I finished one of my Field Notes the other day. It’s a small notebook that can fit in your pocket and I found myself reaching for it often in past months.
Inside is a hodgepodge, an ink and paper manifestation of my brain. Among the 48 pages, you can find random thoughts, scaffolding for future writing, contact details of people I’ve met, Spanish words I want to look up, addresses of hostels where I’ve stayed, terrible poetry, okay poetry, to-do lists, sketches, travel plans, mini journal entries, different brewing methods for coffee, budgeting, and life plans.
Flipping through the pages is like meeting my past self and having a conversation. I can pinpoint where I filled in the pages: sitting at cafés, laying on grassy knolls, lounging on park benches, and laying on beds. I can almost relive the moment where I scribbled each illegible word.
There is incredible power in having a little notebook in your back pocket with a trusted pen. At any moment, you can flip to a blank page, and those blank pages represent infinite possibility. And, because I think something like Field Notes are focused on a basic, inviting design, there’s no friction between you and the next idea or note.
Filling up another Field Notes and being reminded of its utility and potential made me wonder if I’m doing my best to keep its mental equivalent in my back pocket.
Law school will, if I could guess, be a lot about drawing neat boxes of understanding. I think Field Notes - and notebooks in general - represent almost the opposite: lots of freedom from constraints. It’s not that I’m dreading building a solid foundation of legal knowledge, it’s that I know that it’s important to have the “blank page mentality” as part of your toolkit for problem solving.
I’m starting a new Field Notes, physical and mental. I can’t wait for the next blank page.