In Praise of Field Notes

What’s the best app for recording notes and ideas? Surprisingly, in my case, it’s not an app. It’s Field Notes. I’m what you’d call a very recent convert to the Field Notes fold, having used one for a few weeks now.

Each order includes a tongue-in-cheek reminder to join the Field Notes mailing list.

The front cover includes sections to personalize your Field Notes.

The back cover includes the book’s specifications and a 5″ ruler. Pretty handy.

Measuring at 3.5 x 5.5 inches, Field Notes are portable and light enough to carry in your back pocket. What I like about using my Field Notes is how easy and convenient it is to record and carry my notes and to-do’s with one on hand. When inspiration strikes, it’s much faster for me to write it down on my Field Notes than it is to unlock my phone, launch an app and attempt to type it with my fat fingers. With a smartphone, out of sight is out of mind. Not so with your Field Notes. It’s there when you need it, and it never forgets what you’ve written down. Plus, it’s great for making quick sketches should the need strike.

I use my Field Notes for four tasks:

1) Writing Daily To Do’s. I spend a few minutes each night writing down my goals for the next day or two. It’s immensely satisfying to cross these items off when tasks are completed.

2) Ideation and brainstorming. If I get an idea for a comic, I write it down in my Field Notes. It’s fast and simple and I’m guaranteed to remember it because I wrote it down while the inspiration is still fresh in my mind.

3) Noting measurements / shipping tracking numbers / model numbers.

4) Class curriculum notes. After a lecture, I use my Field Notes to jot down points to clarify for upcoming lessons, project rubric revisions, etc. so it won’t get lost.

All Field Notes books are printed and manufactured in the U.S. of A. Each order includes a set of three Field Notes books, each of which contain 48 pages of plain, lined or graphed paper. Prices range from $9.95 to $12.95, depending on the specific Field Notes you select, plus the cost of shipping. I prefer the graph paper Field Notes editions for my note-taking.

For more frequent users, Field Notes offers a subscription service, where customers can receive books on a quarterly basis.

I’m sold on Field Notes because it works for me. For $10 + shipping, you can see what all the fuss is about for yourself.


These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Jason
    February 27, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Analog still has a place in the digital world in my opinion. When I was a soldier we were expected to always carry a note pad and pen to take notes down on tasks we have. I was never very good at it though. Funny that the makers of your Field Notes books really capture the US Military feel with the use of brown paper and the font is spot on. Almost all manuals in the US Army use that font.

    My wife are going to start an experiment in March where we are going to start Bullet Journaling. With raising three kids, two careers, and lots of personal things, we’re having a hard time keeping in sync. As I stated before I’m not real good as a note taker, but in this case small bullet points are easier for me to remember to do. We’re going to give it a try for a couple of months and see how it works out for us. If it is something I find useful then I might write up a blog post on it.

    • Krishna
      March 1, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      Field Notes are really good. I’d say give it a try if you get a chance, Jason. :)