Why You Need to Add a Pen and Notebook to Your Every Day Carry
A Gentleman Keeps a Pen and Notebook on Him
By Ryan Felman
If I can help it, I keep my trusty Field Notes notebook and a nice quality pen on me at all times. Why do I opt for an old fashioned physical notebook when there’s an app for that? First off, it is 100 times more gratifying to cross off a task using a physical pen and an actual notebook. If you don’t believe me, try it. Secondly, it is nice to class it up a bit with a tried and true method that your grandfather would approve of. The world is growing more artificial and virtual by the day. While I do enjoy reaching great minds and reaching people on Twitter, there can be a point where too much of our lives are virtual. Balance, in all things.
There is so much power in the habit of writing but most people downplay this because they struggle to write. If you tweet, you can write. Tweet a solid thread and you have the bare bones structure of a blog post That blog post could turn into a chapter. Take your best blog posts and put them together in a cohesive flow and you have the makings of your first book.
This is how my first book came to be. But it all started with the habit of writing which is a chapter in my book, and a very important one.
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I didn't realize what I was doing wrong.
Do you ever feel a lack of direction or purpose in your life? I know I did throughout most of my 20s. I wish I had this powerful book when I was in my 20s. That is why I wrote this handbook for straightening out your life. To help young men find focus and purpose.
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How do you do all that? Well I detail my formula for crafting my comeback year in my book, but one thing you NEED to start doing as a habit, is writing. And if you’re going to write, get yourself a nice quality pen.
Why should you get a quality pen?
I thought it was silly for the longest time that people would buy a pen. People are giving away pens like it’s a young dweebs virginity. Please, will someone just take it! At my old job, they had a room full of them and I would grab a couple for work, and a couple for home. Then I had a coworker mention to me how gratifying it is to use a quality pen that costs just a few bucks.
Ok, I thought. I do use a pen every single day at work and it is frustrating when it doesn’t write perfectly. So, I took the plunge and bought a $7 pen. It was this pen here by Parker Jotter. First off it looks amazing, and feels amazing. It is smaller than most pens which makes it easier to carry. It even feels quality as it is made of metal as opposed to plastic, so I don’t fear it snapping in my pocket when I sit down. I now own about a half dozen quality pens that I keep in various places: my desk, my car, my laptop bag, etc. A gentleman is always prepared, and as this gentleman has become a bit of a writer, it is imperative that I be ready to jot down notes and ideas.
Why use a notebook instead of an app on your phone?
Well, despite humanity becoming cyborgs who are inseparable from their phones, we need not rely on these machines for everything. For one, a notebook has a longer battery life than any smartphone. Also, if one is a tough masculine man who can defend himself to reasonable avail, the idea of hacking a notebook is more challenging. Come dox my field notes!
How many times do old people give you a hard time for looking at your phone? My girlfriend jokes with me all the time that I’m on Twitter too much; sometimes she may have a point, but I’ve found a wealth of wisdom on their as well. There are many instances in your daily life where glancing at your phone is perceived as rude, and this is perfectly understandable. Like wearing a watch, a notebook is a refined and tasteful way to jot down the odd thought or idea that enters one’s mind. You’ll find people are not only less annoyed at the sight of a notebook, but even intrigued for it is the mark of a man with purpose.
I also keep a couple of the larger Moleskin notebooks at my desk to do some late-night introspection. It is not unusual for me to start jotting down some random thoughts only to later have them develop into a full-blown post for the ole website here. I usually end up having to elaborate a bit as I can be terse in my journal as my mind seems to move faster than my pen.
I feel that a man who doesn’t take a few moments each night to evaluate his direction and purpose in life is a man who is at the mercy of other influences. I have found great truths to myself and the life that we live by taking pen to paper. It has also allowed me to keep track of my goals and notice what is working, and what needs tweaked. By physically writing down my goals this year, and checking on them periodically, this has been one of my most productive and thus, satisfying years I’ve had.
There is something to be said about writing things down, that makes it more concrete. When you look around in public and the plebeians are all nose down in their phones, stand apart by using something that is real. In a world gone digital, sometimes the old-fashioned ways are the more satisfying and fulfilling methods.
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