Ben Borgers

Cheating on Field Notes

June 4, 2022

There’s this brand of pocket notebooks called Field Notes. They release a new notebook every quarter, and I like their designs very much. Just handling their notebooks brings me a lot of joy.

I first got into their notebooks in the beginning of high school, and then left them alone for a while. And then last summer, I got back into them. I reactivated a year-long subscription, and even got a box of beautiful national parks themed notebooks.

I used them through the beginning of college. I brought a Trailhead edition notebook with me on my five-day backpacking pre-orientation trip, and filled it up with journal entries about my experience in the woods with my new classmates. That’s probably the best way I’ve ever used a notebook.

And then over winter break, I turned back to my iPad for taking class notes. Sometimes the allure of having all of your notes in such a tiny footprint, along with being able to mark up professors’ materials, is too much to withstand. Eventually, in March, I ended up buying a new iPad Air to replace my old one.

But I couldn’t, and still can’t, quite shake this guilt that I’m cheating on my Field Notes.

I like them a lot. They’ve brought me so much joy. And I still want to use them.

But for some reason I have an all-or-nothing personality. I want one place that I take notes, one tool that I use.

So I have all of these beautiful Field Notes that are waiting to be used. And it feels like I should do them, and myself, a service and use these notebooks that I’ve bought instead of letting them sit unused.

Maybe at some point the pendulum of my personal note-taking will swing back to the Field Notes. But for now, I feel a little guilty every time I walk past them in my room.