A LEUCHTTURM 1917 joins 200 other A5 journals (mostly Moleskines) that I've used since 1997. These journals are part of a refined note-making process.
I like the look, the feel, and the utility of these easily carried notebooks. They don't tire my eyes as much as the glow from a smartphone screen. They give me the easy satisfaction of writing a kick-off list and then executing the list as part of a plan.
The plan for this gold Leuchtturm 1917 is to track the final five years of my teaching at third level. I want to archive samples of best work in it and then watch those who created that work as they emerge as creatives in their own jobs. I also want to archive some of the best stuff I've done so it will be easy to glance at benchmarks I've achieved in creative productions.
I'll share snippets of my Leuchtturm 1917 as journal entries on my blog and by mentioning how things are going on my Topgold Audio Clips podcast, including ideas I'm learning from Mike Rohde and his Sketch Note Idea Book series.
Like Mike, I often omit one letter T in Leuchtturm. My omission led me to a fascinating collection of Moleskines, Idea Books, Leuchtturms, and Field Journals. Mike started sharing his love of Moleskines, daily planners, and sketching during the earliest days of Flickr. His well-illustrated musings are worth diving into the rabbit hole of making the most from your daily planning.
Whenever I open an unruled journal, I think of people who use the journals for rapid logging. Good rapid logging involves giving titles to every page and then numbering each page. I try to annotate the titles into a text file, often into Google Keep. I normally have dates at the bottom of every page. And every page is numbered. I record the title and page number in a Table of Contents at the beginning of every notebook. It's a bit tedious but keeps me organised.
I use signifiers. My squares suggest tick-off items. Circles are events. Triangles are meetings or appointments. Clocks are deadlines. Pinponts (similar to fat exclamation points) are places. You can see many different perspectives on these bullets by digin into “bullet journal key” on Pinterest.
Ideas for using planners:
Mike Rohde's Custom Moleskine Planner
Bill Westerman's Miquelrius notebook. More from Miquelrius.
[Bernie Goldbach taught workflow between 2002 and 2025 as part of the creative media for business programme on the Clonmel Digital Campus for the Limerick Institute of Technology.]