“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
As the years have gone by, I’ve filled my attic with a fair amount of tools, and a fair amount of lumber. The fact is that there are a number of useful things that don’t fit inside my brain-attic any more. Valuable tools like lists of resistor color codes, AWG to metric square conversions values, marshmallow recipes, and flux capacitor tuning guides have all gone flying through the broken skylight of my mind as I’ve rammed in more anime/cat/fail-lumber through the trapdoor that is social media.
Thankfully, the marvellous inventors at Make have come up with the Maker’s Notebook, which provides a perfect extension for my over-stuffed cranial loft. The Maker’s Notebook is far more than a pad of graph paper or a laboratory notebook. There are tables of information, mnemonics, conversion factors, programming constructs, and even a ruler.
It’s like a mini Maker-internet in paper form. All of those missing tools that fell out of my brain-attic have been collected and safely stored by the book’s creators. You even get a selection of stickers to make your book unique – which is essential when you have more than one project on the go at a time.
I’ve been something of a notebook purist in the past, and for the last few years I’ve been binding my own books with my own design of graph paper. I generally prefer a lab-notebook style layout, with a combination of graph paper on the right, and lined paper on the left, while the Maker’s Notebook uses purely cartesian graph paper. Despite this minor problem, the Maker’s notebook is almost perfect for me, and is the first non-bespoke book that I’ve been happy to carry with me for quite some time.
Now -if I can just need to remember where I put it- I can use the notebook to de-clutter the brain-attic, and move on to the next eyebrow-removingly exciting project.