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permaculture observation journal for wheaton labs  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
Posts: 4205
Location: Missoula, MT
393
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I've been shopping on Amazon for an observation journal for wheaton labs. Below are affiliate links that support the empire, though this is just a starting point--I'm open to other ideas and sources, too. I won't be tanning hide and making paper myself, and I don't think anyone else here right now will be handcrafting something, so we are looking to buy a ready-made journal or blank book.

I'd like feedback both from the people here at wheaton labs who might be writing in these, and also from other permies who like to use observation journals. What works for you?

These range in price from about $30 to the crazy-expensive price of $100 for the last one. Though that last one is gorgeous!


Tree of Life Leather Blank Book - 5x7"


Buffalo Leather Journal with 100% Cotton Handcrafted Paper 7x5"
Because buffalo leather makes sense in Montana!


Leather God's Eye Blank Book 7x10"


Buffalo Leather Sun Journal - 7x5"


Embossed Buffalo Leather Jouranl - 9x5"


Handmade Tree of Life Leather Journal - 9x6.5"
 
ariel greenwood
Posts: 33
Location: piedmont north carolina
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I buy sets of 3 basic black unlined paper journals from moleskine for $18. it basically serves as sturdy, slightly protected scratch paper. but these days most of my observations go into my Evernote folder called "ecology" where I catalogue before/after photos of pasture and unknown plants, etcetera.

I don't know about how easy it is to share or convert Evernote files, tho. but in my experience stuff just doesn't get written down if doing so is tedious or out of the way.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
Posts: 4205
Location: Missoula, MT
393
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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Moleskins are nice books, too, and sound more affordable to be sure.

I posted this thread out to FaceBook (via Paul's post) and Rebecca commented there that she uses Evernote, too. She adds pictures to her garden notes that way as well. I think if you sync Evernote online, there is a way to share that online folder with other Evernote users, but I haven't tried that yet. That's what we want, a way to share observations with others here at wheaton labs.

If you've got a smart phone or tablet with you, it can be too tempting to do that all-consuming multi-tasking with e-mails, texts, and online stuff instead of just sitting for a time to observe with pen and paper. Maybe some have enough discipline to just observe and turn the other things off with an electronic device. I don't know that I would!
 
Karla Upton
Posts: 9
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I was so excited to hear this update. I've been behind schedule with keeping up with the podcast (last one I heard was the review of the Permaculture Orchard), but one of the geoff lawton 2014 Online PDC members said to have a listen because we have been discussing the whole observation and record keeping thing on FB. I know you are technically just looking for an "observation" journal, but in case anyone finds my thoughts on this useful or amusing...

Now, it is true, I am an evernote fanatic - and I think it has its place... but, I still keep ending up with pen and paper... I have been gardening for 20 years, and eventually designed my own "printable" journal pages to take with me into the field because I couldn't find anything I liked, and I totally agree that there is something about pen or pencil on paper that cannot be replicated. The reason I moved away from bound journals is that sometimes I want to put things like all the weather observations over the years together, and I never know how much space to allocate. I run out of space for some things, and have blank pages left over for others. And then I have to look through several books (20+ years of gardening, and about 10 years of record keeping out of those 20+ years) to find anything. "Year over year" observations were difficult with a bound journal -at one time I had a bound journal for each month, and then divided each book into weeks - and each of the weeks had a section for weather, sow/plant/transplant, harvest/bloom, to do, journal/observation section. I got about 5 years worth of year over year in a set of 12 books like that. Adding a flock of chickens further complicated things... and then there were ducks...

I also used to keep a lot of things in spreadsheets, and I even thrashed around in some databases for a bit, but I find I am more connected to things when I write on paper - like Paul's observations about writing observations, I found that keeping my seed inventory by hand instead of in a psudo-database, made me know my seeds, made me think about them while recording their quantities and attributes - not just a tick mark in an electronic cell.

Anyway, I shared my garden journal with a few people on the Geoff Lawton 2014 Online PDC graduates' facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/groups/OPDC2014/) and they have generously suggested that they might find it useful if it had permaculture elements in it. I have a few weeks more to work on it, but have attached the current table of contents and some sample pages. This is a PDF designed to be printed out on durable paper and kept in a binder (I know, the binder isn't pretty... I haven't solved that one, yet.). Some one suggested that individual pages could be printed and put on clipboards next to whatever they pertained to, and could be updated "in the field" and then periodically gathered and organized into a binder. I am thinking that might be a particularly useful way to use it in a community environment. I am planning to do a crowsourcing campaign for it when it is done; however, I would be happy & honored to give a custom copy away to Paul & Team and 10 permies for feedback into making this thing better. I don't have the skillset to make it truly beautiful at this point, but, I am thinking that something is better than nothing, and I'd rather do something than nothing.

Thank you for any feedback and thoughts you might have on this subject. karla upton (freshly minted, overly enthusiastic PDC recipient and permaculture convert)

Filename: Permaculture-Journal-v6-BW-PermiesSample.pdf
File size: 5 megabytes
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22345
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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A big thanks goes out to Timothy Ettridge, who bought us this journal today:



Ten apples for you Mr. Ettridge!
 
Ryan Barrett
gardener
Posts: 151
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The tree is excellent!

There are some wonderful designs on etsy too https://www.etsy.com/search?q=Journal
 
Karla Upton
Posts: 9
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I have arrived: so honored and tickled to be mentioned in the daily-ish email! The final full version is scheduled to be done in 2 or 3 weeks.
 
Kyle Williams
Posts: 53
Location: Olympia, WA
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Karla, I love where you're going with your journal! Please make sure to post a link to the final product in this thread. I'd love to support you for your efforts!
 
Tom Rutledge
pollinator
Posts: 62
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(late to the party) I guess this has gone from a soon thing to the discussion for the next time this comes up.

Working on paper is so very nice.


For most of my rummaging / ruminating work I tend to just use printer paper bound on a corner with a binder clip. Very low tech. By spreading out the pages over a nice big table you'll get more surface area than most monitor walls you can find.


For more permanent / ordered thoughts I tend to go with moleskin because I have yet to find a better leather / paper replacement.


For some things I have found that artists sketch books are useful, ranging in size from slightly bigger than legal to ... meeting size flip board for different things.


3 ring binders vs bindings depends largely on usage and longevity requirements. Im hard on stuff and the three ring binders I used always seemed to lose their functionality after a while.
Biding is of course also better for legal records issues ( for example lab books are typically bound so that missing or added pages can't happen or are readily apparent).


I think Iv'e seen a hybrid model somewhere. It was a leather over cover with sleeve pockets to hold a normal cheap logbooks. The cheap logbooks can then be cycled out as space gets constrained. I have no idea where that was. Oh, there is also an old school 3 ring binder like system that used posts and screws for ledger pages with a leather over cover. ... humm...


When the new premies emblem gets made someone should get that made into a leather stamp.

- good luck.






 
Tom Rutledge
pollinator
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Karla Mom wrote:

Thank you for any feedback and thoughts you might have on this subject. karla upton (freshly minted, overly enthusiastic PDC recipient and permaculture convert)




The pdf looks wonderful. Have support docs for a paddock shift system been considered? Recording stocking density, which paddock, state of new paddock, state of old paddock(s) at the time of shift, etc. ?


It might be helpful to explicitly call out water levels on water elements. Just like there is an egg record, a cistern or stream log may be useful to go with the daily precipitation/weather logs.

I can't wait to help out with the fundraiser!
 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
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Karla Mom wrote:I have arrived: so honored and tickled to be mentioned in the daily-ish email! The final full version is scheduled to be done in 2 or 3 weeks.
I took a peek at your PDF, looks like you have put an amazing amount of work into it and I can't wait to see the finished version. I did notice that you only went up to zone 5 on your zone markers though, will the finished version go up any higher? I live in zone 8b and am so very OCD that I would have to write (or type) in the rest of the zones up to mine for every page that it was missing.
 
Ashley Handy
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I REALLY like the PDF Journal and did download it. I tried a few years back making a spreadsheet of stuff for my garden, but at some point I just sort of quit. This is a lot easier to follow-haha!
 
Karla Upton
Posts: 9
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Want to thank everyone who have commented here or sent me email. Lots of good ideas and appreciate the encouragement! Thanks again!

Katrin, the zones are for the permaculture zones 0-5; however, the climate pages will allow you to record whatever growing zone you are in.

Thanks so much! Karla
 
Karla Upton
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Greetings, Everyone ~

I have been working at my day job and hiding out with my computer in the wee hours. I am done with the First Edition of The Permaculture Journal. I didn't think I was gonna make it! Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. This is a giant PDF of over 5,000 pages designed so that you may print out the pages that you need. The first 500 copies are available for $5 US at my Etsy store to thank you all for your support - I have been lurking for a while, and have learned so much here! The price will go up after the first 500 copies, but I don't know to how much.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/206225979/the-permaculture-journal-etsy-first?ref=shop_home_feat_1

Thanks again! It has been a learning experience! Karla
 
Karla Upton
Posts: 9
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It's Spring Planting Time or close to it, for half the world, so I wanted to re-post about the permaculture journal that I created. It originally started out as something just for me because I couldn't find anything I liked for my record keeping. There is a free sample earlier in this thread. I haven't gotten around to v.2 yet, and I ended up raising the price to $10. However, for Permies, FB Regen Ag, Geoff Lawton friends, and TSP members, I have a coupon that would take it back to the original $5. The code is SPRING2016 and is good until May 31, 2016. Thanks much! Karla
 
M Johnson
Posts: 128
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Just purchased it and didn't notice the coupon but that is ok, looking forward to it.
 
Montana has cold dark nights. Perfect for the heat from incandescent light. Tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
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