Planning for an upcoming writing blitz sent me off to the local discount store to pick up a steno pad (six inch by nine inch notebook with spiral binding along upper edge.) To my dismay, a simple shopping trip turned into an exhausting day trip.
While planners are great and large notebooks have their place, there are many times and occasions when only a steno pad will do.
Like a recent occasion – writing while traveling. I love my laptop desk with it’s built in mouse pad. It’s great to use when I’m about to have hours of time to devote to article writing. Great as it is, my laptop desk is not spacious enough to accommodate one of my wonderful full-size notebooks. (College ruled, fancy covers, spiral binding, purchased only when on sale, of course…)
While memo books fit well in the space above my mouse, they’re not fit for anything except doodling. You can’t get one-third of a thought written before having to turn the page. (They are wonderful for occupying small children and animals – as long as you make sure the paper is not becoming a meal…)
Finding my stash of steno pads suddenly depleted left me in a bind. Since I had to make a trip to town anyway, I’d just stop by the local discount store and grab one. Great idea. Bad timing. Although I could now drive my truck in the awesomely wide aisles at wally world, steno pads were evidently one of the items shown the door.
Did steno pads become extinct while I was busy dealing with real life? If they’re archaic relics of the past, what does that say for my future? My forecast dimmed considerably as I continued to strike out on the great paper hunt.
Two more stores had far more merchandise to offer, but no steno pads. The big office supply store (rhymes with staples) sells steno pads – in institutional size packages. I do believe in keeping my office supply stash at a maximum. I do not subscribe to the “pay full price and then some” method.
I hate shopping. The only thing worse than shopping is going from store to store to store and not finding what you are looking for. Just about the time I decided to take some of my super-cheap-back-to-school-sale notebooks to the local Postnet and have them chopped in half right down the middle, (2 steno pads at the perfect price of 7.5 cents each, excluding tax) a pharmacy chain store search yielded results.
One 6 inch by 9 inch, Gregg ruled (does anyone still use Gregg shorthand?) 80 sheet steno book. Made in Brazil and distributed by a company in Illinois. I prefer American made but settled for what was available. The price was moderate – too high for casual shopping but not so high that I was going to do without.
Finding that the “Steno Book” fit perfectly everywhere – even in the one handbag my family isn’t ashamed of seeing me carry – brightened my day. I won’t yet be forced to make my own steno pads out of cheap notebooks. I’m sure that day is coming.
Much as I love electronic gadgets, I prefer a low-tech method of brainstorming and note-jotting. I don’t care what direction the lines on the paper take. I don’t care if there are no lines. I’m more concerned about an easy way to take quick notes. A way that doesn’t depend on batteries or electricity.
Hmmm. If there comes a day when there are no batteries and no electricity, my investment in replenished steno stock could yield a great ROI. I can see the bartering potential. Of course, dull steno pages won’t shine in the outhouse quite the way the Sears’ catalog did….