This may seem like an arcane topic in 2013 but I think paper address books are still handy and, that if you don’t have one, its not a bad idea to start one.
Why? Digital data can get corrupted, lost, or inaccessible due to disaster (natural or otherwise) so having all your really important contact information in a paper form can prove hugely useful in a time of crisis (be it hard drive failure, mobile phone loss or power outage).
A paper address book can also be a repository for shared contacts like Great Aunt Sally, the family physician and even your alarm company and credit card 800 numbers. It seems antiquated but sometimes the safest place to store sensitive data is in a book on your shelf. After having my house broken into twice, calling all those credit card companies and banks was easier because a lot of the info was in my address book and/or planner.
When traveling, its nice to keep a small address book so that you can send postcards to folks without having to find an Internet connection.
If, God forbid, anything untoward happened to you, a paper address book would be an easy place for a spouse or loved one to start to access your accounts and contacting people. Think of it as an ICE (in case of emergency) file or as my friend Chery darkly calls hers ICID (in case I die).
I find that addressing Christmas cards is a perfect time to review my paper address book and make sure that all my friends and family addresses are up to date. I also update phone numbers and email addresses. Then, when I sit down to handwrite addresses, I don’t have to have my computer open. I can have a quiet, tech-free afternoon handwriting my cards.
So, where can you find a paper address book these days?
- Moleskine has an address book option. European Paper carries an large (A5) and pocket (A6) version. They have die cut alphabet tabs and lined paper so you can write long or short entries for your contacts. More sizes and color options are available directly through Moleskine including itty bitty volant (2.5″x4″) versions with flexible covers.
- Paperblanks offers address books in their three most popular sizes: mini (4″x5.5″), midi (5″x7″) and ultra (7″x9″). The address books use the same ivory stock as their other products with lines for contact information and die cut “thumb cuts” to make finding your page easy. Love Notebooks is the best place to order a Paperblanks address book online.
- Leuchtturm 1917 offers a medium, pocket and mini address book (about the same size and materials as the Moleskine offerings). The Leuchtturm1917 mini pocket address book seems quite popular but I did not have any luck finding any for sale online except at Cult Pens. Yeah for the UK readers!
- My husband recommends an old school Rolodex for business contacts. He makes dozens of phone calls a day and can slide business cards into plastic sleeves without having to die cut cards or transpose information. While not pocketable, its a great way to keep keep information handy.
- I use a small address book I picked up in the Hallmark Gold Crown Store. It has a light blue, leatherette cover and measures about 6.5″x3.25″ with pale blue lines inside. There isn’t much room to write full addresses but I make do. When a contact has moved, I just put a line through the listing and add a new one to the next available spot. Business cards get pasted into the divider tabs. Hallmark does still stock address books regularly including the ring binder style and replacement pages (plugging the firm!).
Do you use a paper address book? Do you have a favorite?