This post is part of a series on the various ways I've used pen and paper in my life. To learn more about it, check out the introduction, or view the "ink and paper brain" category for other posts.

I have a really lousy memory for small things. It’s fitting, then, that when I had the idea for my “second brain”, an all-purpose notebook that I could carry with me everywhere to capture stray thoughts, I had completely and totally forgotten about NOTES from three years prior, despite the fact that the concept was nearly identical. I thought my notion was singularly novel, when in fact I had unknowingly plagiarized it from my own self.

The “second brain” played out almost exactly the same as NOTES, though, minus the paranoid recording of secret crushes and attractions. For two and a half years, my “second brain” notebook acted as exactly that: extra storage space for my brain, so I could offload notes and keep my head better organized.

Some of the fun contents of my “second brain” notebooks—there were two, since I started a second “second brain” shortly after finishing the first—include hypothetical band, album, and single names; titles of over a hundred books I wanted to check out; and Eric Idle’s autograph.