Category Archives: Featured Articles

Note Taking-Repetition, Organization and Being Present


For us there is a constant inflow of information from personal diaries, to seminars, meetings, growth, and just running the day to day operations of the business. Keeping track of all this information and maintaining sanity is a must. We have been using several note systems lately in trying to improve our own habits and wanted to share a few highlights with you.

The Cornell Note Taking Methodology works well with all our journals which we have been using at most meetings and conferences. But here the focus is on being present where your attention needs to be on the material not the methodology by which you are taking notes. When I was in college I remember nothing worse than seeing other students scribbling furiously in their Trapper-Keeper what the instructor was saying verbatim while missing the core concepts of the lesson. Being present and taking notes in the abstract works best for us.

Digitally we have been using the iPad as it is a research tool. Evernote has served us well and allows us to synchronize notes from mobile devices to laptops and desktops without any intervention. And of course you can utilize the iPad for all your digital musings as well. Here is an article discussing writing applications for the iPad via AppStorm. Though the iPad is an excellent tool we find that pen and paper really empower our creativity and that’s not just because we are in the business.

More than anything what we have developed is a blended note taking system that works for us, using a combination of Epica Journals and digital tools. Our most creative and personal items are housed in an Amalfi Journal, written with a Pilot Retractable Fountain Pen.

What’s your style?

June Winner: Randy Raysbrook

We put out a call for submissions to see how you were using your Epica books, journals and albums and the response was overwhelming. Every day we are amazed with the creativity of our clients and the chance to share in your photography, art, and writing. Thank you. Without further delay it is a pleasure to present the June 2009 winner: Randy Raysbrook

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A few links to Randy and his organization:
The Learning Journal
About the Raysbrooks’

Excerpts of an article titled Engaging People in Spiritual Conversation by Gwen Sellers. reprinted with permission from Randy Raysbrook.

“You remind me of Socrates and he’s my hero,” or so one student told Navigator Randy Raysbrook. Around the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus, Randy has been known as “the guy with the big book.” He has been asking students to write their thoughts in a large, leather-bound journal as a way of getting to know what’s on their hearts.

Randy has been with The Navigators for 26 years and is currently working in the Metro Mission. “Part of my job is to help The Navigators learn new ways to teach and learn, to create new ministry environments that are interactive, creative, and that connect with people,” Randy explains. “We need to continually learn about our audience. So I asked myself, since I had done campus ministry for years, ‘Are students the same today?’ And I know they’re not. So
that’s why I got this,” he says, pulling out his infamous journal. This particular large, handcrafted journal is made in Florence, Italy, and only one U.S. company is allowed to import them. “I think they’re magnificent,” Randy says, “So I bought one of these and I wanted to use it creatively while I was answering the question, ‘How have students changed?’ I want students to teach me what’s deep in their soul. So I knew a provocative question could start a good conversation.”

Journal and pen in hand, Randy begins the process. He walks up to students, targeting the nontraditional ones least likely to participate in any church-related activity, and asks permission to ask them a question. Showing the student his journal, he explains its Italian origins and his desire to use it for student thoughts. Before they agree to answer his question, Randy warns students that it is one they may not want to answer. He then tells them the two conditions to which they must agree: They must be brutally honest saying “exactly what’s on your heart,” and they must allow their answers to be read by other people.

“If you could write a note to God and tell Him anything you want, and He
would read it, what would you say?”


We congratulate Randy for his work with the students of the University of Colorado and in the community. Randy thank you for sharing your story, engaging people and inspiring them to think and self-reflect.

Welcome to Epica. Now let’s improve your life.

First and foremost welcome to the Epica blog.  A place to grow and share ideas to quickly transform your life into the next best version.   Let’s jump right in.  We want you to feel welcome and entertained here, but more than that we hope you’ll find yourself intrigued, excited, inspired, and empowered.  Above all I hope you will acquire/receive something from this blog that you can instantaneously apply to your own life.   You have not only discovered the perfect gift for any occasion by finding Epica, but also all the tools you’ll ever need to use it well.  This side of Epica has been created to help you grow, enrich and specifically help you achieve anything that you are now asking of your life in this moment.  That may sound at first like a tall order to fill.  This very moment could be the beginning of a new journey for you or it may merely be a signpost along your well-defined path.  As you explore this site you may begin to notice that it is unlike any journal or product company you’ve experienced before: there’s our products naturally, and this section to show you how to most effectively use them and personally transform.  You may come across words that immediately give you a feeling of knowing that it’s right for you.  Consider the following:  

Are there areas in my life that I would like to improve immediately? 

Are there unwanted things, situations or people in my life that feel stuck? 

Is it possible that I am never ‘stuck,’ but have options from wherever I am?

Would I love to have a mental toolbox to solve any problem? (without buying a $5000 DVD program?)

Can I be the creator of my future experience? 

Is it possible to shift my world without action but with thoughts… words… pen and ink? 

We know that the answers are yes. Amidst the blur of information available to us both online and in daily life, the Epica blog is a place you can find something new that instantly and effortlessly resonates within you to make a change in your life now, right now. 

We have full confidence that if this type of wording or information is for you, you’ll feel it and gravitate towards it.  You’ll feel a surge of energy in your chest or stomach area and you’ll know to move forward with delight.  You already know what it feels like when something is right for you: It’s like the feeling when you meet someone, man or woman, and and you’re immediately cued in that you want to see more of them… maybe for business, friendship or love, but your  body tells you so and it always does. At every given moment you know, through how you feel, whether to move forward with something or now. And those are the feelings and insights we want to cultivate here. 

The Epica blog is a community where you can post your own experiences, respond to ours, or simply use the free tools in the following posts to get what you want out of life with using the easiest most effortless toolbox you can imagine: these posts, your own thoughts and words, a pen and an Epica journal.  If it’s not for you or you find yourself disinterested in any way, enjoy the pictures, shop the site, add to cart when you find the book of your dreams and we’ll get it right out to you.

But if you want to go deeper we’d love to help you realize you can do some serious self-discovery each and every time you visit because each time you come back there will be something new for you to play with, and each time you come back you’ll be in a new place of wanting, a new place of expectation, and wanting plus true expectation is the recipe for manifestation. 

 So please browse, search and dig for topics that appeal most to you, and if you find one is remiss, add your own for others to enjoy or comment in a friendly way about something you’ve read… enhance the process. Every time you explore you’ll find secrets, suggestions and guidance you won’t find anywhere else, much less on an Italian Journal website.  We just want you to be able to unlock the full potential of what you can actually do with one of our journals so that you can use it as a powerful tool to change your life.  In truth anything said here can be done mentally but there is something so undeniably powerful about making your thoughts real through writing them out; it brings your desires to you even more quickly.  Every writer in the world can tell you.  If you’ve ever kept a journal during any portion in your life, reread some of it and marvel at far you’ve come since then and how different you are now. You’d never go back and you never can.  

So, we’ll give you processes: a regular series of small digestible ideas that you can really sink your teeth into and take action on ‘write’ away.   We’ll keep them simple and to the point – no fluff – so that you can quickly find the things that are important to you. What a novel idea.  After all, if you can’t fill your own cup, you have nothing to give. We think nothing matters more that you find what you need.  

Enjoy the blog and if there is anything more we can do to make your experience here more enjoyable, please let us know.