There’s Nothing Like A Good Notebook

I keep at least one notebook with me wherever I go. This is funny because among my family members I’m considered the most tech savvy. That means, according to modern thought, I should use some sort of app to take all my notes.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing like putting pen to paper. And notebooks, unlike tech products, don’t crash. The trick is finding the one that works best for your needs. Here’s a quick picture of the three I use.

Yep. Three separate notebooks for the sake of everyday work, plus four pens. Each has their own specific purpose. I’m going to break down the focus of each, and hopefully give you some tips on which would work best for you. We’re going to work from left to right in this photo.

1. Moleskine Smart Writing Paper Tablet and Pen+

This is about as close to high tech as I get. The black Moleskine has been a staple of my notebooks ever since I got my first one. With the Smart Writing set Moleskine took writing to another level. The Pen+ records everything you write and saves it to the M+ app as you write it. If you want voice recording on the pen, it’ll add that to your notes too. The entire set up is like something out of a James Bond movie.

If you don’t have the app open when you’re writing, no worries. The pen will automatically transfer the data to the device with the M+ app installed when you open it next. You can also specify notebooks and more. I’m still getting used to the functionality of it, but it’s been a handy device when my MacBook isn’t around.

The entire setup runs about $139 at Barnes and Noble.

2. Rite in the Rain Journal And Pen

This number is what I carry everywhere. It’s small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and designed to take notes even when it’s raining outside (hence the name). The pages in the notebook are waterproof and the pen’s cartridge allows you to write on wet surfaces. I keep a Space Pen with this when traveling out and about in case one ink cartridge runs out. It’s great for jotting down brief thoughts or notes. The notepad and ink cartridges are naturally replaceable and easily findable if you have a nearby REI.

If you have the complete case with the cover, there’s also two pockets inside you can use to stash a few items of interest. Not really something I’d use often, but the notebook is the key.

You can get the set for about $40 at your local REI, or online.

3. Best SELF Journal

This is a personal choice, and one that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to anyone. It’s a journal designed as a daily planner for people with a specific goal to achieve. The start of the journal is a brief overview of their 13 week system to help you figure out a specific goal and achieve it. Then you sign a pledge and date it to fully “commit” to the process.

There’s space for you to outline months in your 13 weeks, and spaces where you’re asked to write about specific goals and steps you took in every process. Every day you’re encouraged to plan your day to the hour, set a goal and define targets to hit that goal.

Best Self encourages reflection on your day as well as gratitude. You will be asked every morning to write down three things you are grateful for, and do the same in the evening. There is a space devoted to “lessons learned” for the day and a “brag zone” where you list what you achieved that day.

There’s also space each day for you to list your appointments and such, but you have to make sure you plan those in with your goal setting.

Does the process work? Yes and no. The first few days I had issues getting what I wanted out of the journal, because I didn’t really grasp the focus. I suspect new users won’t as well.  That’s why they have an “online community” for you to join that will allegedly help you reach your goals. I am not a fan of “communities” that I have no relation to, but I do enjoy the structure the journal provides.

I’ve definitely become more productive with the system once I started and stuck to it.

You can buy the Best Self journal for about $40 at Amazon if you’re so inclined.

There you have it. Three separate notebooks, each with their own usage, and each promoting a sense of productivity about them. All a part of this writer/lawyer/hell-raiser’s toolbox. Hope some of this helps you.

Review: “The Informant” by Bobby Motta

I love mentalism effects.  Mentalism is one of the strongest ways to make an impression with someone because it means you’re essentially messing with someone’s head.  One of the easiest ways to do this is by “the peek,” and one of the best devices I’ve ever seen for getting a “peek” is Bobby Motta’s “The Informant.”

The Informant is a wallet.  You’ll be able to use it all day, every day, just like a regular wallet.  The difference is The Informant has a special device that allows you to get a peek of any thought the spectator is using.  It can be a card, a name, a number, anything your heart desires.  All you have to carry besides the wallet is a provided Sharpie pen and a few post-it notes.

From there the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination.  Here’s a sampling of effects I’ve come up with using “The Informant.”

*Changing a contract from $5 to $500

*Guessing the name of a long dead family member and then conducting “cold reading” to provide a seance with the spectator

*Changing a drawing from one item to another.

*Make a number appear on a blank piece of paper

*Figure out the favorite book of a spectator

*Have the person shuffle and select a card from an “invisible” deck, then you guess it.

That’s just a sampling of what you can do with The Informant.  The effects are only limited by your imagination.  When you receive the wallet you’ll get Bobby’s “Blackmail” device that allows you a whole new series of ideas for effects.  Even when I don’t have The Informant on me, I keep a Blackmail in my wallet because it’s a great way to mess with someone’s head.

The best thing about The Informant, though, is it’s a marketing tool for you.  No matter what your job, the person you perform the effect for is going to end up with your business card in their hands.  That’s a powerful way to spread your brand, because after someone sees you’ve read their mind, they’ll end up with your business card.  Whether you’re a lawyer, doctor, conflict resolution professional, writer, magician, hypnotist, anything you do, the great thing about The Informant is the spectator always leaves with your business card, remembering that you read their mind.

I can’t stress the value of this device for anyone who wants to live a “wrongless approach” with their own personal business.  Carrying The Informant with you and all the extras will help you at networking events because those people outside your personal industry will come back to you for something.  Leaving a person with your business card is one of the best closers you can get, because they just keep it like some sort of personal talisman.  When you get the business because you bought The Informant, you’ll get better at what you’re doing.  More networking opportunities, more business, and more end customers for you.

You can buy The Informant today.  Well worth your dough.  I rate this 5 stars.

Take some time and learn about The Wrongless Approach.

You can learn how to do an easy pickpocket move for free.

Persuasion more your bag?  Here’s a free crash course in bending reality.