“The field journal was an incredibly useful tool in assisting me during my work travels. Here is why:
1) I administer interviews in Arabic and write from right to left instead of left to right. The field notebook makes it easy to write in either direction.
2) The straps on the bag create enough tension when worn around the neck and leaned against the abdomen that it creates a table when you stand up. I am rarely able to sit down and administer interviews so having a sturdy surface to write responses was a lifesaver for me.
3) As a small-framed woman, carrying a heavy backpack on my shoulders for several hours in the hot sun while administering interviews can be very taxing. For many years I hauled my GPS phone, writing tools, and cards in a backpack and carried around a clipboard. I was fumbling with all my items while trying to write down interview responses. The field journal notebook changed all this for the better. My shoulders are no longer sore at the end of the work day because the bag is light. The zippered exterior pockets held my passport and a small wallet (from Tom Bihn) and the interior pockets held my pens and phone. I used a small clip to attach my water bottle to the strap so that I could operate hands free when walking around the camps.”
Field Journal Notebook
Photo of the FJN by Jason Penrod.