Tag Archives: Note Taking

Evernote for Windows Gets Better Search, Color Coded Notebooks and Tags, and More

Evernote for Windows Gets Better Search, Color Coded Notebooks and Tags, and More

Windows: The latest version of Evernote makes it easier to navigate your notebooks, search your notes easily, and organize notebooks and notes by color.

There are a lot of great new features in this update. Let’s start with the sidebar: You can now hover over Notebooks to access a search button or quickly add a new notebook, drag and drop noteboooks into and out of notebook stacks, and drag and drop notes to the new dedicated Trash icon in the sidebar. Shortcuts are still available, but now found in the top toolbar. (Saved searches, however, are MIA, but Evernote says they’re planning to bring previously saved searches back “very soon.”) There’s also an option to collapse the left sidebar with the F10 shortcut or by going to View > Left Panel.

Search gives you more filtering options and suggestions to help you narrow down or expand your searches:

Evernote for Windows Gets Better Search, Color Coded Notebooks and Tags, and More

My favorite new feature is the color coding for notebooks and tags. Right-click on a notebook or tag and choose Style… to assign it a color or add font formatting to note titles. It’s another layer of organization you can use with your notes to help quickly identify them.

Check out the other improvements in the new Evernote for Windows in the blog post below or just update your Windows Evernote desktop app totry them out yourself.

Unveiling the new Evernote for Windows | Evernote

Nest Folders Inside of Folders in Apple Notes from the Mac App

Nest Folders Inside of Folders in Apple Notes from the Mac App

Nesting folders is one of the simplest, most common ways to organize files. For some bizarre reason, you cannot nest folders in the Apple Notes app on iOS. MacSparky points out that it’s possible from the Mac app though.

In the Mac app, this works exactly as you’d expect. Open Apple Notes, then drag an existing folder on top of another to nest it inside. When you open up Apple Notes on iOS, the nested folder will be where it’s supposed to be, even though you can’t actually organize it that way on iOS.

Nesting Folder in Apple Notes | MacSparky

Handwrite Your Notes Instead of Typing Them for Better Memory Retention

Handwrite Your Notes Instead of Typing Them for Better Memory Retention

Typing on a keyboard (hardware or virtual) might be quicker than writing things out with pen and paper, but for learning and long-term memory, handwriting trumps the keyboard.

The Wall Street Journal discusses several studies that show students who took handwritten notes outperformed those who typed their notes on their computers:

Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques.

It seems the problem is that when taking notes on our laptops, we can’t help but take notes by rotes, almost word by word. We take more notes more quickly at the computer, but don’t put as much thinking into them as we do when writing by hand.

Writing works better than typing because it stimulates and engages our brains more

http://lifehacker.com/5738093/why-yo…

So the next time you want to learn new information, ditch the keyboard and break out your paper notebook or write on your tablet.

Can Handwriting Make You Smarter? | The Wall Street Journal

Photo by birkancaghan.

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

When it comes to pocket-sized notebooks, two companies stand above the rest: Moleskine and Field Notes. Both are incredibly popular and work great for what they are, but choosing between the two is difficult. We’re here to help you make that choice.

The Contenders

While you have thousands of options for paper notebooks, Moleskine and Field Notes are two of our favorites. Both companies make fantastic notebooks, but they’re made differently, have different paper selections, and have drastically different covers. For the sake of consistency, we’re going to stick to pocket-sized notebooks for this comparison, since that’s the only size Field Notes makes. Moleskine has a much broader selection of sizes though, so if you’re looking for something larger, that’s the brand you’ll want to go with. With that out of the way, let’s take a close look at the two contenders.

  • Moleskine: Love them or hate them, Moleskine notebooks are ubiquitous. There’s a cult following around the company that’s at least partially due to the their trademark hard covers, the variety of notebook sizes the company offers, and a small selection of different types of paper. Moleskine notebooks are available everywhere and their pocket-sized options come in a variety of types specific to individual needs. Their pocket-sized notebooks (3 1/2" x 5 1/2") come packed with 192 pages and retail starting at $12. Moleskines are designed in Italy and manufactured in China.
  • Field Notes: If Moleskine are the Evernote of notebook brands, Field Notes are the plain text equivalent. With only one exception, they stick to a single size (3 1/2" x 5 1/2"), though they offer a variety of different colors and types of paper. Picking the right notebook for you is as simple as finding the paper style you prefer. Field Notes are sold in a three-pack of 48-page notebooks as opposed to one single, larger notebook. Pretty much all editions of the Field Notes three-packs are $10. Field Notes are designed and made in the U.S.

You can walk into just about any department store or bookshop and walk out with a notebook, but these two are so popular they have each have their own followings, and for good reason. Let’s take this comparison a little deeper.

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-pape…

Moleskine Has More Covers but Both Are Durable

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

Comparing the covers of Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks is a little disingenuous because of the number of options Moleskine offers compared to the one basic Field Notes cover, but it’s necessary nonetheless.

Moleskine notebooks come with three basic cover options, soft, hard, and cardboard. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Hard cover: Moleskine’s hard cover notebooks are their bread and butter. The hard cover notebook is what most people think of when they think of Moleskine. The cover is cardboard bound, features a cloth bookmark, an elastic closure, and an expandable inner pocket in the back.
  • Soft cover: Moleskine’s soft cover notebooks are basically the same as their hardcover, but feature a much more flexible cover. Like the hard cover, they come with a bookmark, elastic closure, and an expandable inner pocket.
  • Cardboard: If there’s a direct analog between Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks, it’s Moleskine’s Cahier line. The stitching in these notebooks goes across the spine in a way that looks like it’s done by hand. The covers are a lighter cardboard than the hard covers. This notebook does not have the trademark elastic enclosure of other Moleskine notebooks. This line of notebooks comes in three different sizes, but the 64-page pocket version is the closest to Field Notes. Like Field Notes, these come in three packs that retail for $10.

In my experience, all three of Moleskine’s notebook styles are durable and can take a pretty good beating. The hard covers are the most durable, but the material the soft cover is bound in is pretty strong too. You can rip those soft covers apart if you try, but if it’s just sitting inside a bag it tends to be fine. The Cahier line that mimics the Field Notes style is a pretty stiff bit of cardboard and the stitch style means it doesn’t fold and bend as much as Field Notes book.

Speaking of the Field Notes books, their covers are way different than Moleskine’s. The standard Field Notes books come in a brown light cardboard cover that’s the same color as a paper grocery store bag. They’re pretty floppy too, closer to something like the cover you’d find on standard spiral notebook. That doesn’t mean they’re not durable though. The floppiness means the Field Notes notebooks fit more comfortably in your pocket. They roll up in your pocket easily, which is a nice perk if that’s more your style. The binding is three staples, which feels tough and makes it so you can flip the book around or bend it to suit your needs.

While Field Notes’ covers are pretty standard, they do have some special edition books worth pointing out. Their cherry wood cover is a bit more durable than their cardboard covers, their Pitch Black notebook features a stocky 100 lb “blacktop cover,” and their Expedition notebooks (my personal favorite, if you’re curious) are tear proof and pretty hard to destroy. The Expedition notebooks also waterproof, which is handy if you have your notebook in a garage or take it out into any kind of weather.

Both Companies Have Similar Paper Quality and Variety

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes
Moleskine on the left, Field Notes on the right

Besides the cover, paper quality and variety are the most important things about a notebook. Both companies give you a lot of options.

Moleskine offers all of their notebooks with ruled, squared or plain paper. On their popular models, including all the pocket-sized notebooks, they also offer dot-grid paper. Field Notes only offers ruled, squared, and plain, but also offers a mixed pack (remember Field Notes are always sold in threes) where you get one plain notebook, one ruled notebook, and one graph notebook. Some of the Field Notes special editions do come with dot-grid paper too, including the Pitch Black and Expedition notebook.

I’m no paper expert, but the quality of paper in both the standard editions of Field Notes and Moleskine notebooks seem similar. Ballpoint pens don’t leak through, but markers will. Writing with a pencil also works fine. Neither has thick, heavy stock paper that’ll work well with markers or paints. Put bluntly, neither paper is particularly great. If there is a noticeable difference, it’s that Moleskine’s paper tends to be a bit more yellow, while Field Notes tends to be a much more vibrant white. So if that matters to you, then it’s something to consider. Moleskine’s paper is acid-free, 70 gsm, 47 lb text stock. Field Notes changes their paper around depending edition, but they seem to use 50 lb text stock the most. That’s about the same quality as cheap printer paper. If you’re curious to read more about the paper in each, here’s a deep dive into the paper used in Moleskines. If you want to see the various papers used in Field Notes notebooks, Three Staples has a pretty comprehensive guide.

Both companies also offer some specialty paper options. For example, Moleskine has a sketch album that includes sketch-grade paper. As for Field Notes, the previously mentioned Expedition notebook features waterproof, tearproof paper. Likewise, the Pitch Black edition has a 50lb stock paper on the inside, which makes it a bit tougher than the standard paper.

Field Notes Keeps It Simple but Moleskine Has More “Special Editions”

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

On top of their standard notebooks, Moleskine also offer a bunch of themed notebooks made for specific writing themes like keeping a film journal and even city-specific notebooks for travel. They have notebooks just for music notation, storyboarding, and even one influenced by Japanese scrolls. Beyond those, Moleskine also routinely releases special notebooks with branded covers from the likes of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Batman, and more. They even offer “smart notebooks” that work with Adobe Creative Cloud and Evernote.

Field Notes takes a much simpler approach. Aside from their regular line of notebooks and the Pitch Black and Expedition editions we’ve already mentioned (which may also be limited runs, but have been in print for a while now), they also release a variety of colored special editions throughout the year. For example, right now they have the Shenandoah pack, the Chicago 3-pack, and the Sweet Tooth Edition. They also have specialty notebooks for logging flights or your trip to the county fair. Right now, they have a fun little workshop companion pack for different DIY projects. These special editions are so popular that Field Notes even has as subscription service if you don’t want to miss any of them.

The Verdict: “Best” Depends On Whether It’ll Actually Live In Your Pocket

When we started this comparison, we noted that it was a bit unfair because Moleskine offered such a massive variety of notebook options. Still, even with those options, which notebooks is best for you depends on what you’ll use it for.

Personally, none of the Moleskine models fit in my pocket comfortably, so if I’m planning on lugging a notebook around with me full-time, it’s a Field Notes notebook. Likewise, if I’m working on anything out in the world, whether it’s in a garage or taking measurements during some weird DIY science project, I like the Field Notes notebooks because they can bend around a lot easier.

But if I’m doing more than that, especially if I’m planning on doing any sketching or longer writing, then Moleskine notebooks are better suited for my needs. The elastic wrap and bookmark is also a killer feature for some people, though I never make use of either. The pocket in the back of Moleskines, while a fun idea, has always always been a useless little addition to me, though I’m sure others have found some use for it.

Of course, beyond that, it’s about aesthetics. Which one looks better to you? Are you a fan of fun colors or do you prefer designs based on pop culture? Is a hard cover necessary? Do you want a simple notebook, or do you want bookmarks and closure straps? Pick the one you’ll actually use. Notebooks are worthless if they’re not written in.

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

When it comes to pocket-sized notebooks, two companies stand above the rest: Moleskine and Field Notes. Both are incredibly popular and work great for what they are, but choosing between the two is difficult. We’re here to help you make that choice.

The Contenders

While you have thousands of options for paper notebooks, Moleskine and Field Notes are two of our favorites. Both companies make fantastic notebooks, but they’re made differently, have different paper selections, and have drastically different covers. For the sake of consistency, we’re going to stick to pocket-sized notebooks for this comparison, since that’s the only size Field Notes makes. Moleskine has a much broader selection of sizes though, so if you’re looking for something larger, that’s the brand you’ll want to go with. With that out of the way, let’s take a close look at the two contenders.

  • Moleskine: Love them or hate them, Moleskine notebooks are ubiquitous. There’s a cult following around the company that’s at least partially due to the their trademark hard covers, the variety of notebook sizes the company offers, and a small selection of different types of paper. Moleskine notebooks are available everywhere and their pocket-sized options come in a variety of types specific to individual needs. Their pocket-sized notebooks (3 1/2" x 5 1/2") come packed with 192 pages and retail starting at $12. Moleskines are designed in Italy and manufactured in China.
  • Field Notes: If Moleskine are the Evernote of notebook brands, Field Notes are the plain text equivalent. With only one exception, they stick to a single size (3 1/2" x 5 1/2"), though they offer a variety of different colors and types of paper. Picking the right notebook for you is as simple as finding the paper style you prefer. Field Notes are sold in a three-pack of 48-page notebooks as opposed to one single, larger notebook. Pretty much all editions of the Field Notes three-packs are $10. Field Notes are designed and made in the U.S.

You can walk into just about any department store or bookshop and walk out with a notebook, but these two are so popular they have each have their own followings, and for good reason. Let’s take this comparison a little deeper.

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-pape…

Moleskine Has More Covers but Both Are Durable

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

Comparing the covers of Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks is a little disingenuous because of the number of options Moleskine offers compared to the one basic Field Notes cover, but it’s necessary nonetheless.

Moleskine notebooks come with three basic cover options, soft, hard, and cardboard. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Hard cover: Moleskine’s hard cover notebooks are their bread and butter. The hard cover notebook is what most people think of when they think of Moleskine. The cover is cardboard bound, features a cloth bookmark, an elastic closure, and an expandable inner pocket in the back.
  • Soft cover: Moleskine’s soft cover notebooks are basically the same as their hardcover, but feature a much more flexible cover. Like the hard cover, they come with a bookmark, elastic closure, and an expandable inner pocket.
  • Cardboard: If there’s a direct analog between Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks, it’s Moleskine’s Cahier line. The stitching in these notebooks goes across the spine in a way that looks like it’s done by hand. The covers are a lighter cardboard than the hard covers. This notebook does not have the trademark elastic enclosure of other Moleskine notebooks. This line of notebooks comes in three different sizes, but the 64-page pocket version is the closest to Field Notes. Like Field Notes, these come in three packs that retail for $10.

In my experience, all three of Moleskine’s notebook styles are durable and can take a pretty good beating. The hard covers are the most durable, but the material the soft cover is bound in is pretty strong too. You can rip those soft covers apart if you try, but if it’s just sitting inside a bag it tends to be fine. The Cahier line that mimics the Field Notes style is a pretty stiff bit of cardboard and the stitch style means it doesn’t fold and bend as much as Field Notes book.

Speaking of the Field Notes books, their covers are way different than Moleskine’s. The standard Field Notes books come in a brown light cardboard cover that’s the same color as a paper grocery store bag. They’re pretty floppy too, closer to something like the cover you’d find on standard spiral notebook. That doesn’t mean they’re not durable though. The floppiness means the Field Notes notebooks fit more comfortably in your pocket. They roll up in your pocket easily, which is a nice perk if that’s more your style. The binding is three staples, which feels tough and makes it so you can flip the book around or bend it to suit your needs.

While Field Notes’ covers are pretty standard, they do have some special edition books worth pointing out. Their cherry wood cover is a bit more durable than their cardboard covers, their Pitch Black notebook features a stocky 100 lb “blacktop cover,” and their Expedition notebooks (my personal favorite, if you’re curious) are tear proof and pretty hard to destroy. The Expedition notebooks also waterproof, which is handy if you have your notebook in a garage or take it out into any kind of weather.

Both Companies Have Similar Paper Quality and Variety

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes
Moleskine on the left, Field Notes on the right

Besides the cover, paper quality and variety are the most important things about a notebook. Both companies give you a lot of options.

Moleskine offers all of their notebooks with ruled, squared or plain paper. On their popular models, including all the pocket-sized notebooks, they also offer dot-grid paper. Field Notes only offers ruled, squared, and plain, but also offers a mixed pack (remember Field Notes are always sold in threes) where you get one plain notebook, one ruled notebook, and one graph notebook. Some of the Field Notes special editions do come with dot-grid paper too, including the Pitch Black and Expedition notebook.

I’m no paper expert, but the quality of paper in both the standard editions of Field Notes and Moleskine notebooks seem similar. Ballpoint pens don’t leak through, but markers will. Writing with a pencil also works fine. Neither has thick, heavy stock paper that’ll work well with markers or paints. Put bluntly, neither paper is particularly great. If there is a noticeable difference, it’s that Moleskine’s paper tends to be a bit more yellow, while Field Notes tends to be a much more vibrant white. So if that matters to you, then it’s something to consider. Moleskine’s paper is acid-free, 70 gsm, 47 lb text stock. Field Notes changes their paper around depending edition, but they seem to use 50 lb text stock the most. That’s about the same quality as cheap printer paper. If you’re curious to read more about the paper in each, here’s a deep dive into the paper used in Moleskines. If you want to see the various papers used in Field Notes notebooks, Three Staples has a pretty comprehensive guide.

Both companies also offer some specialty paper options. For example, Moleskine has a sketch album that includes sketch-grade paper. As for Field Notes, the previously mentioned Expedition notebook features waterproof, tearproof paper. Likewise, the Pitch Black edition has a 50lb stock paper on the inside, which makes it a bit tougher than the standard paper.

Field Notes Keeps It Simple but Moleskine Has More “Special Editions”

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

On top of their standard notebooks, Moleskine also offer a bunch of themed notebooks made for specific writing themes like keeping a film journal and even city-specific notebooks for travel. They have notebooks just for music notation, storyboarding, and even one influenced by Japanese scrolls. Beyond those, Moleskine also routinely releases special notebooks with branded covers from the likes of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Batman, and more. They even offer “smart notebooks” that work with Adobe Creative Cloud and Evernote.

Field Notes takes a much simpler approach. Aside from their regular line of notebooks and the Pitch Black and Expedition editions we’ve already mentioned (which may also be limited runs, but have been in print for a while now), they also release a variety of colored special editions throughout the year. For example, right now they have the Shenandoah pack, the Chicago 3-pack, and the Sweet Tooth Edition. They also have specialty notebooks for logging flights or your trip to the county fair. Right now, they have a fun little workshop companion pack for different DIY projects. These special editions are so popular that Field Notes even has as subscription service if you don’t want to miss any of them.

The Verdict: “Best” Depends On Whether It’ll Actually Live In Your Pocket

When we started this comparison, we noted that it was a bit unfair because Moleskine offered such a massive variety of notebook options. Still, even with those options, which notebooks is best for you depends on what you’ll use it for.

Personally, none of the Moleskine models fit in my pocket comfortably, so if I’m planning on lugging a notebook around with me full-time, it’s a Field Notes notebook. Likewise, if I’m working on anything out in the world, whether it’s in a garage or taking measurements during some weird DIY science project, I like the Field Notes notebooks because they can bend around a lot easier.

But if I’m doing more than that, especially if I’m planning on doing any sketching or longer writing, then Moleskine notebooks are better suited for my needs. The elastic wrap and bookmark is also a killer feature for some people, though I never make use of either. The pocket in the back of Moleskines, while a fun idea, has always always been a useless little addition to me, though I’m sure others have found some use for it.

Of course, beyond that, it’s about aesthetics. Which one looks better to you? Are you a fan of fun colors or do you prefer designs based on pop culture? Is a hard cover necessary? Do you want a simple notebook, or do you want bookmarks and closure straps? Pick the one you’ll actually use. Notebooks are worthless if they’re not written in.

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

When it comes to pocket-sized notebooks, two companies stand above the rest: Moleskine and Field Notes. Both are incredibly popular and work great for what they are, but choosing between the two is difficult. We’re here to help you make that choice.

The Contenders

While you have thousands of options for paper notebooks, Moleskine and Field Notes are two of our favorites. Both companies make fantastic notebooks, but they’re made differently, have different paper selections, and have drastically different covers. For the sake of consistency, we’re going to stick to pocket-sized notebooks for this comparison, since that’s the only size Field Notes makes. Moleskine has a much broader selection of sizes though, so if you’re looking for something larger, that’s the brand you’ll want to go with. With that out of the way, let’s take a close look at the two contenders.

  • Moleskine: Love them or hate them, Moleskine notebooks are ubiquitous. There’s a cult following around the company that’s at least partially due to the their trademark hard covers, the variety of notebook sizes the company offers, and a small selection of different types of paper. Moleskine notebooks are available everywhere and their pocket-sized options come in a variety of types specific to individual needs. Their pocket-sized notebooks (3 1/2" x 5 1/2") come packed with 192 pages and retail starting at $12. Moleskines are designed in Italy and manufactured in China.
  • Field Notes: If Moleskine are the Evernote of notebook brands, Field Notes are the plain text equivalent. With only one exception, they stick to a single size (3 1/2" x 5 1/2"), though they offer a variety of different colors and types of paper. Picking the right notebook for you is as simple as finding the paper style you prefer. Field Notes are sold in a three-pack of 48-page notebooks as opposed to one single, larger notebook. Pretty much all editions of the Field Notes three-packs are $10. Field Notes are designed and made in the U.S.

You can walk into just about any department store or bookshop and walk out with a notebook, but these two are so popular they have each have their own followings, and for good reason. Let’s take this comparison a little deeper.

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-pape…

Moleskine Has More Covers but Both Are Durable

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

Comparing the covers of Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks is a little disingenuous because of the number of options Moleskine offers compared to the one basic Field Notes cover, but it’s necessary nonetheless.

Moleskine notebooks come with three basic cover options, soft, hard, and cardboard. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Hard cover: Moleskine’s hard cover notebooks are their bread and butter. The hard cover notebook is what most people think of when they think of Moleskine. The cover is cardboard bound, features a cloth bookmark, an elastic closure, and an expandable inner pocket in the back.
  • Soft cover: Moleskine’s soft cover notebooks are basically the same as their hardcover, but feature a much more flexible cover. Like the hard cover, they come with a bookmark, elastic closure, and an expandable inner pocket.
  • Cardboard: If there’s a direct analog between Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks, it’s Moleskine’s Cahier line. The stitching in these notebooks goes across the spine in a way that looks like it’s done by hand. The covers are a lighter cardboard than the hard covers. This notebook does not have the trademark elastic enclosure of other Moleskine notebooks. This line of notebooks comes in three different sizes, but the 64-page pocket version is the closest to Field Notes. Like Field Notes, these come in three packs that retail for $10.

In my experience, all three of Moleskine’s notebook styles are durable and can take a pretty good beating. The hard covers are the most durable, but the material the soft cover is bound in is pretty strong too. You can rip those soft covers apart if you try, but if it’s just sitting inside a bag it tends to be fine. The Cahier line that mimics the Field Notes style is a pretty stiff bit of cardboard and the stitch style means it doesn’t fold and bend as much as Field Notes book.

Speaking of the Field Notes books, their covers are way different than Moleskine’s. The standard Field Notes books come in a brown light cardboard cover that’s the same color as a paper grocery store bag. They’re pretty floppy too, closer to something like the cover you’d find on standard spiral notebook. That doesn’t mean they’re not durable though. The floppiness means the Field Notes notebooks fit more comfortably in your pocket. They roll up in your pocket easily, which is a nice perk if that’s more your style. The binding is three staples, which feels tough and makes it so you can flip the book around or bend it to suit your needs.

While Field Notes’ covers are pretty standard, they do have some special edition books worth pointing out. Their cherry wood cover is a bit more durable than their cardboard covers, their Pitch Black notebook features a stocky 100 lb “blacktop cover,” and their Expedition notebooks (my personal favorite, if you’re curious) are tear proof and pretty hard to destroy. The Expedition notebooks also waterproof, which is handy if you have your notebook in a garage or take it out into any kind of weather.

Both Companies Have Similar Paper Quality and Variety

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes
Moleskine on the left, Field Notes on the right

Besides the cover, paper quality and variety are the most important things about a notebook. Both companies give you a lot of options.

Moleskine offers all of their notebooks with ruled, squared or plain paper. On their popular models, including all the pocket-sized notebooks, they also offer dot-grid paper. Field Notes only offers ruled, squared, and plain, but also offers a mixed pack (remember Field Notes are always sold in threes) where you get one plain notebook, one ruled notebook, and one graph notebook. Some of the Field Notes special editions do come with dot-grid paper too, including the Pitch Black and Expedition notebook.

I’m no paper expert, but the quality of paper in both the standard editions of Field Notes and Moleskine notebooks seem similar. Ballpoint pens don’t leak through, but markers will. Writing with a pencil also works fine. Neither has thick, heavy stock paper that’ll work well with markers or paints. Put bluntly, neither paper is particularly great. If there is a noticeable difference, it’s that Moleskine’s paper tends to be a bit more yellow, while Field Notes tends to be a much more vibrant white. So if that matters to you, then it’s something to consider. Moleskine’s paper is acid-free, 70 gsm, 47 lb text stock. Field Notes changes their paper around depending edition, but they seem to use 50 lb text stock the most. That’s about the same quality as cheap printer paper. If you’re curious to read more about the paper in each, here’s a deep dive into the paper used in Moleskines. If you want to see the various papers used in Field Notes notebooks, Three Staples has a pretty comprehensive guide.

Both companies also offer some specialty paper options. For example, Moleskine has a sketch album that includes sketch-grade paper. As for Field Notes, the previously mentioned Expedition notebook features waterproof, tearproof paper. Likewise, the Pitch Black edition has a 50lb stock paper on the inside, which makes it a bit tougher than the standard paper.

Field Notes Keeps It Simple but Moleskine Has More “Special Editions”

Pocket Paper Notebook Showdown: Moleskine vs. Field Notes

On top of their standard notebooks, Moleskine also offer a bunch of themed notebooks made for specific writing themes like keeping a film journal and even city-specific notebooks for travel. They have notebooks just for music notation, storyboarding, and even one influenced by Japanese scrolls. Beyond those, Moleskine also routinely releases special notebooks with branded covers from the likes of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Batman, and more. They even offer “smart notebooks” that work with Adobe Creative Cloud and Evernote.

Field Notes takes a much simpler approach. Aside from their regular line of notebooks and the Pitch Black and Expedition editions we’ve already mentioned (which may also be limited runs, but have been in print for a while now), they also release a variety of colored special editions throughout the year. For example, right now they have the Shenandoah pack, the Chicago 3-pack, and the Sweet Tooth Edition. They also have specialty notebooks for logging flights or your trip to the county fair. Right now, they have a fun little workshop companion pack for different DIY projects. These special editions are so popular that Field Notes even has as subscription service if you don’t want to miss any of them.

The Verdict: “Best” Depends On Whether It’ll Actually Live In Your Pocket

When we started this comparison, we noted that it was a bit unfair because Moleskine offered such a massive variety of notebook options. Still, even with those options, which notebooks is best for you depends on what you’ll use it for.

Personally, none of the Moleskine models fit in my pocket comfortably, so if I’m planning on lugging a notebook around with me full-time, it’s a Field Notes notebook. Likewise, if I’m working on anything out in the world, whether it’s in a garage or taking measurements during some weird DIY science project, I like the Field Notes notebooks because they can bend around a lot easier.

But if I’m doing more than that, especially if I’m planning on doing any sketching or longer writing, then Moleskine notebooks are better suited for my needs. The elastic wrap and bookmark is also a killer feature for some people, though I never make use of either. The pocket in the back of Moleskines, while a fun idea, has always always been a useless little addition to me, though I’m sure others have found some use for it.

Of course, beyond that, it’s about aesthetics. Which one looks better to you? Are you a fan of fun colors or do you prefer designs based on pop culture? Is a hard cover necessary? Do you want a simple notebook, or do you want bookmarks and closure straps? Pick the one you’ll actually use. Notebooks are worthless if they’re not written in.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better. The app is completely free to install on your Mac or Windows desktop and lets you format notes any way you wish in an intuitive digital notebook interface. Here’s how to get started with OneNote and take your notes to the next level.

This post is part of Microsoft Office Week, a series at Lifehacker where we offer tips to get started with or master Microsoft Office. Want more? Be sure to keep an eye on the Office Week tag page throughout the week.

Get Up and Running with OneNote Quickly

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

In addition to the familiar Office ribbon, OneNote’s interface mimics a spiral notebook. Each note is a page in OneNote, listed by default in the right sidebar. Pages are stored in sections of the notebook, which you can navigate between using the colorful tabs at the top. You can have an endless number of notebooks, stored either in OneDrive, if you’re using the free version of OneNote, or anywhere on your hard drive, if you’re using the paid edition.

For this guide, we’ll assume you know most of the basics of OneNote, such as how to add a new page or create a new tab. If you’d like a refresher, check out Microsoft’s Quick Start guides to Office.

How to Do the Most Common, Essential Tasks in Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is all about capturing information and helping you keep it all organized. On the surface, it works just like a basic word processor, but with handwriting support, multimedia embedding, and other powerful features, it’s more than just a notes app.

Organize Your Notebooks and Sections

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

I love OneNote because it helps keep all the random bits of information related to a project all in one place and visually organized. We’ve mentioned some of the features below previously, but here are a few tips to make the most out of this notebook metaphor.

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Create a hierarchy of notes: Drag a note to the right in the list to make it a subpage of the note above it. You can collapse all the subpages with the arrow at the right of the top note to make scanning all your notes easier.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Create section groups: If you have a ton of sections in a notebook, consider grouping some of the related sections. Right-click on a tab and choose “New Section Group.” Then you can move individual tabs to the new group. For example, you might have a Recipes notebook and create a section group for desserts, and, within that group, sections for pies, cakes, cookies, and so on.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Use tags freely within a page: Unlike other notes apps where you add tags for the entire note, OneNote lets you tag individual parts of the note. So, for example, you can mark a paragraph with a question mark tag for further researching, create a list of checkbox tags for things you have to do, and tag other parts of your notes with custom tags, such as people’s names or project names.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Tags become even more useful when you use the “Find Tags” button in the Home tab to search across your notebook or notebooks for a specific tag. Click the “Create Summary Page” in the Tags Summary pane that opens when you’re searching for a tag, and OneNote will create a (refreshable) list of everything you’ve tagged in one page.

Automatically create new pages, linked together in a master list: If you’re working on a project that you know will require several pages of notes, here’s a killer shortcut: Type two square left brackets followed by the title of the first note you want to make and then type two right square brackets at the end. OneNote will instantly create a new note with that title and a link to it in your current note. Repeat the brackets shortcut to add more new linked notes.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Password-protect a section: Right-click a tab and choose “Password Protect This Section” to protect sections with sensitive information in them.

Save Anything to OneNote

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Getting information into OneNote is really easy:

I think Evernote still has a bit of a leg up on OneNote when it comes to web clipping, but with OneNote you still have numerous options for quickly getting your information into the app.

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Save Audio, Video, Photos, and More Than Just Text

You can embed just about anything into a OneNote note, and, here’s the kicker, OneNote will likely make that audio, video, scanned receipt, or other object searchable. Add these objects anywhere you want on the page. You can have a photo to the right of a checklist, an embedded Excel spreadsheet with Outlook task reminders beneath it, or a YouTube video above your meeting notes.

Click on the Insert tab to see your options, or try just copying and pasting the item into a page.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

If you insert a screenshot or photo into a page, OneNote can be an awesome markup tool. For example, when I was planning a trip to Disney (which is like having a second job), I added this crowd calendar to my planning notebook and highlighted where we were going each day.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

OneNote is also amazing for math geeks. In the Insert tab, click Symbols > Equation and pick an equation to enter, such as the area of a circle. You’ll find a new Design tab that lets you format math equations in OneNote, with a catalog of math symbols and also the ability to handwrite a math equation.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Additionally, OneNote can calculate math for you. For example, if you type in something like “$15*365*10=” (without the quotes), once you press the spacebar, OneNote will fill in the answer. Go ahead and type in “PI=” (without the quotes) and then the spacebar in OneNote. Cool, right? Other math functions OneNote works with: cosine and sine, square root, and logarithm. See this Office support page for more fun math tricks.

Finally, if you have a touchscreen PC or, better yet, a stylus-supporting device like the iPad Pro or Surface Pro, you’ll probably love OneNote’s inking support. Not only can you draw or handwrite anywhere on the page with a variety of colors and thickness options, OneNote can convert your chicken scratch into text or turn misshapen shapes into a standard shape.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Also, your handwritten notes, like your audio and video recordings from within OneNote, will be searchable. It’s like magic!

Work Faster in OneNote with These Keyboard Shortcuts

When you’re quickly typing up notes in OneNote, you don’t have time to mess with the mouse. OneNote packs over 100 keyboard shortcuts, but these are the ones you’ll likely use most often:

  • Ctrl+Alt+D: Dock the OneNote window so you can use it side-by-side with another app, like your browser
  • Ctrl+Shift+C: Copy the formatting of selected text (use the Format Painter)
  • Ctrl+Shift+V: Paste the formatting of the selected text
  • Alt+N: Open the Insert menu, with additional shortcuts highlighted. For example, after pressing Alt+N, the insert menu shows you can now press A to insert and start recording audio or press R to create and insert a screen clipping
  • Ctrl+1: Add, mark, or clear the To Do tag
  • Ctrl+Alt+N: Create a new page beneath the current one at the same level (pressing Ctrl+N creates a new page, but puts it at the bottom of the page list)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Alt+N: Create a new subpage beneath the current one
  • Ctrl+T: Create a new section
  • Ctrl+E: Open the search box

Because OneNote uses rich text formatting much like Microsoft Word and other word processors, other universal text editing keyboard shortcuts also apply, such Ctrl+K to insert a hyperlink or using the control and arrow keys to move the cursor a word to the right or left. Check out our list of these text selection shortcuts here.

http://lifehacker.com/5321432/how-to…

Additional Reading for Pro Users

OneNote’s a powerful tool for collecting your thoughts, taking meeting notes, saving stuff from the web, and more. There’s more to the program than we can cover here, so check out these additional resources:

  • Do more in OneNote with Onetastic: The free Onetastic add-in gives you tons of new features, such as custom styles, a calendar view of your notes, and the ability to create macros in OneNote. It’s a must-have for OneNote fans, and Office has a 15-minute webinar showing how to use it.
  • Apply a template to a OneNote page: Use a consistent layout or apply a background to your pages with OneNote’s built-in templates or create your own page templates. Here’s Microsoft’s tutorial on page templates.
  • Set up a GTD notebook for task management: If you’re a Getting Things Done fan, incorporate that system into OneNote with this notebook and tagging example.
  • Migrate from Evernote to OneNote: If you want to move your notes from Evernote to OneNOte, Microsoft has an importer tool for that. Right now it’s only available for Windows, but once your Evernote notes are imported, they’ll be available in OneNote on all your devices.
  • Send notes to OneNote with Cortana/Siri/Google: Not only can you have Cortana show you your OneNote notes, you can quickly create notes with your voice in Windows 10, iOS, and Android.

If you’ve got other tips or special notebooks or uses for OneNote, share them with us in the comments.

Note-Taking Showdown: Evernote vs. OneNote (2016 Edition)

Note-Taking Showdown: Evernote vs. OneNote (2016 Edition)

Evernote and OneNote are two of our favorite tools, but both have changed substantially since we last compared these two apps—in some ways, not for the best. Here’s where these two stand today.

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What’s New in Evernote

In the last year, Evernote introduced a new pricing plan, redesigned its webapp, and added new features for its Android and iOS apps.

The Free Plan Loses a Feature, But Now There’s a More Affordable Paid Plan

Let’s talk price first with Evernote, since it’s the biggest change in the last year. The free plan no longer lets you email notes to Evernote, something most users enjoyed and used often prior to that change. Although you can get around this limitation with an IFTTT recipe, you won’t get the full flexibility of Evernote’s email-to-notes feature, such as specifying your destination notebook in the email subject line. So that’s a bummer.

On the positive side, however, Evernote introduced a new, more affordable paid plan called Evernote Plus. For $25 a year, you get offline notebooks for Evernote’s mobile apps and the ability to lock the app on your phone with a PIN. Both of these used to require Evernote’s Premium plan, which used to cost $45 a year.

Finally, Evernote’s Premium plan now costs $50 a year. But in return for those five extra bucks, you get larger upload limits: 10GB a month, instead of the previous 4GB data cap. With Evernote Premium, you can search attachments, scan business cards, view previous note versions, annotate PDFs, and use the new note presentation mode.

Evernote’s User Interface Keeps Evolving

Note-Taking Showdown: Evernote vs. OneNote (2016 Edition)

Last year, Evernote took its redesigned, minimalist web client out of beta. Though slicker and easier on the eyes, the makeover also made the webapp less functional. You can’t order notes by tags or select multiple tags at once, for example, like you can with the desktop app.

Speaking of the desktop app, nothing’s really changed with the Windows version, but the Mac app got a few updates, including a better notes editor, Split View, and new keyboard shortcuts.

Note-Taking Showdown: Evernote vs. OneNote (2016 Edition)

My favorite change is with the web clipper, which added more options for quickly collecting web articles. I use Evernote mostly for saving information rather than taking notes, so this was a nice step forward.

New Evernote Features Have Mostly Been for the Mobile Apps

Evernote hasn’t added a ton of new features for their Windows or Mac apps, but there have been some significant updates for the mobile apps. Evernote added handwriting support for Android and iOS. The new Android widget is more customizable and lets you quickly take notes in two taps, dubbed “simple notes.” Evernote for iOS got an improved web clipper, 3D Touch support, notes peeking, and notes search from Spotlight.

Evernote the Company Seems to Be Floundering

Despite these improvements, the app isn’t any quicker or more stable. In fact, it seems more buggy and bulky, takes longer to sync notes, and I’ve at times found notes duplicated. Also, a quick stroll through Evernote forums and elsewhere reveals paid users complaining that customer support seems to be getting worse.

There have been troubling signs with the company too. Evernote co-founder Phil Libin stepped down as CEO last July, the company laid off 13% of its staff two months later, and they also closed three of its global offices. Perhaps Evernote is just transitioning to a leaner, more focused company, but with them shutting down Evernote Food and ending support for Skitch and Clearly, it’s reasonable to be concerned about the future of one of our favorite note-taking apps.

What’s New in OneNote

OneNote, for its part, has been ramping up in the last couple of years to be a better, free cross-platform app. It’s still best on Windows in the desktop app, but Microsoft has been paying more attention to the web-based version of OneNote and the Mac, iOS, and Android apps as well, so non-Windows users can make better use of the note-taking tool regardless of their platform preference.

Microsoft Removed All of OneNote’s Premium Restrictions

Previously, you needed to buy the Microsoft Office suite (either as a 365 subscription or the standalone software) to get the full version of OneNote. That included password protection, the ability to see previous versions of your notes, audio and video recording, audio search, and file attachments and insertion in your notebooks. Microsoft removed those restrictions last February so OneNote is now completely free.

There’s still a paid version of OneNote 2016 that lets you store your notebooks outside of OneDrive. However, we like 100% free, so we’re okay with the OneDrive requirement.

OneNote Has Improved Its Web and Non-Windows Apps

Continuing a push for cross-platform compatibility, Microsoft has updated OneNote Online, as well as the iOS, Android, and Mac OneNote apps.

On the web, you can now hide notebooks and crop images, but the biggest recent addition is the ability to insert audio, video, and other files into your notes. That’s great for recording meetings or lectures. The web clipper is also now available for Safari and Firefox.

Mac users got improved shapes insertion (the app will convert your messy drawn-on shapes to more standard, straighter shapes), and better search, including search through Spotlight. Meanwhile, OneNote for iOS added audio notes, split view, support for Force Touch, and support for Apple Pencil.

OneNote’s most useful new update arrived in its Android app: the OneNote badge. Like Facebook Messenger’s “chat heads,” the badge hovers over your screen so you can create a new note in one tap.

Note-Taking Showdown: Evernote vs. OneNote (2016 Edition)

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, getting notes into OneNote is much easier across all apps and versions. You can email yourself notes or use Microsoft’s new Office Lens app to insert documents, photos, or whiteboard notes into OneNote. The web clipper is also a lot more functional. Previously, you had to switch to a different window to choose the notebook or section to save your clipped web page to. Now you can choose the section to save your note to or even save just a part of a web page without leaving your browser.

Note-Taking Showdown: Evernote vs. OneNote (2016 Edition)

OneNote Is Still Limited in Some Editions

Despite the useful updates, OneNote is still better on Windows than it is on the Mac. You can’t collapse nested notes in the Mac version, for example. The OneNote Windows 10 app and OneNote Online also still have catching up to do to be as good as the Windows desktop version. So while Microsoft seems to be focusing more on non-Windows OneNote users, the app’s still best on Windows desktop.

Evernote vs. OneNote: What Hasn’t Changed

The biggest things that differentiate Evernote and OneNote are still the same. If you’ve tried both Evernote and OneNote before (or read our previous comparison), you already know the major differences between them.

  • User interface: OneNote looks and feels like a digital version of a paper notebook, complete with tags and notebook sections. Evernote is more like a filing cabinet, with a simpler notes interface yet powerful tagging capabilities.
  • Note formatting: Evernote offers great options for rich-text notes, including highlighting, checklists, and other formatting. Some people use it to write fiction. OneNote is even more robust, however, since you can use and create page templates and place elements anywhere you want on the page (side-by-side checklists, for example, alongside images and text). It’s got a lot of menu items crammed into the Ribbon, though, so if you want a more streamlined and basic notes editor, you’ll probably prefer Evernote.
  • Mobile apps: Evernote’s mobile interface and features are still better by far than OneNote’s, even though OneNote for mobile has been making some strides. In Evernote, you have more notes formatting tools, reminders, and a quick link to share your notes. On the other hand, on mobile, you can access your OneNote notebooks even without a data connection—something you can’t do with Evernote unless you’re a paid subscriber. Both OneNote and Evernote have apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, however.
  • Web clipping and browser integration: Evernote’s clipping tool is still the best, and your Google searches can include your Evernote notes. This makes Evernote the better option for quickly capturing web pages and retrieving your information, like a personal database.
  • Windows and Office integration: OneNote, on the other hand, plays nicely with other Office apps, as you’d expect, and you can use special Windows keyboard shortcuts to quickly create a note in OneNote or send a screenshot to the app.

The Bottom Line: Evernote Is Still the Best Web-Clipping Tool, OneNote Is Becoming a Better Digital Notebook for All

As similar in purpose as these two apps are, they’re distinct enough that you can use both in tandem, or one will speak more to you. Evernote is better for collecting and organizing information and mobile note-taking (though you’ll need to pay to access your notes offline). OneNote is better for creative note-taking and includes many of the features of Evernote Premium for free, such as offline access to notes on mobile, searching within attachments, and annotating PDFs. You also get more storage space (15GB free storage, shared with other Office apps) compared to Evernote’s free 60MB a month.

If you’re still on fence, here’s some further reading:

Are you an Evernote user who’s thinking of making the switch to OneNote? Microsoft introduced a new Evernote import tool for OneNote just this week. Maybe Evernote will introduce a OneNote importer one day.

Unload Your Thoughts and Ideas With a “Mind Capture” Ritual

Unload Your Thoughts and Ideas With a "Mind Capture" Ritual

Your mind is always bouncing around thoughts and ideas in your head, but it’s hard to capture and understand them if you’re constantly being distracted. This exercise can help you unload everything on your mind so it’s easy to assess later.

Some people like to meditate when they want to clear their head and focus, but if you prefer something more active, Chris Bailey at A Life of Productivity recommends a “mind capture” ritual. Grab a notepad and a pen, then separate yourself from all electronic devices, people, sounds, and other distractions. Just you, your thoughts, and a way to capture them. Some of the things you write will be useful and actionable ideas, other things might be worries you have, while others might just be random thoughts. Don’t worry about what you’re writing, just get it down on paper.

After 15 minutes, go over what you’ve written. Maybe an idea that’s been gathering dust in your head finally seems like a reality now that you can see it. Maybe some of the things you’re stressed about don’t look as terrible on paper as they feel in your head. Do this ritual whenever you feel stressed, bored, or any time you feel like you have a few minutes to spare. You’re mind is full of good ideas worth pursuing and thoughts that need addressing, but you’ll never get to them if you can’t see them.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-min…

The simple (but powerful) 15-minute ‘mind capture’ ritual | A Life of Productivity

Photo by Kai Chan Vong.


Strikethru Makes Paper Productive by Combining GTD and Bullet Journal

Strikethru Makes Paper Productive by Combining GTD and Bullet Journal

If you prefer a pen and a notebook to digital to-do lists, then there’s a new productivity system on the block. Strikethru combines elements of the GTD method and the Bullet Journal for a new handwritten productivity technique.

As the system’s maker Chris explains on Reddit, all you need is a book and a pen. There are three basic parts to Strikethru:

  • The Live List: Your active to-do list for the day, which you fill the previous night with a 5-minute review. Limit yourself to only nine tasks in a day. Each task also has a priority circle to decide the order to tackle them.
  • The Dump: A place to jot down all your tasks and ideas in the book.
  • The Vault: Specific lists go into the vault, with a two-letter tag in a square for each. Like “Pr” for Project, “Wk” for Weekly, and so on.
  • Calendars: If you schedule tasks, add calendars to the start of your book and place the tasks in the appropriate daily, weekly, or monthly column.

The Lite system of Strikethru uses just the first two parts, the Standard system adds the Vault, and the Pro system adds calendars. Chris adds that you can combine Strikethru with other popular productivity systems like the Kanban method or the Pomodoro technique.

Head to the site and you can download an instructional guide on detailed steps to make your own Strikethru book. And yeah, the new productivity-focused Moleskine books might be a good companion!

Strikethru | via Reddit