Everywhere I go I carry a pad and pen. Before I leave my apartment I slap my pockets. Front-left, phone; Front-right, keys/pen; Back-left, wallet; Back-right, pad.
I prefer gel pens, but lately I've been smitten with a liquid ink pen, that is Pilot's V5 RT. It writes incredibly smooth and the metal clip is sturdy enough so I've never broken it off in my haste to take it out of my pocket.
The pads are always small enough to fit in my back pocket, usually with a metal spiral holding the pages together. They also must be college-ruled and sturdy enough to withstand constantly being used and sat on.
The pad I'm currently using is the Caliber 80 page memo book. I really like the hard-ish plastic cover; it sort of reminds me of the Five Star notebooks that were my favorite in high school and college.
This is the third of three notepads I bought about two years ago at CVS and it has about 20 pages left. Every few weeks, or while I'm stuck waiting for the train, I do a purge. I tear out fragments that have become poems, or when I'm embarrassed I wrote down something so devoid of lyricism. The contents of the rest are as follows:
50% Writing. That is fragments and starts for poems
15% Scrabble games. Words and scores.
15% Grocery lists.
10% Research. For certain more technical poems, as well as curiosity.
5% Magic the Gathering game scores.
5% Books and websites friends have recommended to me.
Soon it will be time for me to start a new notepad. Usually I stockpile. Even though I bought three of these a couple years ago, in that time I've gone through many more pads. I like to change it up, sometimes setting aside a half-full pad in favor of a new one, only to return to the old one a year later and finish it out. But and I'm a little nervous, because I don't have one waiting in the wings. Yes, I could go to CVS online and get a lifetime supply of the one I'm using right now, but I enjoy the serendipity of going into a physical shop and finding just the right thing.
As to the title of this post, not only do I carry this notepad with me everywhere I physically go, but last night, for the first time, I carried it into the meta-physical realm when I whipped out my notepad to write down a good idea I had while I was dreaming. Now if only I could remember what I wrote!