Merlin Mann:

There’s something about a piece of paper that can be both really intimidating and very inspiring. Because there’s nothing you can’t do with a piece of paper. The biggest hurdle to using a notebook… is to get over the reluctance to put a mark on a page.

When I buy one of these Fancy Italian Notebooks, it’s so pretty. And I haven’t screwed it up yet! I haven’t said anything dumb. I haven’t made something I didn’t mean to say. Part of the problem with the Costly Italian Notebook is you don’t want to screw it up: each one of those pages cost money. It’s expensive. You don’t want to tear pages out of there because you don’t like what you wrote.

You start out thinking, “You know the nice thing about paper is I can do whatever with it,” but the irony becomes, “Yeah, but I don’t want to screw up this pretty notebook that I kind of don’t deserve.”

I have never understood the fear of screwing up a notebook. I just get them, write in them, sometimes I smear the ink and other times I spill coffee on it. That’s life, it is messy.