I still use pen and paper for much of my note taking. Pen and paper strips away all the distractions, allowing you to focus on one thing at a time. There’s no email, IMs, or Internet. Just a blank sheet of paper and your thoughts.
I originally tried to take notes with the iPad. However, note taking apps and using a stylus are a bit of a clumsy experience. The electronic version of pen and paper still has a long way to go before it can complete with the real thing.
Now I use small binder. The size, 8.5 x 5.5, is smaller than a traditional binder. This little binder fits almost anywhere and is much easier to take notes on than a full size binder.
Binders are better than paper notebooks because you can organize your thoughts. Add a few stick-on index tabs and now you have categorized all of your notes. Unlike a paper notebook, you can move paper around and add more paper as a category grows.
The binder is also great for conferences and meetings, where you might create several new topics within a few minutes. Because the binder has pockets, you can store spare paper and index tabs.
Of course, you don’t want to scrabble for a pen every time you need to quickly write something down. For this scenario, I use the penpal. It grips most pens and adheres to most any surface. Attach it to the inside cover of your binder and you’ll never be penless.
You may have noticed with some binders, once you close them, the paper inside gets bent and folded. To get around this problem, I use a paper cutter to trim a little off the punch hole side of the paper. This allows a quick close without any paper getting in the way.
All the materials can be purchased at Office Max except for the penpal, which you can find at Walmart.