notebook-fetish

In the time of the cloud, paper notebooks

notebook-fetish

I love paper notebooks. I have several at a time: the reporters’ favorite Green Apple steno small enough to fit in your pocket, a pair of Moleskine plain cahier journals and OhYeah Moleskine knockoffs (see photo). When I’m in the bookstore, I never fail to stop by the notebooks section, often going there first. I go over the items one by one, the notebooks I checked just last week.

I panic when I don’t have one: notwithstanding the fact that my phone has Evernote and Simplenote, which are both connected to an online account and syncs to all my devices.

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Great-looking note-taking app for iPhone offered for free download

If you love old-school paper notebooks like Moleskine and use an iPhone, install Meernotes. The beautifully-designed app allows you to take down notes on your phone on an interface that mimics a paper notebook. It’s easy to use — you just tap on the screen and then type your notes.

Meernotes lets you take notes on your iPhone using an interface that mimics old-school paper notebooks. Click on photo to enlarge.

Meernotes lets you take notes on your iPhone using an interface that mimics old-school paper notebooks. Click on photo to enlarge.

Meernotes also allows you to insert photos into your notes by swiping up. You can then choose different frame designs for the photo.

The app allows you to keep several notebooks with various cover designs. Some of the designs, however, can only be used after you pay for upgrades.

Meernotes automatically synchronizes notes with your iCloud account. It also has Evernote export and Dropbox import/export capabilities.

Meernotes costs $.99 but is currently offered for free download.

Ditching paper planners for Google Calendar-Android combo

EACH November, I’d eagerly start my annual search for the next year’s planner. It is a circuitous process that almost always ends the same way each year—I’d drool over one planner after the other, go on coffee binges to collect stickers for a free diary, and end up buying a Moleskine.

I’ve been regularly trying and experimenting with online calendars and task managers for years but never got around to using one for long, back when the only interface was a Web browser and you needed to have an Internet connection to be able to use the system.

Paper was more efficient, apart from being more beautiful.

Starbucks 2011 planner and Google Calendars on the Samsung Galaxy Tab

BLANK PAGES. My Google calendar items in the Galaxy Tab placed on top the blank pages of the free 2011 Starbucks planners that I got after a coffee binge. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge. (PHOTO BY MARLEN LIMPAG)

Last year, however, I started to gradually shift from using paper planners to online calendar services and a mobile phone.

I started with Nokia Ovi using my trustworthy-but-now-gone Nokia E63. If you have a Nokia phone, you have to use it with Ovi, a suite of online services that allow you to manage your phone’s calendar and contacts from the Web. Although I repeatedly encountered downtimes and syncing problems with Nokia Ovi last year, I found it useful enough that I migrated my office tasks and even marathon training schedule to the service.

With Ovi, you could enter tasks on the Web, set reminder settings and then have all these downloaded to your phone. Close to the end of last year, the service started allowing the sharing of calendar tasks and I was about to test it with the Sun.Star Cebu business section team when I lost my phone.

Then I got an Android phone.

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A graphomaniac’s wet dream

At last, Power Books has opened a branch in Cebu. The single storey outlet in the North Wing of SM City Cebu is heaven on a mall for book lovers.

I went to the shop when it opened, fought urges that were bordering on primal, and just checked on books that were on display. There aren’t computer or technology books yet. Members of the Power Books staff said these were still coming.

paperblanks handstitched notebook PAPERBLANKS NOTEBOOK. The pages of this handstitched notebook are acid-free and are held together by coptic binding. Paperblanks and Moleskine products are now available in Cebu, at the Power Books outlet in SM City’s North Wing. Click on photo to enlarge.

Last Sunday, I came back.

The store’s middle counter is a vortex. It drew me in. Around it were displayed several exquisite notebooks. For the first time, Moleskine (official pronounced mol-a-skeen-a) and paperblanks products are sold in Cebu. I went round and round the small counter, picking one notebook after the other.

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When a blogger strips

I’ve been tagged by Sol. The meme involves sharing eight facts that your readers don’t know about you. Here are mine:

1. The other woman

Rhythmbox says I have 243 Nina Simone songs in 20 albums. That’s 15 hours of the High Priestess of Soul’s music. As of last night, my Last.FM profile page said I’ve played Nina Simone’s songs 531 times in my Linux laptop (the only unit I use with my Last.FM account.)

In my Sony Ericsson K750i, I have at least 50 Nina Simone songs. I have several Nina Simone CD compilations I repeatedly play at home. When our youngest son can’t sleep, I play her music.

My wife, just last night, asked me “how many times have you been playing these songs?”

I first heard Nina Simone sing in, of all programs, BBC’s HardTalk. During the interview, she told Tim Sebastian, the program’s host then, “I need a cigarette. You’re making me hot.” The diva that she is, she smoked during the interview.

If you ask me my favorite Nina Simone songs, it would be “The Other Woman,” “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” “Wild is the Wind,” “Sinnerman,” “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl,” “Mr. Bojangles.”

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