Matt Langford

Hello. I'm Matt Langford: husband, dad, pastor, blogger, hobbyist. Read more about me, check the archives, view my photos, or start a search.

Notes About Taking Notes

Thanks to a short post (and a long thread of comments), I decided to re-think how I capture daily notes. I’m hardly a heavy note-taker, but I do have times when they’re needed.

  • Weekly Executive Staff Meeting
  • Monthly All-Hands Staff Meeting
  • Desktop Scratchpad
  • Everyday Notes
  • Digital Notes
  • Bonus: Writing (Pens)

Let’s take each one of those individually. But first a heads-up…you’ll notice one product line keeps popping up.

Weekly Executive Staff Meeting

This is an informal touching base type of meeting. There’s almost always something for me to write down, but rarely more than a few lines. In the past, I’ve used a variety of Rhodia notebooks, but I was looking for something nicer and more consistent.

Result: Studio Neat Standard Totebook

Happiness: 8/10

Monthly All-Hands Staff Meeting

This meeting is much more involved and frequently requires more notes. Fortunately, it’s something that the same notebook can easily handle.

Result: Studio Neat Standard Totebook

Happiness: 8/10

Desktop Scratchpad

While I’m working, I jot down things throughout the day. It could be reminders, a checklist, an idea, a quick sketch, etc. No limits. I’m not making any changes here, as I’ve been using the same thing for a couple years. It’s the product that first turned me on to Studio Neat. A relationship was born!

Result: Studio Neat Panobook

Happiness: 10/10

Everyday Notes

This will be the biggest change for me going forward. Over the years, I’ve tried out a lot of products. While I do like Field Notes, they just wear down quickly for me. Maybe I’m rougher than others? Maybe it’s the hot/humid climate where I live?

In any case, I’ve decided to test a few products going forward:

I’m confident one of those will work.

Digital Notes

There’s no avoiding digital notes for me. I have a large quantity of shared notes with family and co-workers. Beyond that, there are times when having a digital note just makes the most sense (for ease of access or longterm storage).

I’ve tried almost every note taking app ever imagined. Obsidian? Not for me. Same for Notion and Workflowy and Minimal and Bear, etc. The list is endless. So where have I landed?

Result: Apple Notes

Happiness: 6/10

Writing

There’s one other critical element to note taking. You have to have a writing tool! While I enjoy a nice fountain pen, I’m not the type to care and clean for them well enough to stick with the high end ones. These are the pens I use the most.

Happiness: 9/10

Wrap Up

I’m pretty happy with where I’ve landed so far. I’m sure there are improvements that can be made. It may surprise you to know I’m interested in trying out the Studio Neat Mark Three Pencil.

One product I would love to have that I’ve been unable to find is a proper note taking index-style card. My desires would be 3”x5” (or 4”x6”), subtle dot grid, medium weight paper, double sided. Maybe I can get Studio Neat to make it?

GoRuck GR2 26L

I’ve always been a believer in having a nice bag when possible. Often times, people put thousands of dollars of equipment (laptop, phone, iPad, Kindle, chargers, adapters, batteries, cameras, books, etc) in a $40 bargain basement bag. It just doesn’t make sense!

There are many solid options in a variety of price ranges. Today, I’m going to take a quick look at the GoRuck GR2 26L.

My Uses

These bags are almost indestructible. They’re frequently used by ruckers (hence the name), soldiers, and the like. I am none of those things. In fact, my primary use cases for the bag revolves around daily office use and light travel.

You can find countless reviews on the durability and functions of such a bag, so I’m gonna skip past all that. I’ll simply try to answer the question: Does it work for me?

The Good Things

It’s built to last a lifetime. I won’t get into the material specifics, but you can rest assured that it’ll handle whatever you throw at it. It has a lay-flat opening for the main compartments that I love. This is especially great for travel. Accessing what’s on the bottom of the bag is as easy as getting what’s on the top.

The laptop compartment is well built, close to your back, and out of the way of other things. The straps are perfect once they’ve broken in (they’re a little stiff initially). Unlike other GoRuck Bags, this one offers a good bit of organization.

Lastly, it looks and fits well on a variety of people. Here’s how it looks on me (6'3"):

GoRuck GR2 on Matt

Here’s how it looks on my wife (5'4"):

GoRuck GR2 on Kalena

The Lesser Things

Honestly, there are no true negatives. It can be a little rough on some shirts if you wear it all day, but that’s the nature of these types of bags. Accessing the laptop can be annoying if it’s something you do multiple times per day.

The biggest drawback to these bags is the price. At almost $400 for a new one, you might think twice. However, this is a case of “you get what you pay for.” It really can be the last bag you buy.

Get one here.

Good carry.

Maui.

Perfect EDC.

Beach time.

Calm before the hurricane.

A quiet beach getaway with @kalena.

Wife

Carry.

List time.

Maui.

Perfect wife.

Everyday Carry.