Index Cards. What are they good for?

The first thing I start to do when I get some new piece of stationary is to start experimenting to find out what I like to use it for and not, and then I start to compare to what I currently use for that and after a while I figure out what the current “best thing” is for everything.

There are three things I use Index Cards for these days:

  • Capture.
  • As a heavy duty tool for task management.
  • To bring notes into meetings.

I love using Index Cards as a capture method, because I write it down, and then I process it at a later point, and I can just throw it away. No crossing out or anything like that. Sometimes, like now, when I need to write a couple of blog posts before I leave town for a few days, I have taken two cards and written down the title of both of them on its own card. It is a method I use when there is something that is more important than anything else. I write it down and put it down next to the keyboard. The third thing is that sometimes I need to remember a couple of things in a meeting, then I often just put it down on some cards and bring that.

The running theme on where I think cards are great are for stuff where you can sum it up in a few words or a short sentence and you are going to get rid of it as soon as possible. But anything longer than a short sentence is better served by a small or large notebook.

Daily Carry

I thought it was about time to write another daily carry post. My current ink is a Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu, and I use that in all the pens in current rotation.

My current pocket carry is the Belroy Cover + Filed Notes, some Nock.co Index cards and a short pencil, when a pencil gets shorter than the height of the case I take them out of rotation and use them for this purpose.

I use my Nock.co pouch to carry pencils, I currently have some Golden Bears, some Blackwing Volume 54 and some Blackwing Pearl.

I carry some new Field Notes, my Vanihsing Point and my Lamy 2000 in my Hightower, and I also use my TWSBI Eco’s, and Pilot Metal Falcon; but I don’t carry them. I use them from my desk.

The notebook situation otherwise are changing. I’m stilling working my way through the last rest of my LT1917 stash, before I’m going over to using travelers notebooks again.

How I use Pencils

I almost never sharpen pencils on the go. The way I deal with sharpening them is that I have somewhere between 12 and 24 pencils in rotation. I carry them all in my Nock Pencil Pouch; I don’t remember what it is called. I sharpen them on both sides.

I use them until they are too dull, and then I put it in one of the pockets of my Tom Bihn Plot bag. And when I get home, I sharpen them and put them back in the case.

I also always have a pencil in the spine of my Belroy Field Notes case.

What I usually do is that I keep pencils in regular rotation until they are short enough to fit in there without the point sticking out. Then I reserve them for pocket uuse until they get too short to be comfortable to write with. At that point I just throw them out and find the next short one to use.

At the moment I use Golden Bears and the Pink Blackwing Volumes.

My main pencil is the Golden Bear, but I try to test out most of the other big popular pencils one by one, to have an informed opinion about them.

I actually get a full box of every pencil I want to try, because I think that you actually have to use a few of them before you have an opinion. Because I often really like a pencil for the first 3-4 of them, and then I get over the initial excitment and realize that they are really scratchy or really soft. And get annoyed.

Field Notes Bellory Cover

This have taken a really long time. I think I started to look for a cover for my Field Notes the day after I got my first pack in May or June 2013. I came from using some really thick hardover Moleskine pocket sized notebooks. And even though Field Notes was a lot better in many ways, especially paper quality and the smaller page number made them much more portable, there was something about the hardcover I really missed. Mainly that I new they would not fall apart, and that I did not rely as much on having a desk to write.

Over these five and half years, I have looked at more or less every single cover that fits Field Notes at least once. But I never pulled the trigger. I’m not sure why, but I never did it.

I finally did so a while back. And I went for the Belroy Field Notes cover. I’m really happy with it this far. It protects my Field Notes, and adds additional stiffness, without a lot of extra bulk. Also, the cover makes it really easy to carry a small pen or a pencil in the spin. One additional feature the Belroy has is two pockets on one side made to let you carry either Credit Cards or Index Cards.

I regret not getting this thing before, but I really like this thing. And as a bonus the cover protects my pencil a little bit, something that means I break way less pencilpoints each week.

If you should get this cover or not depends, I really like it because I can use this instead of a FN Cover plus the Talluah. But you might want to get something a little bit different if you don’t want to carry Index Cards.

Nock.co Talluah

I got this Nock.co case as a part of the 2018 PenAddict Kickstarter. This is not something I would have ordered myself, because it is very much outside of what I usually use. But I like it a lot.

The basic concept is a small case with room for two pens and something “business card” sized. This could mean proper business cards or index cards in that size. Something Nock.co sells. So I ordered some of them and started to use this thing.

The Talluah is a must if you are a index card person. And if you like me, are not, I think it can be a interesting addition to for example a pocket sized notebook. There are things where I think Index Cards work better, like capturing stuff or as a blunt instrument when there are a few things you really need to get done. But I prefer using a notebook for lists and stuff like that.

Index Cards and a Talluah have been a good addition to the stuff I carry, and I will continue to use it.