25-December-2007 : Staying Organized…….Three Essential Items

Web: www.stevenfrischling.com — E-Mail: fish@flyingwithfish.com

25-December-2007 : Staying Organized…….Three Essential Items

I will be the first to admit it, I am about as organized as a trailer park after a tornado has dropped down in the middle of it. The upside to this is that I know I am disorganized and I actively try and organize the essential parts of my life. First off, I know where my kids sleep and where the food is to feed them in the morning when we get up. The second things is that I am obsessive about packing and labeling all of my equipment , from lens caps and CF cards right up through my bodies and lenses. The third thing I am organized about, and getting better about organizing, is my calendar , my travel receipts and my notes for traveling.

The last organizational area on list is probably of the most interest to you people reading Flying With Fish , so I’ll skip the obsessive packing rituals at the moment……and chances are you don’t care where I keep the cereal to feed the kids in the morning (it’s on top of the fridge if you must know).

When I travel and I find there have become three essential items I use to make sure I know all the information about my trip, make sure I have all my receipts in one place making taxes easier and to ensure I can write down much of the information I share on this Blog and when any of you ask me a question.

The first essential item is the Moleskine (www.moleskine.com) , and is the Moleskine Memo Pocket. The Memo Pocket has six small card board pockets in this pocket size mini book. The Memo Pocket is easy to carry at 3.5″x5.5″ (9cm x14cm). In this small set of pockets you can drop credit card receipts, boarding passes, or anything else you desire. At US$10.00 the Italian Made (French inspired) Moleskine Memo Pocket is a real essential.

Below are two photos of my new Memo Pocket.

The second essential is also by Moleskine Sketch Book. Moleskine makes a dozen different style notebooks that were once used by Van Gogh, Hemmingway, Oscar Wilde and others throughout France. At an easy to carry 3.5″x5.5″ (9cm x14cm) they take up a little space (and when I pace space, every inch, in precious to me) this is the easiest way I have to copy all my information down. My note book has seat preferences for various airlines, notes on airports, notes on airline lounges, notes on things I see as I travel. While much of this info is in my head, it is much easier to write it down and refer to my notebook later. Note books range from US$7.00 and go up, some come as single books, others in three packs.

Below are two photos of my Moleskine Sketch Book……for those trying to figure out the page of text, it is my seating preferences for Delta Airlines Fleet and for those trying to figure out the ‘code’ on the page it is easy “F” at the start of a line = First Class ; “Y” after a thick darkened dash = Economy Class ; “J” at the start of a line = Business Class.

The third item on my essentials list is the most expensive, with many less expensive alternatives, but it is an item that I would be lost with out, my Louis Vuitton (www.louisvuitton.com) Small Ring Agenda. We went from two inexpensive Italian made an French inspired to just French made and expensive. While I write my schedule down on m computer, I have found that copying my schedule into my agenda helps member remember dates and times better, also it is easier to pull the agenda and out a write sometimes that to pull a whole laptop out and start typing. When I have an appointment or a job it goes in the agenda almost immediately , this prevents any mix up in my schedule. The front page has three credit card/business card slot, and also a large slot that you can slide your passport into when traveling. You can get a calendar in a day at a glance or a week at a glance, I like a week at a glance, this lets me see the big picture much faster and it also keeps the agenda thinner. At 4″x6″ (10.1cm X 15.2cm) the agenda is small enough to pack 90% of the time and I usually make space for it. At US$275 you can find much more affordable agendas, I like this one as it is very durable, the binder rings are very strong and the set up meets my needs.

Below are two photos of my agenda.

Happy Flying!


  1. […] A year ago I wrote about three essential items for staying organized. One of these items was my Moleskin notebook, which I use to take notes as I travel; another was my Louis Vuitton Agenda, which I use to keep my schedule straight.   I have terrible handwriting, but I find I retain more information by writing it down with a pen.  I am slowly moving my calendar into a digital realm, but I plan on using a paper calendar for probably another year if not longer.   The Moleskin notebooks are fantastic and I use a variety of them for different purposes.  You can read more about these two essential items here: 25-December-2007 : Staying Organized…….Three Essential Items […]


  1. I am curious why you don’t use an electronic organizer since it would be much smaller and lighter as well as allow easier updates to information, etc. Thanks for the ideas though. Love the blog.

  2. Beau

    My reasoning behind using a notebook for my notes, a paper agenda for my schedule and the “pocket memo” for my receipts is simple.

    The pocket memo can’t be replaced by an electronic device. When I check into a hotel, buy lunch, get a magazine and candy bar when heading for the train I am handed a paper receipt. The only way to organize these receipts is with an envelope. I had used the ticket-jacket I’d be handed with my boarded passes for years, but they tore, were harder to file and I was looking for a better solution, so I found the Moleskine Pocket Memo.

    As for the Moleskine Sketch Book and Louis Vuitton Agenda, I find it much easier to pull out a small “notebook” to write thoughts and appointments down than to pull out a laptop. I have a Blackberry, I used to have a Treo and I never liked the calendar feature. I tried to use the electronic calendar for a year, but I found I was more likely to remember an appointment on my own, without referring to the calendar when I hand wrote it in the agenda. This is also true of the Sketch Book, as I am walking through places I make quick notes, I write down idea, concepts, I make notes on seating assignments, airport layouts, train station restaurants, and anything else I want to remember for future travel. Keeping a notebook in my pocket, usually in the left-side cargo pocket of my pants (if I am wearing cargo pants) is much easier than pulling out a PDA and stopping to type. Also, like the agenda, when I write the information in the notebook I am much more likely to remember the information somewhere in the back of my head than if I had typed it in.

    Most of the info in the agenda is backed up on my computers calendar, and I often transfer a good portion of the information from the Sketch Book into notes on my computer at some point………………but studies do show that physically writing something out is more likely to engrave that information into your memory than mindlessly typing it out.

    Hopefully this makes sense.

    Happy Flying!


  3. love your site and your work. i added u to my new blog i just created at lostmanifesto.com. you need an iphone my friend to help keep u organized so u dont need that louis vitton organizer anymore! also if u send me over some stickers id love to slap them on my truck and ill even take a pic and send it to ya. im also a very avid traveling photographer. i have used many of your tips, thank u very much! Jordan

  4. Jordan

    Thanks for the add to your Blog.

    I have looked at the iPhone many times. The iPhone to me is of little to no interest until it is 3G compliant. Without 3G the iPhone will not work in some countries. As someone who travels internationally a few times a year I really do want (and need in some countries) 3G. While my Blackberry is not 3G, my voice phone is 3G so even if I can’t get e-mail I can make and receive calls.

    As I had mentioned previously, I like a pen-and-paper notebook and agenda. By writing down appointments and writing down notes I am better able to etch this information into my memory. When I type something it is somewhat mindless, when I use a pen to write something I am paying attention, which is why I choose to use “analog technology” for somethings.

    E-mail me at fish@flyingwithfish.com and I’d be happy to send you a few fishfoto stickers

    Happy Flying!


  5. Thanks for the information. I guess being ‘always on’ and never having to find a place to charge it are distinct advantages to a paper notebook. Good food for thought. Best wishes.

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