Wednesday, November 02, 2011

How to Hack a Moleskine

I discovered this technique at Yarn-A-Go-Go and have refined it to apply to my own situation (and OCD). I recently found myself reading Allison Hewitt is Trapped: A Zombie Novel, by Madeleine Roux, in which Allison Hewitt, a blogger, is trapped in a bookstore with several colleagues when the inevitable zombie apocalypse happens. This, of course, started me thinking about what I would do if I found myself in a similar situation. Being me, rather than thinking in terms of weapons, I think in terms of information and creature comforts.

The creature comforts part of the equation mostly goes to what I carry in my day bag (a black leather backpack)--iPhone, wallet, keys, tissues, pain relievers, moisturizer, glasses, earbuds, pens and the inevitable Moleskine. The information part comes when I start thinking about what might happen if I'm holed up somewhere hiding from zombies and don't have access to electricity or wifi (Allison Hewitt, the fictional blogger, is trapped in a bookstore with both of those things, luckily). Or what if the cell towers are out (probably more of a worldwide armageddon than the zombie apocalypse, but you never know.

Thus, the Moleskine hack, my version.

  1. As soon as you get a new Moleskine, number the pages. I number mine in the upper right-hand corner, and leave the first few (at least two) pages in the book blank. These first blank pages will become your index, or table of contents. Alternatively, you could use a few back pages as the table of contents ... okay, this is what I did, but only because I didn't think of adding it at the front until after I had started writing in the book.
  2. Starting after the first blank pages that will be dedicated to the index, put your important information, i.e., information that you would want to have close to hand during the zombie apocalypse, such as phone numbers of relatives, doctors' phone numbers, medications you take, etc. This information will be the first entry in your table of contents. Mine is: Phone Numbers, Medications & Allergies, Mom's & Dad's Medications, Surgeries (Bob's and mine)
  3. Go to those first few blank pages and add the page number, the date of entry, and what the information is, i.e., Page 1 - 10/31/11 - Phone Numbers.
  4. Write only on the right-hand pages, leaving the left-hand pages blank for editing, adding notes, clarification, etc.
  5. Write whatever you usually write in the rest of the book--notes, drawings, shopping lists, whatever. When you write something that you might want to be able to access later without flipping through the whole book, go to your table of contents and write it down. That way when you want to refer to notes from a particular meeting, you can find them easily by the date or title. Mine currently includes: Ideas for Christmas 2011, books I want to read, notes from doctor visits, blog ideas, sewing patterns (so I don't buy the same one twice).
  6. Mark the index/table of contents with a post-it flag or some kind of tab so you can open the book to it easily. This is really only important if your table of contents, like mine, is at the back rather than the front.
  7. When you fill the book up and start a new one, re-copy the "important information" into the new book. That way you have a fighting chance of having the information you need when you're holed up in the basement waiting for the zombies to break down the door.

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Joanna said...

So, you're assuming that (at some point in time) we'll lose all access to electricity and having all this info at my fingertips on my phone won't do me a whit of good? Thanks, Willa.

Willa said...

Exactly! I read a book about a tsunami hitting Hawaii, and cell phones didn't work or else they lost them, I don't remember, but when they found a pay phone, no one knew anyone's phone number because they had all saved them on their phones and didn't have to remember them anymore . . . I'm in a technical industry, but sometimes I think we depend on it too much, to our possible detriment. Or it could just be my OCD. ;)

Faith said...

Willa, I'm always on the lookout for the perfect purse. Love your backpack! Did you find it online?

Willa said...

Hi Faith,

I bought it at T. J. Maxx, but they have it at eBags, although it looks like they're out of the black:

(And I didn't pay that much for it, it was $39.99, I think.)


Anonymous said...

If that's the extent of your OCD, you're lucky.