Simon has been chasing me for the next July-December 2012 Chronodex release for a while, I got interested in his Instagram photos because I simply couldn't figure how a person constantly on his motorcycle had anything to do with Chronodex. Turned out we have a lot in common, here's what I found out.
Well, a little background may help.
My formal training is as a scientist. Originally an embryologist, I have an unhealthy interest in most scientific disciplines but this has always bumped up against a very visual, or artistic, natural tendency. So my life plays out in pictures and I have adapted this to serve me both in work and play. As such, I developed an interest in the analogue side of life prior to the digital revolution. Stationary and tools to help me become more efficient shaped how I learnt and managed my daily routines from an early age.
However, being a true technophile, I was always an 'early adopter', and was soon sucked into the laptop wielding, smartphone brigade particularly fueled by Steve Job's magic blend of art and computing power.
A couple of decades later, my lovely wife and I have both decided to simplify our lives and revert to more traditional, less invasive ways to live live. We wanted to use technology, and not let technology use us! For me, that meant returning to my favoured paper and ink.
I wanted to see how similar minded people had developed since I had disappeared into pixel land, and hence, a few web searches later, I discovered your blog. Chronodex appealed immediately as this is indeed how I 'see' my time laid out. I love the 'blocks of three hours' and the analogue clock face view of the world. Interestingly I do not wear a watch; maybe the Chronodex lay out replaces this?
2. Are you a traveler's notebook user?
Oh yes! I have both the original and the passport format. The original is my 'everything' book. In this I carry Chronodox in your weekly format, a separate note book into which I stick the chronodex clock (printed on labels), one per double page (usually landscape), such that I can capture a day in detail and plot routes, write up meeting notes and capture life in general. I also use this booklet for my to do's (again, I have adopted your idea for using tabs to mark pages that collects my next actions, things I am waiting for and my dreams = someday!!). My passport version is small enough to disappear into my jacket pocket and I use this to collect notes when space is a premium. Both are loaded with the plastic wallets to collect receipts and other such bit and pieces we carry around, and I use stickies for more permanent additions. It doubles as my wallet.
An assassin eh? That would be cool, but if I admitted this to you I'd then have to hunt you down!!
Nothing so glamorous!! I guess I am a bio-entrepreneur - a label I have recently accepted. What I do now is hunt new technologies that have potential to provide future healthcare benefits and help, encourage, shape and push these out into products. For instance, currently I am helping an academic institute to develop a new treatment for solid tumours. This means I spend my time between the research and commercial worlds - figuring out how to fund highly expensive programmes to launch new treatments.
4. Journaling seems important to you, is it for personal record? or you have a specific line of work which requires details in time line?
Journaling is part of my day job in that we need a record of what has happened. From my early bench days, we used journals to record experiments. Journaling for science has a long history - google Darwin! Now, my journal extends to general life too. I find it a natural way to organize my thoughts and ambitions, as well as providing fond memories. It is a melting pot of ideas.
Always a two-wheel fanatic! I find the freedom of motorbiking cleansing and inspirational. When riding, the world simplifies and my mind relaxes. Traveling like this makes you more aware of your surroundings, and a such this provides me much to journal! It is also fun to turn up to a big 'shirt and tie' meeting in my leathers!! A true ice-breaker!!
I use Chronodex to help detail and plan my travel, marking up distances and times plus addresses and venues, interspersed by meetings. This has helped me become more time-efficient without it becoming a distraction. I do not like being a slave to time, continually clock watching, as life then flies past you. I find I become a passenger, an autobot! Planning ahead in a simple format then allows me to enjoy and participate in the travel and in my daily activities.
Yes. It's a family thing!! Wife and three French bulldogs are our tribe. We had an epiphany a few years ago. We realized that in the usual rat race of modern life, when we momentarily paused, we found it hard to identify what we had been doing in life. Try this: reflect on your last 12 months. What do you remember? What was/were the highlight(s)? We found this a difficult exercise, hardly remembering anything but the daily grind. So we decided to simplify and pull away from the traditional claws of hi-tech life. As we both travelled a lot with work, we decided to allow our life to travel too. We bought ourselves an oversized caravan, and now move from place to place as life and work dictates. This not only shortens our travel times to and from work places (I went one step further and abandoned a permanent office) but allows us to live in the moment and not to separate too many aspects of life as when you do, you rush through those aspects you like less to focus on the others and effectively lose this time. Does this make sense? We also feel closer to each other, and close to our nomadic nature. It's fun too. We meet all sorts of people and have many stories to tell on the road. We feel closer to nature as we now 'live' in more rural places because of the van.
Yes, we can now remember many highlights of any given year!!
A little note on technology - although I particularly have lessened my dependence on the digital age, we still use it. We have mobile wifi and iPhone/Macbooks, but now these are used to enhance and allow our new lifestyle, not dictate it.
7. And you have quite many fountain pens too, what's your story?
I love ink! Always have. My Mum was a traditional teacher and I had an ink pen from being very young. She bought me a new one to encourage me - e.g. after exams - at milestones in my life. I now use a set of four Mont Blancs, each of a different colour, and a set of pilot's (including the retractable) when traveling.
8. What kind of pen you use on your Chronodex? You need colors right?
Colours are important - words are fun but colours bring them to life! I'll use any pen that writes gently (i.e. no biro's!!). I use different thickness nibs and colours to bring the page to life and help the brain identify and expand. I find that this system allows my analytical mind to work in sympathy with my artistic side, and often provides insights I would otherwise miss. Mind mapping is a good start, and with my traveller's notebook and a good supply of coloured inks I am as happy as can be!!
9. Are you living in the states?
No, I travel there and we both love the US. We became engaged somewhere on Manhattan bridge on the way to a wonderful fish restaurant (Arthur's Landing - sadly no more). We spent our honeymoon on a motorbike in British Columbia - what a trip! However, we are from the UK and live mainly in and around the north west of our small island.
10. Any usage hint for Chronodex users?
I'd just say use it, adapt it to your needs, and don't feel restricted. No system is perfect, and no one system suits everyone. But if you take to the general format, a little creativity will provide yo.u with a useful and engaging system. Change is exhilarating. Engagement is the secret - for anything to work, you have to want to use it. I love creating new Chronodex pages.