If you don’t like office supplies…leave now. Why? Because you’ll think I’m crazy. I’m in love with an office organizational supply. (And I have videos later in the post to prove why!)
While at a recent retreat for a close group of writers, a friend of mine, Katie Cooper, whipped out her Arc leather notebook. It was a lovely green. I noticed it looked a lot like the Levenger Circa notebooks that I had marked in a catalog on my bedside table but hadn’t quite decided were worth the oh-so-exclusive price they charged. I quietly eyed her dividers with envy (who doesn’t like organized book and plotting files?). And then when she took some notes from a planning session and moved them quickly to another divider (zip/plop/done), I said, “Gimme that!”
I wasn’t the only one. Several of us prowled her “manuscript in process” system and then went on a shopping spree to Staples. You customize the set-up on this system to *truly* work exactly the way your brain needs to work, whether that is loosely organized or organized to within an inch of your life.
I ordered more when I got home. I have them in all sizes, all covers and the folks in the office use them now to control their worlds. You should know that every employee is given a lovely spiral bound notebook of good quality when they arrive. It’s the first thing that happens here. I believe in day books and meeting notes and training notes. I’ve always had a need for a place to get my thoughts down and to remind me of what’s “on deck.” The ARC makes that easy because moving things around is easy. I was never a fan of three ring binders, but I used them for static storage. Just not for my day book. The day book contains my life and the notes from the last three Amazon calls, editorial meetings or anything else I took a note for. Yep. I can flip back and find that critically important piece of information or refresh my memory for follow-ups. I had that Day Book but I felt fragmented with my to do list on the computer and my notes in my day book and no ability to really organize my notes and materials the way *I* wanted for easy reference.
Not so anymore! I have ARC now. I’m more organized than Izzy, but I’m kind of this giddy about my ARC.
(more videos below)
The papers are lovely. Plain, ruled, Action sheets, To Do lists, these great small task pads. There’s a sticky tab holder you can slip right in the front. Graph paper, pocket accessories, a hole punch so ANYTHING can go into your ARC book. That’s why we have the desktop punch. I’ll be dragging one to RWA National soon that have my schedule, the schedule of the other BB/BBB folks going, my talks, task sheets, easy way to keep up with all of the opportunities and ideas that come from the conference.
I have one for my quilting that holds working notes and sketches for current quilts, inspiration pages, graph paper, my queues for quilts I’m thinking about doing, color palettes, you name it. When I want to do some “think” work, I just pick up my book and go through it. Everything is there. From fabric scraps to magazine pages.
Chances are if one of us in the office isn’t at our desk you’ll find our ARC in our hands. We love the action pages which have both a ruled area and a blank column. This allows you to take notes and then pull out your “action items” into the column for easy tracking.
I personally have 4 ARC books. I love adding things to our office manual for instance. Buy new downloadable software? Just print the key/activation page and put it in the right spot in the manual. Everyone in the office is contributing to getting our manual up-to-date as we train new employees, because it’s just so darned easy to take your training notes, make copies and put it in the manual. We’ll worry about prettying up the steps later. We figure out the sections we need as we go. And once the “Monster Manual of Manuals” is considered brimming with everything we need, then we’ll rework one section at a time and easily add new items. Add a platform? Log the user/password and notes about the platform, uploading requirements, etc.
Here are a couple of videos about how the system works. Another creative type and an accountant who uses the system in such an organized way. Don’t you want an ARC too? (I am NOT a paid spokesperson. I just love them.)