? To quote Dwight Schrute, “I keep secrets from my computer.”

Actually there’s just something about a blank page that inspires creativity and thought. For as digital as my life gets I still love paper and pen. This post has nothing to do with social media or the Internet except for the complete lack of either.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am very rarely without my notebook. I have had a planner of one kind or another since Junior High but they never seemed right. You have to fit all your thinking into their structure. Then a few years ago I started reading all these GTD hacks on blogs. So I started my own Moleskine system that I put together based on some of what I read. Here’s a list on Amazon of the supplies I use: GTD Moleskine Hack Supplies

It’s important to note that each of the notebooks you see above are different in their set up, they have evolved over time. While every notebook changes a little I have developed some pretty standard component.

Each month I start off with a page that I keep as a monthly table of contents. I fill this in as the month goes. This helps me find things quickly but it also helps me mentally organize my activities as I go.

I then keep a weekly page that I break into 4 parts: Work, Projects, Personal and Misc (these 4 things change the most). These are kind of my big to-do items.

The dated tabs you (can kind of) see below are the monthly tabs and the plain white ones are the weekly tabs.

This is where I really give the illusion of organization. I break out sections like work, blog ideas, meeting notes, big ideas, etc. The topics change from notebook to notebook, depending on what I need. The red tabs are pages that I have a tasks assigned to. The yellow tabs are pages that I need to reference later.

Bellow is an example of of some notes (they’re actually from my IgniteBoise01 presentation).

My current favorite notebooks are the soft cover Moleskine’s. A notebook lasts me about 3 months on average.

I don’t know if this is an analog leftover of my generation. (I actually took typing class on a real type writer). Moleskine’s have become very popular during this whole digital revolution. I know a lot of Gen Y that still use notebooks. Maybe there’s just a part of our brains that need analog.

For me the biggest benefit for having a notebook is the ability to get away for my computer and collect my thoughts.

Be sure to join the New Comm Biz Facebook Page or follow the Twitter account.

Similar Posts:

Share This Post
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Diigo
  • Posterous
  • Tumblr
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Scridb filter

About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • http://www.workingbizwords.com/ Peggy Jordan

    It's always intrigued me that a hi-tech guy like you likes to use Moleskines to write. I agree-when writing is tactile instead of virtual, I believe I have a more direct brain-to-hand-to-paper connection. It's like the difference between actually throwing a real ball vs. playing a virtual game and using the mouse to pretend you're “throwing” it.
    And another plus of using a notebook instead of a PC is that there are no pop-up ads, notifications, or weird formatting problems.
    But I'll admit, my favorite reason for using pen and paper is that it lets me justify having all these cool fountain pens to play with.

  • Miro

    Thnx for the insight. Much appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/jasondbarr Jason D Barr

    Great system! I'd like to suggest Piccadilly for notebooks; MUCH cheaper than Moleskine brand, but the same features. Not a shill for them, just like to buy cheaper stuff. :)

  • lmai

    Some things cannot be replicated online.
    I draw ER diagrams and laying them out on paper is faster and simpler than creating a online map.
    I also used it to draw UI/wireframes etc.

    I've always thought about a system for my Moleskines, but somehow I'm afraid I'll wind up skipping pages here and there.
    My Moleskine is my creative outlet, I don't want to stymie it with structure. I get enough of that already with Excel and code

  • http://musings.moleskiners.com/2009/07/08/miros-moleskine-helps-him-gets-things-done/ Musings of a Moleskiner

    [...] his GTD Moleskine Hacks to learn how he “gives the illusion of organization.” Find out how he generally relies [...]

  • http://www.RelationshipsInBusiness.com/ Piaras MacDonnell

    I'm a fan of paper to implement GTD (re-purposed filofax) even though I spent a considerable amount of time in front of a computer. Through your many iterations you have proved that if your system attracts, you will want to improve it and it is more likely to work.

  • http://twitter.com/TJSonOfAnder T.J. Anderson

    “there’s just something about a blank page that inspires creativity and thought”

    Absolutely true. Speaking for the generation that had computers in there elementary school. My handwritting is horrible, part of it I honestly think is due to the fact that I hardly write things out by hand. During a typical day the only actual writting I do is planning and notes in my moleskin, and notes scribbled in the margins of journal articles. Everything else is typed, probably why I can type at least 5X faster than I can write long hand.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/top-10-posts-july-2009-analog-trumps-digital/ New Comm Biz » Top 10 Posts [July 2009] Analog Trumps Digital

    [...] My GTD Moleskine Hacks 7/7/09 Tweets-2 Post Rank-5.9 Comments-6 [...]

  • http://plmtwine.com/2009/08/12/should-i-keep-secrets-from-my-plm-system/ Should I keep secrets from my PLM system? « Daily PLM Think Tank Blog

    [...] we can learn from people experience in non-PLM areas. I was reading interesting post on New Com Biz related to people notebooks. I discover some interesting observations related to [...]

  • Dan

    For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/be-better-doing-what-youre-good-at/ New Comm Biz » Be Better Doing What You’re Good At

    [...] office admin who make sure I’m where I need to be when I need to be. I’ve worked out a Moleskine system that works for my day to day but I have no interest in being David Allen. Personality [...]

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/learn-to-multitask-or-be-left-behind/ Learn to Multitask or Be Left Behind

    [...] My GTD Moleskine Hacks (newcommbiz.com) [...]

  • http://darkfree.com/ Phil Steller

    Have you ever tried Pentalic Traveler's Sketch books? They have a waterproof, flexible cover, elastic binding closure, nice cream colored paper, pocket in back, etc. I use them exclusively for my journaling. The primary reason I prefer them is because of their nice pocket size (I take them everywhere!), and their price. They are not bound by being over priced because of the ridiculously famous “moleskine” name, but work in much the same way for my own purposes.

  • http://www.svenbuechler.de/2010/06/projekt-notizbuch/ Projekt: Notizbuch | Sven Büchler

    [...] interessant ist auch die Einteilung von Tac Anderson. Er beginnt neue Abschnitte für Monate und Wochen: Je eine neue Doppelseite pro Monat, die mit einem Inhaltsverzeichnis gefüllt wird, und dann je [...]

  • dragonlor20

    Also the ability to write anywhere without being thought rude as some people often think when someone breaks out their phone to take a note (no one knows what they are doing on the phone and these days people think it is a text message). I too went with the notebook…
    …except that I integrated a calendar.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/my-favorite-to-do-list-uber-app/ My Favorite To-Do List Uber App | New Comm Biz

    [...] been able to give up yet. Number 1 on that list is my Moleskine. You can read about my GTD Moleskine Hacks and while my system has changed a little it’s still basically the [...]

  • AK

    Hi there,
    Just wanted to let you know that there is a site that scans/digitizes Moleskine notebooks for you. The address is http://www.scan4me.com.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Okay, that is cool. Thank you.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/my-new-and-improved-gtd-moleskine-hack/ My New and Improved GTD Moleskine Hack | @NewCommBiz

    [...] years ago I wrote about how I hack the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology and Moleskine notebooks to best suit my needs. For the [...]

Don’t Miss A Single Post. Subscribe to New Comm Biz

Subscribe via RSS Subscribe via Email