Six Reasons You Are Probably Going To Like Field Notes

Field Notes memo books journals and planners from Secret Lentil

1. You Get a Bundle of Them.

They come in packages of three. With some models, two. But you get a bundle. And everyone likes a bundle.

2. They care about design, and even if you’re sick of hearing people talk about caring about design, you probably do too.

Field Notes Dot Graph Pitch Black Memo Book from Secret Lentil

The fonts. Field Notes use the Futura typeface family exclusively. The paper: great quality. The vintage inspiration: solid. Every decision they've made is minimally invasive and handsome and just-freaking-right. Even the staples. The Pitch Black Memo Books have black staples. Come on. Who does that? Satisfaction level: Supreme. And they are printed and manufactured in the United States.

3. They aren’t just for writers.

Field Notes Journals and Memo Books from Secret Lentil

They’re also for artists of all sorts and doodlers and planners and list makers and thingmakers and bullet journal people (oh, have you not heard of that? I dare you to search for bullet journal on Pinterest. I. Dare. You. See you in a few weeks). There are ruled lines for those who want them, blank pages for those who don’t, and dots and graphs for ... whatever the dot and graph people do. I think I’m supposed to pretend I know. 

Field Notes in the Secret Lentil studio

4. They help you fight the war against perfectionism.

We’ve all chosen super fancy journals then been afraid to write in them, right? They are too precious. The pressure is too much — plus they’re too big. If you ever did fill one, by the end it’s all wrong. You’re a different person with different cellular structure who prefers a different roast of coffee and doesn’t recognize that other sweet, foolish ignorant soul who first scribbled a sonnet on page one. The other option: you’re the self-ascribed sad-sack failure (also-still worthy of love) who writes in the first three pages of 82 different blank books then tries to go on living, right there in the same rooms with them, while averting your eyes forever. It’s exhausting. Nobody needs that.

With Field Notes you avoid that trap. Because, as you now know, You Get a Bundle of Them. (see above) You are entering a larger stream, filling up small book after small book — it’s an ongoing process, not a commitment. You’re a part of this, you’re in it. We don’t need perfection. We need messes and action. Fluid movement. Flow.

They are made to go out into the real world with you and withstand wear and be filled up and then you yell NEXT and start another. Some people bundle their completed ones together creatively or stash them in nice boxes. You could do that. You can also fill in the convenient start and end date on each one. Speaking of which:

Utility Field Notes ruler

5. The Closer You Look, The Better They Get.

You know when you see a thing that’s new to your eyes and it instantly checks off all of your “that’s a great idea” boxes? But then the closer you get the more you realize uh-oh, they haven’t realized their idea? They just made the shiny shell of a good idea? Kind of like 96% of J.J. Abrams’ plots?

That does not happen with Field Notes. So far, they have done everything right, and then the closer I look, the better they get. Like my most recent pick. After our studio photoshoot Mike and I chose which floor models to keep for ourselves. I picked the Utility; I’m a sucker for safety yellow and pretending I’m practical. And I couldn’t resist the ledger-style paper and the little fold out measuring tape. So I wasn’t surprised about liking mine. But you should see all the extra fun text I found printed inside the covers! I won’t ruin it all, but I will just mention that Number 20 on the list of Practical Applications is “Odes to Sawdust.”

Mike chose the Original Kraft version, with graph paper. Note to self: spy on him and see what he does with it. I’ll let you know.

Reporters Field Notes from Secret Lentil

6. They will make you want to be a better person.

Okay I made that up, but who knows? Relationships are complicated. Let’s remain open to surprises.