Episode 13: My Organizational Toolkit

Aside from all of the digital tools out there, I’m a big fan of analog tools. I’m an avid listener of the Pen Addict podcast, own several fountain pens, dozens of notebooks, and practice the art of bullet journaling. In this episode, I’m going to tell you how I’m revamping my analog tools for better productivity in 2019. Listen to the episode.

Show Notes

Hey everybody and welcome to Creator Toolkit, the podcast about building stuff on the web. I’m Joe Casabona and today we’re going to talk about my analog toolkit. Recently I was on the WPMRR podcast talking about something I rarely get to talk about: my pens and notebooks.

A few years ago I wrote up how I was staying organized. I’ve decided to refine that process a bit based on my use and what’s worked for me. Here are the analog / organization tools I’m using in 2019.


I’ve since stopped Bullet Journaling! I just found myself wasting notebooks and not using it well enough in my process. So instead I’ve set my sights on processes that I’ll actually implement and use well, without wasting so much paper.

Hobonichi Techo

First up is my Hobonichi Techo, an A6 Page-a-Day calendar book. A6 size is about the height as an iPhone 8 Plus. And a bit wider. It’s a perfect little notebook for me to plan each day, which I do my creating a timeline on the left. I delineate by hours, and fill them in based on meetings and tasks. On the right, I create 3-4 tasks I want to accomplish that day. I’ve been using the Techo for a few years now and love it.

Additionally, I’ve started using a habit tracker, and their side-by-side monthly view in the front of the book is perfect!

I also picked up the Nock Co Seed A6 case, which fits it perfectly. I love it!


I also keep a Panobook on my desk to take notes – which most of the time I prefer to hand-write. I love the Panobook because it’s designed to sit under, above, or next to your keyboard. It’s horizontal orientation allows me to segment pages, sketch, or storyboard. Plus, it’s of excellent quality.

Field Notes Notebooks

The last of my regular notebooks is a Field Notes pocket notebook. I always have this on my to jot down ideas, make lists, and more.

Writing Instruments

One of my favorite things to talk about is pens. I have a nice collection of fountain pens that I rotate through during the week, as well as a few ballpoints / rollerballs that I really love.

My favorite fountain pen is the Lamy 2000. It’s so light, write smooth, and I love holding it. If you want me to do a whole episode on fountain pens, write in and let me know, because I’d love to!

The pen I most often have on my is the Mark One by Studio Neat. It’s the perfect size, takes my favorite refill (the Schmidt 9000 M Easy Flow).

Digital Organization Tools

Now, while I do rely on analog tools, there are a few digital tools I absolutely need to stay organized.

Number one is OmniFocus. It’s my task manager on both iOS and Mac, and they make it very easy to capture tasks to organize later. One thing I’m still getting the hang of is surfacing tasks at just the right time, but Omnifocus is both powerful and flexible, so you can adapt it to just about any workflow you have.

For note taking, I use Drafts for quick captures and Evernote for stuff that’s more long-term. Drafts is great because it integrates with pretty much everything, so I can capture there and send it to the appropriate app (which is usually Omnifous, Ulysses for writing, or Evernote).

I use Evernote for more researched projects, saving links, and keeping track of Show Notes for my other podcast, How I Built It.

Finally, GSuite keeps me running with email and Calendar. I live and die by my calendar. If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist.

Wrapping Up

So that’s what I’m using to stay organized here in 2019. I think it’s a good mix of analog and digital, and I’ve got it dialed in to work for me pretty well – Omnifocus houses all my tasks, and then I pick the ones I want to work on and put them in my techo.

I take most of my notes in the notebooks I use, and then I move them to Omnifocus or Evernote as needed.

I know I mentioned a lot of tools in this episode. For all of the show notes, head over to creatortoolkit.com/013/ If you liked this episode, please share it!

My question for you is: What tools to you use to stay organized? Let me know: joe@casabona.org or on Twitter @jcasabona.

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, get out there and build something.

Originally published on Creator Toolkit

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