In 2007 I spent a few weeks in Texas birding. During the day I recorded sightings to a digital voice recorder and at night I spent about 15 minutes each day writing the sightings down on paper. When I got home I recorded those sightings into eBird. The whole process was very time consuming and didn't work very well. I vowed to find a better way.

I came across something called PocketMod that allows you to create a folded piece of paper with printing on all sides in a very organized way. I took the bird checklist from eBird for NC, formatted it in a useful way and created a nice checklist that I now carry with me in the field.

Download the checklist here and print it.

North Carolina Checklist

Texas Checklist

Then learn how to fold it using the photo below. After a few times practicing it is very easy to fold.

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On the inside of the rear cover you will find a place to record information about the day. This is very handy if you will be birding in different locations over a number of days.

Use the location codes to have a shortcut to birding locations.
So for example, under location codes you write:
P - Pea Island
C - Cape Point

Then beside each bird you see you can write P or C signifying you saw the bird at a particular location. You can be as detailed as you like.

Here is some additional help folding it. I find it easiest to fold it this way, but The first few times are not easy!

Fold the paper in half side-to-side with the words facing outward. Then, fold the paper along the lines running side-to-side (in-between the columns effectively quartering the page). This fold should hide the words. This fold will overlap the original fold going past the original half way point. Flip the paper over and make the opposite side match the first matching corners.

Cut the dotted line. Fold the paper in half on the opposite side with the words out making the corners match. After you have cut the page it will naturally want to fold this way. Rotate the paper around where the a's are on the front and drawings is the last outside page. Congratulations!

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