Trying the Pocket Notebook

My Pocket Notebook, with the pink pen I use most often in it. I decorated the outside with stickers that I made. (Photo courtesy of Abigail Crawford)

Recently I saw online a trend going around about kids my age wanting to get out of the social media phone addiction cycle and wanting simplicity to create more meaningful memories and relationships. In a tech-filled world, kids have resorted to writing to get simplicity, aka the pocket notebook. 

I’m all for lessening screen time, especially at school when we are on our computers in every single class. The minimum amount of time in front of screens for me is four hours. So I decided, why don’t I try a pocket notebook?

While at school, I’m only allowed to use my pocket notebook, and I’m not allowed to look at my phone. Except yes, I do have my phone on me at school, just for safety and as well for educational purposes only. I also want to permit the use of music, since it doesn’t harm me or keep me on my screen, so I decided I can still listen.

So for the next week, I’ll be using my pocket notebook, and my first step was decorating as seen above. Inside holds my calendar, to-lists, paper games, doodles, and notes. 

So far, I’ve already looked at my phone once, keeping myself entertained is the real issue. My brain craves the dopamine that my phone gives me. I’ve resorted to drawing in my pocket notebook. I also wrote my calendar for the week, as well as my to-do list. I think this is going to be a lot more difficult than I originally thought, but it’s good to break the phone addiction cycle. I want to become less dependent on what my phone gives me. 

By the end of day one, I had intermittently used my notebook with the use of my phone. It’s difficult in a technology-filled world to ignore your phone completely because you need it for specific tasks. 

Over the week, I continued to use my notebook trying to become less dependent on my phone. I will say I don’t think I’ll go back to using just my phone, but I don’t think I can just use my pocket notebook. 

The real issue with the pocket notebook is that it’s not simulating. I have a hard time staying engaged, I often get bored with just sitting around with paper and pen. It turns out there isn’t much to do. I can only read my book and play paper games for so long when I get bored. 

Other than the boring factor, I love using my pocket notebook. Similar to the idea brought about in the book, “Building a Second Brain,” by Tiago Forte, who introduced the idea that we shouldn’t have to depend so heavily on our minds to keep up with everything. Rather, Forte suggests that we should keep all of the information online, building a system of writing notes and organization that is our “Second Brain.” 

My pocket notebook feels very similar to that idea. I keep all the notes, reminders, and ideas in an organized way. My notebook has helped me free up space in my head where I no longer have to rely on my working memory. It has also helped me know where my assignments are and what I need to do. I don’t miss assignments as often since I can keep better track of them. 

Honestly, I love my pocket notebook. I think it’s super helpful, and I’m online less often. The week was difficult because I did need my phone for some aspects. But I think my notebook and my phone work in conjunction together. 

I would highly recommend having a pocket notebook and adding it to your organization method. It’s easy to use, and super helpful. I would recommend it strongly for anyone who has ADHD, like me,  because it can keep everything in one place, and you’ll find that you’re not forgetting. assignments anymore


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