Finished My First Field Notes Book!

Field Notes are a big thing. Everyone knows about them and a lot of folks use them.

I ignored them for a long time, mostly because I was trying to do an electronic capture of everything. After reading David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” I realized that I needed a very quick capture system, that I would take anywhere and would always have with me. After deciding to do this, I decided to use Field Notes books for this.

This is the first book I started, and I finally reached the final pages.

From the cover, I started this book on 1/24/15. It took so long for me to finished for several reasons. This wasn’t a “journal” for expanded writing. It was mostly used for quickly capturing things that ended up elsewhere, but it was the Field Notes book that I always had with me. I would write on both sides of the pages (most of the time). Sometimes, I would have multiple days on a single page.

For whatever reasons that it lasted this long, I am now ready to move to a second book. I just thought you might enjoy a few pictures of this well worn book before I retire it.






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DR eBook Process – Part 1

After almost a year and half of taking a trip to the Dominican Republic, I have decided to share what I think is a very powerful story from that trip.

It should not take me long to finish, and when I do, I will make the eBook available on this website. After much thought, I have decided to make it available for free. As much as I wouldn’t mind making a little cash to offsite some of the costs of writing and sharing, I felt that I didn’t want a cost barrier to being able to read this story. It is a bit short for an eBook, and a bit long for just a post.

Rather than just finish the book, post it and say “here it is” I figured it would be fun to write about the process for creating the book. Sometimes I think the process can be more interesting to people than just the finished product. Besides, there are a lot of folks who like pens, notebooks, and software, so I will take it through all those steps.

With that in mind, let’s get on with the first part of the process. By the way, I have created a new category on this website called “DR eBook” so that you can click on that category and see all the posts associated with the process without having to search for them among other entries.

Heading down there, I did not know specifically that there was going to be a “story” to capture. Because I wanted to retain as much information on the trip as possible, I bought a specific journal for this. My son had been eyeing The Hobbit Moleskine journal at the bookstore, so I bought us each one of those.


At the end of each day, I took a few minutes to write about the events of the day. Believe it or not, it was tough to squeeze this time in. We kept hopping pretty much the whole trip, and when it was time for bed, I just wanted to crash.


It would be great to say that I used some great pen to take these notes, but I did not. It was just a super cheap, black Papermate ball point pen. I like the process as much as anything else, so why didn’t I take a nicer writing instrument? Mostly because I did not know what to expect. This was going to be get dirty and work trip. I didn’t take a cell phone or electronics. The only thing I took that plugged in was the charger for my point and shoot camera battery, and I was not sure if I would even have a place to plug that in. I don’t have nice pens other than fountain pens and I didn’t want to have to worry about flying with one of those either.

The next part of the process is not something I normally do. Within a couple of days of returning home, I put my handwritten entries into the journaling software that I use. I mostly did this because I knew I wanted to expand on some of the entries and that I would also probably want these somewhere down the road.


I did not attempt to create any story, or do anything special with these at this point. As you can see from the photos, I just put the entries in day by day as they had occurred in my paper journal.

In case you are interested, the journal software that I use, and have been using for years is MacJournal. In the spirit of full disclosure, if you follow that link it I could receive money for it. I am an affiliate with the App Store, but links like these will be far and few between for me because I really only use a handful of apps. Also, I would only provide a link to things that I genuinely use. I also know that Day One is a hugely popular and similar app. Back when I started with MacJournal, I had to make a choice between the two and obviously went with MacJournal. I still wouldn’t mind trying Day One, but I have everything in MacJournal working the way that I want, that I don’t see the need to go looking at something else for the moment. As an added bonus, I write all my content in MacJournal, and send it directly to my website, but that is a topic for another time.

That is it for the “documenting” portion. My next post will be about how I came up with the parts of the story and the structure.

Thank you for reading.


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