Tag Archives: organized

Review: Lihit Lab Teffa Bag-in-Bag A5 (Small)

Recently Brad over at the Pen Addict mentioned that he had both sizes of the Lihit Lab Teffa Bag-in-Bag (BIB) and didn’t find the smaller size as useful. Like Brad, I have both sizes but I’ve found a use for the small size, but I don’t use it for stationery. I use it for personal care items that I want to have in my bag but don’t want to have duplicates of for every bag.ospreyflapjack

If you’ve read my previous bag reviews you know that I was basically using my backpack as a mobile office while I was in school.   A good part of making this comfortable was being organized. There is nothing quite as bad as realizing I’m away from home and that I forgot the charger for my phone, and that the cheapest charger at CVS/school bookstore/etc is $20 that I don’t have. I was spending entire days away from home without the comfort of a locker or desk to stash the usual stuff I would leave at a desk. My small BIB became that carry all for those desk drawer items you don’t always think about. It made it really easy for me to swap bags from day to day. On school or cafe working days I’d put the BIB in the Flapjack, on internship days it went into my professional leather bag. Much easier than moving all the small items from bag to bag.LLTBIBMy small BIB contained the following:

In the main compartment:

  • Epipen
  • Travel pack of WetOnes wipes 
  • Travel tube of hand lotion
  • Snack sized zipper bag with tampons and pads
  • Snack sized zipper bag with OTC, bandaids, alcohol wipes, toothpicks, and a vial with 1 day of spare prescription medication, and the scripts for them
  • Travel pack of ibuprofen (not pictured)
  • Zipper bag with 2 pairs of nitrile gloves*LLTBIBinside

In the outer pockets:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Packets of tea**
  • Handmade cotton handkerchief
  • Spare 10ft charging cable for my tablet+wall jack (not pictured, FN in it’s place)
  • Emergency Bullet pencilLLTBIBfront

Some of this is obviously female centric- but someone of this works for anyone- the OTC meds and bandaids, you would be surprised at the number of occasions I found people needed a bandaid, or I did. Hangnail or paper cut the alcohol wipes and bandaids were there. Start to feel sick? Got dayquil tablets. Got raging diarrhea? Got some immodium right here. Bike chain jumped off? Got gloves and wipes. Stuck my hand in some gunk on the train? Hand sanitizer to the rescue. Friend needs a charge? Got that covered.

Thirsty and tired of sipping water? Well, shit, let’s not be uncivilized and let’s sip some chai or chamomile.*** Stung by a bee? Anaphylactic shock setting in? Well there’s the epipen, and 2 benedryl  in the pack.

Until recently I used the large size to corral my tablet, keyboard, and a notebook into one package, but I’ve swapped that out for a Galen Leather case. The large size is great for that purpose, but the small size has it’s merits as well, but perhaps those merits aren’t stationery related but more EDC related.

My zippers were smooth and work well. However I did notice a few stitching issues here and there- they were easily solved with the use of a lighter to heat set them.

You can get one here.

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Organization: Pocket Notebook Set Up

I often refer to  how I set up my Field Notes on social media, but I’ve never done a full blog post about my set up. I keep waiting for a time when I have just set up a new book but not written much yet. I am finally at the perfect moment- I have just started a new book and have only filled a few pages.FNindexedI start by numbering each page, preferably with a red Uniball Signo 0.38. If I can’t find the red I’ll use a black ultra fine pen. I use the Signo for it’s waterproof ink and super fine writing capability. It also does not feather or bleed on any paper.

The first page becomes my index. I fold the page in half and write 2- 48. Each line represents a page in the book. As I fill the page, I log it on the index page. I try to stick to simple one or two word descriptions. This lets me find pages with ease. On books with a large top margin (Ambition/Word.) I’ll write an expanded description on this line, otherwise, nothing.FNindexedI have a few set pages that I put in each book. Page two is always a catch all page. This page captures quick info; phone numbers, passwords, websites, words, page numbers, and the like. Specifically info that is ephemeral and I may not need to dedicate a full page. Page three becomes my shopping list. Generally, this isn’t for things like bread and milk, but larger items we run out of less often; light bulbs, laundry detergent, or things like staples, glue, etc… The things I might forget to buy when I’m in a store like home despot or target.  Pages four and five are my to do lists. Four is usually dedicated to my blog while five is my school and life. Page forty-eight, the final page of the book, is always my pen and pencil testing page. This lets me test out pens or pencils in store to see how they will work on this particular paper. Then page forty-seven is where I log the types of brews I’m using for my coffee.  How much coffee to water was used, how did the brew turn out, etc.FNindexed FNindexedFNindexedThe final addition to the book is a 3 month calendar. You can find them online or as a word template. I print one off and then cut out 3 months. I use washi tape to stick it into my book over my address section. I cross off the days as I remember, but this has become very useful when I’m planning things for classes and meet ups with friends and I don’t want to drag out my planner.FNindexedAfter that the rest of the book is a free for all.

When the book is filled I log it into a master index book and file it away. The master index is another field notes book where each page looks like the index for each book. Each book is logged on it’s own page. The descriptions are expanded slightly to be more descriptive, but only if they need to be. If the index states “paper,” it is expanded to state, “Theories F14,” so that I have a better idea of which paper it refers. However if it’s logged as “journal,” there is no need to expand upon that , unless the journaling deals with something specific that I may need to refer to later. This system lets me grab my index book, flip to about where I think I logged something, scan through quickly and find that “Theories F14” entry and pull the right book in less than a minute.

Of course this system works because I’m only searching through an index of 20 or so books. (I did not go backward and index my older books, I’m not quite that neurotic.) As my index, and number of books, grows searching will become more difficult and more time consuming.While I was a wiz with the card catalog when I was a kid, I don’t relish the idea of combing through multiple index books. At some point I will need to digitize my collection of notebooks. I’m resistant to this now, but I do see the need for it later, as I amass more and more books. I’m not sure what application I’ll use to do this- Evernote, OneNote, or some other platform. Who knows what will be available when I do finally decide to digitize.