Those who know me in person would be hard pressed to recall a time they've seen me without a small notebook in hand. In general, they look identical, but there are many of them. Some are filled up requiring a new start while others hit an abrupt end requiring a new start. Either way, there it is.
The notebook is more than an organizational habit. Yes, there are to-do notes, meeting notes (for little things, when the project itself doesn't require its own notebook), sketches, plans, hypothetical calendars, and anything else. More often these days, though, the personal notebook has become the outlet for what would have ordinarily appeared here.
I don't know if there's ultimately value in that aspect of the practice. Giving some blend of the conscious and unconscious access to pen and paper may be therapeutic, making an active process of self-reflection, or it may just be self-indulgent---who knows? If all things are ultimately in balance, it's not really necessary to question that the thoughts will go somewhere; sometimes that's a chat, sometimes that's a walk or a trip to the gym, sometimes that's a blog post, and sometimes that's sitting at the coffee shop or lakeside with the notebook. Either way, sometimes it's private, and sometimes it's not. For when it's private, there's the notebook.
And when there's the notebook, there's also the match...
What the notebook lacks is the ability to connect. Socially, I interact with more people through writing than I do in person. Consider it another inadvertent act of natural balance: within my circumstances, the enjoyment of connecting, the availability of the Internet, and ability to write come together naturally. Given all of this, what balance am I maintaining by channeling thought onto burning paper instead?
Self-reflection says that this post is a hiccup in that private process. The question wouldn't have arisen without it.
We'll see where it leads.