Eurail Blog | Home About

A note on my notebook

For all this talk of the tech stuff I'll be taking on the road, one of my favorite, and most-used, geek items will be very low-tech: my little bound red and black notebook.

For about 8 years now I've carried a wee notebook in my back pocket, with a pencil – automatic, never wooden, because I hate sharpening – in my hip pocket. I’ve filled up dozens of these notebooks. I draft and brainstorm, edit and finalize some bit of writing before typing it. Usually I go through about one notebook per month; my personal record is Galway, Ireland in 2000, where I once filled one up in 3 days.
Palm, AS3Ks, cybercafe computers, laptops, sure, they all rock. But I wouldn’t leave Zula next to my pillow at night in the hostel. Laptops have to be booted; my notebook just has to be opened. If you don’t back up your Palm and the batteries die, you lose your data. Notebooks don’t crash, aren’t attractive to thieves, and require neither upgrades, virus protection or tech support.
A small bound notebook may not be high-tech, but it is fast to use and always reliable. Sure, if I write something in there, I’ve got to type it up. Nothing I haven’t done before. If I need my notebook and pencil, I can be scribbling in moments.
No matter what I take with me on a trip, I will always have my notebook. I can’t wait to fill up a couple on this wee journey, and the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that…