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  1. #1
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Benefits of the Field Journal over Midori?

    I'm finding myself in need lately of a more organized paper note taking system for work. I'm tempted to get the Field Journal, and I wanted to know your feelings about it vs. something like the Midori, which is smaller and also has inserts that can be swapped out. Right now, I'm using a moleskine that is often stuffed with folded papers sticking out the edges. I have been trying to scribble my daily notes and to-dos in this moleskine just so I have all my clutter in one place, but sometimes I end up with other scraps of paper that I end up taping in.

    The attraction of the Field Journal for me is that it's looseleaf, which means I can rearrange the pages or remove them, unlike the moleskine, which winds up being a chronological mess of notes that are hard to find later. I also like the fact that I could carry my big iPhone 7 around in the Field Journal, eliminating the need to wear my Side Effect all the time so that I have a place for my phone (it's unwieldy in my pocket). I also am intrigued, but unable to find any info on, the ability to write in the Field Journal while standing up. Can someone direct me to a photo of how this is possible? I'm often going around my office scribbling notes, and I like the idea of being able to write while standing. Another benefit is that I could use pretty much any paper in the Field Journal, making it more versatile than the Midori. Also, all the loose papers and extra things I carry around would be more secure in the zippered Field Journal.

    My main hesitation is that I worry that it's going to be too big and bulky for me to want to actually carry it around.

    Can I hear from any of you about your experiences with the Field Journal?

    ETA: Also, what do you do with completed papers in the field journal? Do you move it to another binder, or what?

    Also, regarding colors... can anyone tell me about the linen color? Does it look "dirty"? This bag is small enough that I kind of want to spring for an orange one, but that linen color looks nice too. What's your opinion of linen vs. grey?
    Last edited by Amy; 05-02-2017 at 12:27 PM.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  2. #2
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Easy question first. Linen is a surprising color. The first time I saw it, it looked like bronze. Not dark like bronze, but shimmery and luminous. Someone else described it as looking like wet sand, which I think is apt. I've never seen grey.
    I'm really torn on the Field Journal. I love paper and notebooks and use them every day. The Field Journal is heavy to me. I don't like ring binders. You can use it standing up, but it's easier when it's on something. I still have an use my Field Journal. I can't knock its design or execution, but for on the go notes it's too heavy. Lots of people love it though!

  3. #3
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Thanks, Rocks. Now I'm even more intrigued by the linen color. I have an ancient small cheap leather zippered 3-ring binder from the 90s lying around at my house. I might try using that for a few days to see if writing in a 3-ring binder is cumbersome for my uses.

    Another thought I had was to just drop a regular moleskine notebook into my copilot when I walk around the office. Take out the notebook when I need it, have a place for papers, phone and extra stuff, and just deal with the messiness of my moleskine which has pages I can't move around.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  4. #4
    TB Ravelry Moderator Mausermama's Avatar
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    The Field Journal is actually designed to be used in the "field." The way the strap works, when you open it to write, it offers a flat and stable surface for your use. I love my FJN. The only issue I have is related more to my physiology than the notebook itself. It is heavy for me to wield. I will take it out at times, but most of the time I use it to keep track of my various clients. Also, I am left-handed, and the rings can interrupt my writing while on the go. For those reasons, I prefer to use it at home.

    I also really appreciate the ability to customize it. I have changed sections around and moved pages back and forth until I found the organization that worked best for me. It really is a great tool. Mine is in Red Blend, but I also own a Linen Small Cafe Bag. Honestly, the Linen is one of my favorite Cordura colors. It is a fabric that works well for me with much of my wardrobe and it doesn't show any dirt after being carried for more than a year (or is it two years?). I can't remember how long I've had this bag, but it's been a while!

  5. #5
    Forum Member Muni_Jedi's Avatar
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    The FJN is really nice piece of kit. It is well built and the ability to customize is nice. I can see why so many people like it for many different reasons.

    However, I found it awful for an all things notebook. I tried to use it in the same way you are describing and found it cumbersome. I found it a manageable size for writing but it made taking other bits along less desirable for me. I am a bit rough on my notebooks and found it easy to rip the pages outs flipping back and forth and that was an information management problem for me. Also, after it began to fill up what was I to do for an archive. I switched to a bound book of the same paper size and it works much better for me. I tend to keep my book in an SK with my other daily essentials. It is the same size as the FJN and I have been happier with this kit.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Thanks @Mausermama. I couldn't figure out what you meant by the strap creating a stable surface, but I just googled again and saw some photos of it in action. I do like that feature a lot. It kind of looks like the strap creates a mini-table in front of you. Also, I'm right-handed so I don't think I'd be as bothered by the rings as a lefty.

    While the size of it would prohibit me bringing it traveling, I think, I can see it being a handy tool for the office, just for general daily organization. I've got most of my notes in Evernote, Onenote and Scrivener. But now that I no longer have my Galaxy Note 4 (oh, how I miss it), I don't have any decent stylus to do note taking. So I've been writing notes by hand, then snapping photos of them into Evernote just so they can stay consolidated online. I'm guessing that if I used the Field Journal, I'd still keep doing it that way: write notes by hand, scan to Evernote.

    I also think it could be a nifty little "art kit" to take out to dinner when we're with the grandkids. Our 9-yr-old granddaughter has started with the "I'm bored!" thing a lot lately. I could stock this with drawing tools and stickers and tape and stuff, and she might actually let us make it through dinner next time.

    I'm gradually getting talked into this, I think. The size/weight seems to be the main downside, but the flexibility of stocking it with whatever you want, rearranging the pages, writing comfortably while standing, and having enough space to also fit my phone and a few extra things, makes it a unique item without an exact parallel.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  7. #7
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    @Muni_Jedi, thanks for sharing your experience with it. My frustration with the bound book I currently use for planning use is that I can't stay organized with it: there are no dividers, no way to remove pages I don't need any more, etc. Also, when I fill up one and start another, what happens if I need some info that's in the first book?

    So my issues are:
    1) I need to be able to write on paper, since I no longer have a phone with a stylus for note taking
    2) I need to be able to find the notes I've written quickly and easily later
    3) I need to be able to carry this notetaking setup, along with my phone, wherever I am in my daily travels around the office and warehouse. Writing standing up is a bonus but not required.
    4) I need to have easy access to the archive of notes I've written in the past

    The more I think about how I need to access notes and stuff, I think maybe my best bet would be to use whatever paper or book I have for my scratchy disorganized note-taking, and then snap those notes to Evernote so that I can search on my handwriting and add typewritten notes to them, and tag and organize them there. At least that allows me to have a searchable archive of all my handwritten notes.

    I can use my Copilot as my daily note taking kit, holding my phone, iPad, moleskine. I can snap photos of my daily notes into Evernote. Hm. I might try this first.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  8. #8
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    Hi Amy,

    My FJN is mainly for art, rather than taking notes, but if the need arose I would definitely find it easy to use for that as well.

    I have appreciated the following:

    1. CUSTOMIZATION: I can use the TB plastic leaf separators (I use 2, comes with one) for my different papers: I cut my own papers, which include 3 different types. When I am done with one, I simply file it behind all the others if I want to keep it in the FJN, or you can certainly buy a binder the size of the FJN binder and file them separately.

    While it is a brick when fully loaded (mine currently weighs in at over 2 pounds), everything is in one place and I can move everything in and out of the pen slots and the TB Organization Inserts based on the type of art I am doing (watercolor/color pencil/gel pen/graphite etc). So for you, switching from something your grandkids can draw in vs your work, would be very easy. There is also enough room to store an ipad mini in the back, behind the papers.

    2. ORGANIZATION/ACCESSIBILIY: The ease of access to writing/art tools is unsurpassed IMHO. I switch out my supplies all the time, however the items I use the most stay in the FJN and I move them to/from the organizer slots on the left side of the FJN and the Organization inserts. And as said above, you can pick your own paper, cut your own paper, and throw some of your own Moleskines in the back. A 5x8 Moleskine fits just fine. I did not really appreciate the ease of use until I actually USED it, I think it is something that you have to experience to appreciate.

    I would suggest trying it out. I used to have my pens in one part of my bag, paints in another, and several different pads of paper in other parts of my bag and I just got tired of going into several pockets to pull out all my stuff and then reverse to put everything away (wow, I sound lazy...) Anyway, I like having all my tools in front of me so I don't have to guess where I might have put it. There is also a certain pleasing asthetic quality to opening up the FJN and seeing everything lined up like little soldiers ready to go to work.

  9. #9
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    Why don't you look at something like the Filofax or Levenger where you can add a pocket or punch holes in the little bits of paper and put them where you want them.

    EXAMPLE:

    Filofax Notebooks Classic Pastels A5 Orchid | | Filofax US

    or this type

    Cover Story Organizer | | Filofax US

    Both have accessories for pockets, punches etc.
    Last edited by tebnewyork; 05-03-2017 at 09:26 AM.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Thanks @anna2222 for your breakdown of why you like it, and @tebnewyork for the filofax suggestions. I'll take a look at that too. I had only been looking at the Midori so far.

    Can the Field Journal fit easily inside the Synapse 19? I assume it can.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  11. #11
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Another option: what about the Sidekick with whatever assortment of papers/journals inside? that would allow me to:
    - Keep all the loose papers contained (8.5" x 11" folded-- will they fit in the Sidekick?)
    - space to put my big phone and any assortment of writing supplies
    - could use any journal or notebook inside of that.

    It doesn't help with my issue of organizing papers, which a 3-ring binder would be better at, but it does mean that the bag can serve more than one purpose on the days I don't need to drag the work papers around. So it might be a more useful item than the Field Journal for my purposes.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  12. #12
    Forum Member Muni_Jedi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    Another option: what about the Sidekick with whatever assortment of papers/journals inside? that would allow me to:
    - Keep all the loose papers contained (8.5" x 11" folded-- will they fit in the Sidekick?)
    - space to put my big phone and any assortment of writing supplies
    - could use any journal or notebook inside of that.

    It doesn't help with my issue of organizing papers, which a 3-ring binder would be better at, but it does mean that the bag can serve more than one purpose on the days I don't need to drag the work papers around. So it might be a more useful item than the Field Journal for my purposes.
    This is how I manage my kit. I have a Leuchtturm1917 A5 bound book for my schedule/note/journal which fits in the large slip pocket of the SK between the pen slots and other internal dividers I am able to take along all the bits I need. My notebook also has the pocket folder on the back cover (same as moleskin) which can manage loose papers I need to keep with the book. I really like the SK as an everyday/everywhere bag. There are very few times it is not within arms reach.

  13. #13
    Forum Member blackbird's Avatar
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    Benefits of the Field Journal over Midori?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    Another option: what about the Sidekick with whatever assortment of papers/journals inside? that would allow me to:
    - Keep all the loose papers contained (8.5" x 11" folded-- will they fit in the Sidekick?)
    - space to put my big phone and any assortment of writing supplies
    - could use any journal or notebook inside of that.

    It doesn't help with my issue of organizing papers, which a 3-ring binder would be better at, but it does mean that the bag can serve more than one purpose on the days I don't need to drag the work papers around. So it might be a more useful item than the Field Journal for my purposes.
    Hi @Amy,

    I ended up going with the Side Kick for just this reason: space for all of my things ó notebook, pens, phone, wallet, essential face powder/lotions, first aid supplies, etc. ó and so far, it's working out wonderfully. I love it for its internal organization and customizability, so much so that it even serves as a great bag-within-a-bag when I need to carry more but still want to keep all the essentials corralled and in their place.

    And yes, there's an internal pocket that can easily fit folded 8.5x11" papers. And you can always keep a small binder at your desk to organize them all.

    HTH and good luck with your decision!

    blackbird


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." ó Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Okay, I just did it: I ordered a Sidekick instead. I think that'll be a little more versatile for my purposes than the Field Journal. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  15. #15
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    @Amy and others,

    Thought I would add that I like the new Nock.co A5 Dot-Dash Notebook 3-packs (referenced in my posted reply to @KmK in another thread) for a small A5-sized notebook that I can carry in a Side Kick, and whose pages I can insert into my FJN if I want to add them to permanent notes.

    I like @anna2222's description of the customizability of the FJN for other purposes. For example, you can put a Canson Artist Series Universal Sketch Pad, 5.5"X8.5" Side Wire into the FJN (see the pictures in my post #8 of the Hacking the FJN for Levenger Circa, etc., thread). Instead of the Rivet band Laccio elastic, I use the Levenger Precious Metals Notebook Belts (set of 2), junior size, to secure the sketch book. (One thin flat strap secures the back cover of the sketchbook to the plastic insert; the thicker one goes around the front cover and holds the sketchbook closed. I hacked this back in January, but have been too overwhelmed by work to be able to take pictures and post. The Canson sketch pad is the one I recently showed in the back of a Medium Cafe Bag Freudian Slip when trying to answer questions in the Width of WF divided pocket? Need organized personal item thread (my post #12), as a stand-in for a journal that was larger than standard hardcover Moleskine, Leuchturm1917, etc. since I haven't seen any standard journal of that size that is 1" thick).

    Anyway, I can totally see someone setting up a Midori Traveler's notebook type system using these types of notebooks.

    HTH

    moriond

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