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『The Mighty Notepad』

September 20, 2009

preview6In an age of digital gadgets, electronic dictionaries, palm tops and e-flash cards, the old notepad gets rarely used and overlooked easily. In this issue we’ll cover its smart use, what to look for when buying one and prove it still holds an important position in todays digital society!


Because of today’s plethora of advanced study tools like e-flash cards, anki and even your NDS, the good ‘old methods’ sometimes gets unfairly overlooked when in fact it can assist you in your studies tremendously. In todays Study Tips I want to talk about notepads and its helpful use. I remember I had a Japanese friend who was studying Chinese like me and everywhere he went he carried this little long slender shaped notepad and everytime he heard either a new word or phrase, he would take it out and scribble in it. Sometimes we had dinner together and he would put it at the side of the table just in case. Yes, amittedly the nerd-factor is slightly high but hey, if it benefits you, who cares! When you’re actually interacting with people, there are some things you just don’t learn a book and unless you’re blessed with robotic brains, you WILL forget.

Now I also had a notepad which I bought for the same purpose, but it was big and chunky and not so on-the-go-friendly, so even though I bought tons of notepads afterwards, I ended up not using them. Fortunately, I gave notepads another go and it had everything to do with its shape.tip2cSometimes when you’re browsing the internet, playing a videogame or reading something you’re bound to encounter lot’s of words (even grammar points) that are new to you, by keeping your notepad within reach (either put it next to your PC or something) you can write it down in an instant and use it for study later. Keeping it with you when you go out gives you the opportunity for a quick instant review whether you’re in the bus going somewhere or just waiting for someone, even if it’s for 5 minutes (beat that NDS).tip2b

Buying a notepad

Needless to say, notepads come in all shapes and sizes but the ideal one for language study I find is the long slender size (preferably wired) since the formula is usually「word in target language = translation in own language」, a lot of space is not needed. Writing a list of words this way keeps it nice and organized and since it can only display a small amount of words on one page, you won’t feel swamped. Added to this are the flip-over pages (wired notepad) so you can hold it easily in one hand for when you’re let’s say standing in a subway during rush hour (!) and still want to be able to do some reviewing. And ofcourse sized so that it can fit any pocket making it more carriable since we do need persuasion to carry the darn thing.

Pretty mighy huh 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Miriam permalink
    July 8, 2010 4:26 pm

    I just have to say that you’re a great photographer – all the books you photograph I really want! That second notebook (though TOTALLY inappropriate is so darn cute).

  2. April 23, 2014 5:43 pm

    It’s totally true, the pictures of every book on this site really make me want to buy them. You make them look so great.

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