What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

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Organize Your Patterns

I’m the type of person who likes to create systems for doing things, whether it be business procedures or a household-related task like a reusable shopping list template.

So I thought I’d share how I organize my tangles and the steps for drawing them in case it’s helpful for fellow Zentangle® Zealots.

To start with, I use Moleskine® squared notebooks. The paper is acid-free and nice and smooth for drawing with the Sakura Micron Pens. The squared pages provide light guidelines and these me help get more accurate proportions when I draw. Not having done any drawing before, I need all the help I can get. These notebooks are a perfect size for portability along with your Zentangle® supplies.

In the small notebook (3 1/2 ” x 5 1/2) I begin by marking up the page with light pencil dots in 3 cm squares (6 boxes in each direction). This is actually quite a relaxing process in itself and can be done while “watching” television. Here’s what the page looks like when the pencil dots are done:

 

Lightly penciled dots create 6 boxes for the step-by-step illustrations

 

I do several pages at a time and then connect the dots to create the boxes. I even treat this like doing a Zentangle®, making all the lines in one direction first, then turning the notebook and doing the lines in the next direction, and so on. This process conveniently gives you 6 squares for your step-by-step instructions. Some tangles need an odd number of guidelines, so for those I do a page of 7-box squares. Here’s an example of the boxes ready to go:

I’ve only use one side of each page because some tangles are quite dense with ink and there can be a little bleed-through through on the back of the page.

I leave the first couple of pages blank in the book and number the top right corner of each page. Then I can write in a Table of Contents on the blank front pages. This reference helps me find tangles quickly.

Then I draw the step-by-steps with red and black Sakura Micron pens. I often use my Zentangle pencil first to get an idea of how to place strokes correctly, then I throw all caution to the wind and let it rip with the pens. Here’s an example of Sandy Bartholomew’s tangle, Flutter Tile.

Recently I purchased the larger 5 x 8 1/4-inch size squared Moleskine®. In this one I’m creating a library of finished tangle samples and examples of variations so I can refer to it for inspiration. This size fits 15 tangles per page, so there should be lots of room for growth. Originally I used a small Moleskine® for this purpose, but it didn’t take long to fill it in. Here’s an example of what the small page looks like.

 

The first book of my tangle library, now replaced with the larger size Moleskine® with room for 15 tangles per page.

 

I invite you to share your system of organization for your tangles in the comments. Systems can always be improved and I’d love to hear what you guys have sorted out. Over to you …

BTW – Be sure to visit the DOWNLOADS tab at the top of the page for free downloadable templates to use for your tangles.

Get Your Supplies Here at Excellent Prices

If you’d like to try out my system, you can get these supplies on Amazon and they have great pricing compared to local retail outlets:

191 comments to Organize Your Patterns

  • I also had to come back and say a big thanks to whoever first recommended Evernote – I had downloaded it a while ago, but just took the time to really try it out a couple days ago and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! (am also going to be using it for my recipes that I’ve found online – perfect!) I have now got both the windows version and the Firefox add-on on my desktop and laptop PCs, my Android-converted Nook, and my I-pod, and gotta say it is AWESOME!!

    I love having the option to sort by alpha, date, tags, etc., and no matter which device I save an image on, it automatically syncs to all of the others! Yay!! And FREE to boot! (with a generous monthly limit) I am finding it might even be the thing I choose for an all-around planner/production/idea manager, to-do-list, etc., because I LOVE it so much, and can have different note-book stacks for different areas… If I do that, I might need to upgrade to the paid version, but perhaps not… I shall see. THANK YOU for this fabulous idea!

    I am still putting them in my moleskin, because I enjoy drawing out the steps to favorite patterns so I can learn them better and practice, but Evernote is just perfect for keeping them all organized, I think!

    BTW, one more idea for Evernote – I am using the same Tags (for artist names) that Linda has, where applicable, so I can easily cross-reference. :)

    • Linda Farmer

      Thanks for this Jill, it’s very helpful. Quite some time ago I downloaded Evernote but haven’t had a chance to see what it can do. I’ll have to make time to explore it.

    • Carol

      What a Bunch of terriffic ideas! I have been using gift tags-they r card stock and have a hole so i have them on 2 round key rings. I keep them alpabetically (by first letter of name)but can flip through them for inspiration I use both sides of the tag but make sure that both sides have tangles that start with the same letter of the alphabet so my “a” tangles are together etc.
      Anyway linda thank u for the job u do with this site!
      Carol

  • Melanye Narcarti

    Jill, A BIG thank you, and whomever had this idea to begin with!! What an awesome tool!

    Thank you, Linda for having such an awesome site so people like us can share and use each others ideas!!

    I am so excited to begin using Evernote. I had Skitch all this time on my iPad, but never really took the time to use it. YAY! Now, I’ll have to choose, or use, both!

    What a GREAT day! lol

  • Claire M.

    Hi: For those of you interested in an app that is simpler with a nicer picture display than Evernote, you might check out SpringPad. I have the Spring Pad app on my computer and my iphone. (I think it’s available on Android phones too.) I have instant access to hundreds of patterns, drawing directions, strings, and ideas for inspiration. They are SO easily saved by clicking on a button which takes a shapshot of the picture on the computer screen. You can tag the patterns by type to put them in categories. I save all of my recipes, books to read, articles, etc. this way and love it. Check it out!

  • For anyone curious about using Evernote I just posted an almost short (15 mins) video showing some of the features and how I use it to organize my patterns. There’s also another video on Snagit – another program that I often use in conjunction with Evernote. Both programs are available for Mac and PC. I have no affiliation with either company other than as long time (Snagit) and very satisfied user!

    The videos are on the Videos page on my blog here http://tinkeredart.blogspot.com/p/videos.html

    • Uncovering Pathways

      After watching those videos, from Tinkered Art, on Snag It & Evernote I am going to get those apps. What a great tool Snag It is. I will be changing my organization for all things tangled. I can already see that this is going to make it even better. I like using 3 ring binders with page protectors for my patterns already, but now I can clean them up even better. I now have a new project, if only I had more hours in a day!
      Thanks Linda for your wonderful site! I have been using this site for almost a year now. It keeps getting better. I hope others take note that donations are welcome, so help support this site & donate when you can. I have sent many others to your site & hope they have found it useful to.
      Thanks to Tinkered Art for the creation & posting of those informative videos.

  • aitchm

    Hi,

    I’m new to tangling and so happy to find this site because it’s a wealth of information! Of course once started I quickly realized the need for a way to organize the patterns as I practice or create new ones.

    There are so many hints on here that are helpful to me and quick to implement, especially using Evernote which I already work with to quickly capture material on the go and the recommendation of two notebooks for library/steps since I already have a few gridded Moleskines of various sizes.

    I started with the above method and it works great, thanks! I probably would have continued this process for who knows how long, but then I accidentally discovered the new Moleskine Evernote Smart notebooks!

    They’re similar to their standard counterparts but supposedly have improved image capture so one can draw the scan right to Evernote. I think it’s worth a try and wanted to share. I’m interested to see if anyone has used them and what they think. I’m going to order one and see for myself, I’ll let you know how I make out :-)

    Moleskine Evernote Pocket Squared Smart Notebook (3.5 x 5.5) $24.95
    Moleskine Evernote Large Squared Smart Notebook (5 x 8.25) $29.95
    http://www.moleskineus.com/evernote-smart-notebooks.html

    • Linda Farmer

      Thanks Heidi, I love Moleskines!

      I watched the video and from what I can tell they don’t “scan right to Evernote” but are set up so you use your smartphone or tablet to take photos of the pages of your notebook and the images are added to your Evernote account. I notice it also says that “Each Evernote Smart Notebook comes with 3 months of Evernote Premium”, so presumably it requires an ongoing paid subscription of some sort?

      We’ll be interested to hear from you again when you’ve given yours a trial run. Thanks for the input!

  • Margaret Brock

    Hi, I’m interested too! The video did say “buy a new notebook every three months to keep you premium subscription” or words to that effect :)

    Another great way to find interesting “tangles” is on Pinterest. I browse through there, find something I like and then come back here to find out how.

  • I just bought the small mole skins and followed your example. I love it. Although its work repeating the steps, it is well worth it to be this organized. thank you for sharing this great idea!

  • I have tried various ways of organizing my patterns, but this way works the best! I tried drawing each pattern on a sticky note and putting them in a notebook alphabetically. Which would have worked, if I had gotten a notebook that hadn’t fallen apart after 2 days! So now I am doing what I should have done in the first place and drawing them on graph paper in a notebook. Also, organizing them by style is much easier than alphabetically. I’m doing mine by grid pattern, border, filler, steampunk, etc. It works ALOT better when you are trying to find a certain style to fill in a space, because I always forget what a pattern is called! :)

    Also, thanks to tanglepatterns for the awesome website!

  • I have a step-by-step blog post outlining my method for organizing (hundreds of) tangle patterns:

    http://www.tanglebucket.blogspot.com/2012/08/for-my-fellow-tangle-junkies-some.html

    Hope you find it helpful! It does not include step-outs; it’s more of a visual guide. I figure between the internet access on my phone and the printed guides I have from Rick and Maria (and the one I got by donating to this site), I can find the steps if I need them.

  • I love the grid idea. Moleskine products are fantastic, but limiting in their bound covers. I am going to try 8.5×11 graph paper sheets that are either 3-hole punched for notebooks or will slip into page protectors. One sheet per design; would allow for a lot of step-outs/tangelations on each page. Plus the grid has a nice, orderly way to it. :)

  • I have been reading this ‘organizing’ section of TP.com and enjoying it. MANY good suggestions and systems!

    I was given a Moleskin notebook (squared) 5″x8″ and a book about Zentangle from my good buddy (of more than 60 yrs)… So I began to put any how to info I found online about a tangle in it – using one ‘row’ for each tangle and adding it’s name and and it’s author. All of them were and are still entered as I find them or are emailed to me by TP/Linda (grin). I’m on my 2nd ‘big book’ using both sides of the pages (1,279 pattern steps to date). I also have purchased a smaller Moleskin book (3″x5″ squared) to put the finished patterns in, alphabetically, for reference. (that book is about 1/2 full and I use it a lot to look for a certain kind of pattern I want for an area)

    When I get an email from TP for a new pattern, I save the link/website/steps to a .jpg file and in a folder of How To Draw on my computer – when I have a bunch of new ones, I print them out and then manually/draw them in my Moleskin notebooks (and send/give the printouts to my buddy for her to do the same or different as she chooses).

    I also have a list of the tangle pattern names with the page # of the larger Moleskin notebook as to where to find the steps to draw each. I keep this list in the back of the larger notebook I’m currently entering them in.

    So far this has worked well for me.

    When participating in ZIA’s Alphabet ATC swap, I have chosen patterns beginning with the letter I am drawing and thus can find all the candidates under that alpha tab in my small Moleskin notebook – if I need a reminder of how to draw the pattern, I check my list for a page # and then dig out my larger backup notebook…

    I do have questions for those using little handheld computer type things – once the pattern pictures or files are uploaded to the device, can they be sorted alphabetically? searched by name? or manuvered in other ways (by tags or by author)?? just curious cuz I’m not in our retirement ‘needing’ a small device but am very curious as to how much can be done on them. (grin)

    Thanks again, Linda, for all you do to keep this website up and running so at least WE can get some tangling time in as a result – haha Perhaps we need to occasionally post that it’s a ‘Time Out for Linda’ so you also can get some tangling in? Keep up the good work, you’re doing a great job of helping the rest of us out!!!!!!

    May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You (and Yours)

  • Linda Rea

    Nancy, your method is similar to what I use and I have found it to work out well. Using a computer is fine and dandy for storing your tangles but I think it’s a lot of work to go and turn the computer on and boot everything up each time. I prefer a good old fashioned paper storage method where i can turn pages and look whether i have a computer up and running or not.

  • Nixiness

    All this talk of organising patterns makes my OCD self want to go nuts with colours and binders and and and…

    or plan B, feel happy and content that I don’t have to start from scratch because the tanglepatterns guide you get as a gift for donating is so brilliant :D Very much looking forward to the 2013 version. Keep up the good work!

    Nix

  • TSovacool

    I’m one of those who likes to put hands and ink on paper. :) I used to just fill a notebook with steps & a finished example, but got frustrated when I couldn’t find what I was looking for… I needed something expandable, organizable (I like alphabetical), and cheap. Just because. LOL My son gave me the idea to “do Zentangles like Pokemon cards” and that was that.

    I use Linda’s 6-up grid template sized to fit 4×6 blank notecards and print them there on one side only. Then draw out what I like as new ones come out… and then, file them alphabetically in photo albums designed to hold 4×6 photos. I’ve got two 200-photo albums that are about 3/4’s full. I may have to move some patterns around to keep it alphabetized, but I have blank pages scattered throughout to make it easier.

    Love flipping through it, and I love how easy it is for me to find patterns!

    Oh, and I love this site and the templates, too… thanks, Linda!

  • I was a graduate student in the ’60s; that was pre-computers and even pre-calculators. There was a thing we used to organize our library research, or out results from our lab research. It was a kind of paper computer. It would be perfect for organizing the various tangles. It was composed of cards about 5 X 9 and had 3 rows of small holes around all the 4 sides. The center of the card was blank and could be used for either data or diagrams. There was a puncher that punched notches from the edge of the card to one of the holes in row 1, 2 or 3. You set up the coding system any way you wanted. Then you put the cards together in a stack. You had a kind of knitting needle thing that you ran through the holes, lifted up the stack and shook it. The cards with the code you wanted fell out of the stack. You could have one card coded for many different thing ( round, triangle, density, etc). When you were finished, you just slipped the card back onto the pile (order didn’t matter) until the next time. There was a large amount of room for diagrams or notes since you had the front and the back of the card to write on. I don’t know if they still make these. It is great because you are setting up a database of the information without having to know how to write a program or learn how to use a program. Just a thought.

    • Lee Robirds

      Mildred, that just brought back nightmares from college. I could never get the hang of that system – had to change my major from Psychology because it required so much data processing! I’d love the chance to redeem myself with an updated method!

      • Lee: LOL The newer modern version of the data cards is called a computer with a database program! He He He. However, if someone does not have a computer, these cards might still be the way to go (if they are still made).

        Actually someone suggested Evernote I have just downloaded it and will try it out. Sounds functional.

  • Becca

    I found this interestinbg on the moleskin website Mokeskine Pocket Japanese Notebook its cool because the scrapbooker in me instantly saw an opportunity to do both tangles and scrapbooking, you can do your 3×3 design on tile then paste it to one of the folds and use the rest of the space for info like dates names etc. However it does have a draw back of only 60 spots for tangles .. But if your like me im a book worm and love the idea of a library of Tangles :) Ill let you know how it turns out!!

  • Claire M.

    I tried Evernote, but it wasn’t simple enough for me. Instead I use Springpad which is similar to Pinterest, but much more useful. So far I have about 175 Zentangle patterns saved on Springpad and lots of other ideas and work for inspiration. I can also access Springpad and all my Zentangle patterns on my iphone. ….. Good luck with your searches for the best organizing method!

  • Kathleen

    I have come up with my own system with pieces and parts from a lot of posts (my thanks to everyone!). I use the squared half sheet card download and an 8.5 x 9.5 three ring binder (it’s a wilson jones and I also use their divider tabs). I have downloaded, converted, and re-sized the 2013 Tangle Guide to use as reference in the front of my book. The version with hot links is always available on my laptop. I only do one tangle per half sheet to allow for re-organization later. I can also use the back of the sheet for more doodles. :)

  • Sarah

    I like these ideas! I came across pre-made templates on cards for showing your steps. Each card was around 2.5″ x 3.5″, I think. Now I can’t find them. I looked online for like half an hour, and still have no idea where I saw them or even what they are called. Does anyone have any tips on how to find them or what they are called?

  • Amma

    Sarah, I think you might be thinking of Artist Trading Cards. I think United Art and Education and possibly Dick Blick’s sells them. I bought mine but then decided to make my own. I used 100# card stock and cut them to the 2.5 x 3.5 size. My son used to sell baseball cards and supplies so I had a case of baseball card sheets to use to organize. I do the steps on one side and the finished tangle on the other side. Then I put the completed cards in a notebook in the baseball card sheets. I keep mine in alphabetical order. I probably have at least 750. I’m sure it’s much easier to use Linda Farmers 2013 Tangle guide but I like to try the steps and I like to leaf through the book and I imagine I’m somewhat OCD!

  • Sarah

    Three people replied to me, but I only see one reply on here (I saw the others on my email). I wanted to say thank you so much! The cards you guys mentioned are exactly what I was looking for! I appreciate it! :)

  • Mereth

    I include a category defined by the name of the tangle-designer. I agree with LF that we can come to recognize an inventor’s style. So I can think “…I’m feelin’ like something a little s.s.ish. It’s like indexing a book … I can look up pies, or pumpkin or protein. Or head of state, war fought or offensive strategy attempted.

    I also keep my page numbers constrained to a single letter of the alphabet. Even “Q.”. Then each new “P” pattern goes at the back of the P section. This means they are not alphabetized within each letter, but I’m gambling that my system will have evolved by the time I collect 500 P patterns. I mean, I awe-inspiring as Zentangle Nation is, I haven’t yet heard anybody suggest that we’re about to reach 13,000 tangles!

    That’s my reference book. My eye candy/inspiration book is smaller with a single clean example of a tangle-pattern to a page. There is no order whatsoever, just what I drew before, what I’m drawing now, and what I’ll draw next. Yumm.

    Ta-ta,
    Mereth

  • Mereth

    Oh, and I also remember the knitting needle cards from the pre-computer days, and have often longed for them. There were so many ways to cross-organize the cards!meaning so many different spots one could punch out. I still can’t remember how to drive a computer, and looking up written instructions for anything I want is not nearly as fun as flipping through pen and ink tangle patterns. :~)

  • camila

    Me parece maravilloso todo he aprendido mucho gracias Cariñosamente camila

  • Linda,
    Thanks so much for this template! I have Sandy Bartholomev’s atc cards, but I rather do this!

  • Lynne Donovan

    If you are like me, sometimes you just can’t figure out which tangle to use. I have printed out the tangle guide and just numbered the tangles. To chose a pattern when I just cannot figure out one to use – I go to my smart phone! I have downloaded a random number generator and use that to pick the pattern. No cheating! You have to use the one that the machine picks!

    • Kelli Ross

      Lynne, I also have a random number generator that I use. I use it to pick the string. And, yes! No cheating!! When I’m done organizing the million tangles I have, I’ll figure out a generator for that, too. No…..I’m not addicted or anything… –Kelli Ross @ Divide and Tangle on Flickr

  • I took a leaf out of Sandy Hunter’s book (if you’ll pardon the expression!) – she uses pages with clear pockets for coin collections. I decided these were a bit small for my taste, and as I already had some clear ATC pocket pages, I decided to do each design on an ATC-sized piece of card – the front has the finished tangle, often in the form of a small artwork, and on the reverse are the instructions. This means all I have to do is flip over the page to follow the instructions. http://shoshiplatypus.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/new-zentangle-album.html

    I have bound them all in a large A4 ring binder, which conveniently has clear pockets on the outside of the cover, so I have designed a front and spine cover to slot in, covered with tangles. http://shoshiplatypus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/zentangle-album-cover.html

    As for organising the patterns, I don’t find an alphabetical system is that helpful for me because I might not recognise a tangle by name. I am grouping mine loosely according to fills, borders and stand-alones, but these may get subdivided as time goes on.

    The album is an ongoing project, proving great fun to do, and I love just leafing through it and looking at the patterns. Being loose-leaf it’s infinitely variable, and I am thinking of filing some larger tangles and Zentangle-Inspired Art work at the back of the book. It is already proving a useful resource.

    Shoshi

  • Carol

    I’ve been using the random number generator too. I love it-it removes all decision making and I focus on the tangle. I’m setting a challenge for myself-in a moleskin notebook (as Linda has described) i listed all the tangles on this web site-plus any i picked up elsewhere. ive drawn in the ones i know. i’m numbering ALL of them so if the random number belongs to a tangle i haven’t tried-i have to learn and use it. We will see how it goes.

  • Audrey Geneve

    Hi!

    I’m brand new to Zentangle and I feel like this method of drawing was created especially for me. I’m guessing lots of you out there feel the same way. I say it’s especially for me because I’m a left-brained accountant and have always wanted to be more artistic but was intimated by trying. What I want to share with you – and keep in mind us accountants can be some of the most organized people in the world – are some products I’ve found that, for me, are simply the perfect way to organize my designs. First I discovered a specialty notebook called Circa on the Levenger site (http://www.levenger.com/Circa-Notebooks-326/Circa-Notebooks-339.aspx). A person has flexibility in the size wanted, there are numerous styles of pages that can be purchased depending on how you like to design or organize and the pages can be inserted and removed easily when wanted. This system is a bit on the expensive side but I have found that I just love it. The pages I like to use most are Dot Grid and Storyboard sheets. They are just perfect for drawing designs (the sheets are thick enough that you do not get bleed through) and annotating along the side variations, what to focus on and any ideas you have. With the large variety of pages available one could even keep a journal of thoughts and meditations right along with your designs. I just love the flexibility of not only Zentangle but how this Circa notebook can be used to contain a person’s collection of designs. So far I have arranged my designs in the notebook according to “style.” I have boarders, free-form, grids, lines and stand-alones. And regardless of what “style” they are organized under I know I have the freedom to use the style in any direction my heart or mind wants!

    The next item I want to share is something I just found today on Etsy. It is a bandolier that goes around your notebook, or even your note box if that is how you organize, and holds all your special Zentangle pens and pencil. Well, it won’t hold everything if you are into color but for the original black & white with shading it is a perfect and attractive way of keeping your tools with your notebook. The site address is: http://www.etsy.com/listing/64819342/journal-bandolier-pencil-case?ref=col_view. Don’t use that period after _view in the address; it’s just a period. So, that is what I wanted to share with you all today. I wouldn’t have commented but I’m just so excited about these tools that I wanted to share with all you Zentanglers out there. I hope you find it useful.

    Thanks for reading, Audrey

  • Ashley McCoy

    I am in the process of organizing my tangles. My dad got me a 200 page Booklet of Graph Paper. I am currently putting a tangle a page with steps, much like above in the article. Then I’m going to put them in a Tangle Binder and alphabetize them with a Table of Contents. I love organization so much! I also love that idea for the iPod Touch. I normally look up patterns on my iPad, so that fits!

  • Terre

    I like the I pod idea. I have taken pics of the pattern steps, with my ipod touch to use for reference. I also like the small book idea. I have a 6 x 6 wire bound drawing book that I store all my designs in. I found some heat binding laminate sheets that are 2.5 x 3.25, I am making a pattern ring to keep all the pattern examples on. It’s a little bulky but its fun to flip through the ring and pick one. I figured it was a great way to re-purpose a cheap flea market find. The best part is the patterns are protected.

  • Lynette

    I am new at this whole Tangle “therapy” but I am loving it! I enjoy it so much that I purchased a pack of 2.5″x3″ cards and I have them on my desk at work. When there is a slow moment, I pull one out and begin to practice a Tangle that I had seen or whatever happens to come to mind at that moment! :) I dated and saved all but I am kind of embarassed because my Tangles do not look as good as those on this site! :( But I will keep practicing. I have some of those cards and my Micron & Sharpey pens in a glasses case in my purse for those long waits! I love this site and look forward to many hours of enjoyment here! :)

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Hi Lynette, I’m delighted you’re enjoying the site and you will certainly see your progress as you keep at it. Dating your cards is perfect to record and see your “hand” improve as your fine motor skills become honed as they’re used more frequently. If you look back at the first tangles I published (use the ARCHIVES tab in the left sidebar) you’ll see my improvement over the last 3 and a half years too. Maria Thomas has almost 50 years experience on us all, so we have no need to be embarrassed but lots to aim for! Appreciate your accomplishments as they come. Happy tangling!

  • Melinda

    Linda – Thanks for the inspiration! I am relatively new to tangles. A customer came in to Michaels where I work and purchased 10+ canvases and I asked her what she was going to do with all those. She told me she was going to tangle and told me to Google this term. And here I am…..going completely nuts with patterns and learning. Until I learn and become better at the design process, I purchased an inexpensive graph steno book that I can carry with me at all times. Its a great way to design and contemplate. I then transfer the process to other media and voila, ready to sell my handiwork. Thank you all for the inspirations.

    • Lynette

      Melinda: I just bought the tiny little canvases (4 of them)at Michaels myself. I am so new at this that I am practicing, too, in hopes to transfer to those little things! :)
      I like your idea of the steno book, but I would find myself trying to by the graph. I work in an Architectural firm (Office Manager!!!) and I have had a hard time coming up with the outline of a design – no problem filling it in just setting it up. So I started suing the outlines of the properties of some of our customers! :) I know it sounds DUMB! But, hey it is working for me. I love this site and seeing all the neat ideas here! Thanks everyone! and Linda…thank you for the encouragement. Much needed! :)

  • Hi, I’m new to this too but it is so peaceful & calming to do. I’m waiting for my TOTALLY TANGLED book hoping it arrives today but wanted to say thank you for all the tangle & string patterns.

    I really like the idea of having the cashier’s type paper to practice on, thank you big time for this idea.

    I’ve been a stamper/card maker for years so this is different, I’m getting addicted.

  • Kathy Hagle

    I am new at this, but I find evernote is good for reference. As I have used it for other things before this. And it lends well to keeping tract of things. I also use a graph paper notebook, and a plain page note book.

    And I am learning or should I say teaching myself digital graphics so am doing this as well. But the digital takes more getting use to, as you don’t have the feel of the ink beneath your fingers, or the texture of paper to run the ink across.

    Also as I always to I bookmark all blogs I run across, and keep a blog roll going to see what is new on each blog.

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      And Zentangle® is not digital. The whole philosophy behind it is to be “unplugged”. Something you can do anywhere, without technology ;-)

  • Molly

    Mijn archief voor de tanglepattern is mijn iPad. Vind ik een mooi patroon met of zonder how to draw op de site, dan sla ik het op in een album. Hierin kan ik sorteren op vorm.
    Ook eigen ontwerpen en eigen werk archiveer ik op deze manier. Heel overzichtelijk en snel te vinden. Het origineel bewaar ik in een ringband met losse insteekhoesen.

    Linda’s edit >> Mr. Google translates – “My shelf for tanglepattern is my iPad. I find a nice pattern with or without how to draw on the site, I save it in an album. Here I can sort by shape.
    Also own designs and creations I archive this way. Very clear and easy to find. The original I keep in a binder with loose insteekhoesen.”

    Evidently he had problems with the last word.

  • Bonnie House

    I am new at making Tangles and your idea is a great one. Thank you for sharing.

  • Amanda Oldridge

    I started tangling about 2 months ago and it has taken over my life! I had a motorcycle accident in 1996 which left me disabled. I use a wheelchair and I wear a brace on my right wrist due to chronic arthritis caused by a bad break in the accident. I used to do a lot of calligraphy, gold leaf and watercolour painting prior to the accident and haven’t been able to do it since. I found out about Zentangle a couple of months ago at a local craft club in Leeds, UK when a member of the group was trying to think of a craft that she might enjoy doing. She said she didn’t like knitting, crochet, sewing or any of the usual crafts that most of the other members did. One of the ladies asked her if she had tried Zentangle. I had never even heard about it but when I got home later that evening I googled it and found your website. It has changed my life literally. People might think that sounds a bit dramatic but it is the truth. I had a go the following day and within a week I had spent quite a lot of money on various equipment, pens, paper etc.stuff I didn’t really need but glad I got it. I downloaded all the tangle patterns, printed them out insmall squares, cut them up into small squares, and put them in a Roladex in alphabetical order. This is a fantastic system as it means that I can use any of the patterns randomly by spinning the Roladex and wherever it stops I use the pattern showing. It also means that if I want a particular pattern I can find it easily. I also printed out all the strings and printed them out onto card, laminated them, cut them into individual small cards and keep them in a tin so that when I want one I can choose one at random. I have found that my wrist is getting stronger by the day, it is getting more mobility in it and the pain is less than before. I suffer with depression and am on 43 tablets a day for this and pain including morphine and have found that I am so much happier these days as I have something that I can do which keeps my mind active, my body relaxed and I have done something productive. My daughter has noticed a difference in me as have my twin 9 year old grandsons who, incidentally, enjoy tangling as well. When they come round we sit round the table for hours making ZIA. The boys love the Roladex system, they spin it and get a pattern, do that pattern the we swap tiles and we do a different one so that we end up with a wonderful piece of art that we have all had a hand in making. I no longer feel as depressed, my pain is improving day by day and I feel I have something to offer, which may sound strange but if you have been in a position like myself you will understand what I mean. I would like to say a huge thank you for such an amazing website that is all free and hope that people support you as I have by buying your online books or by making a donation so that people like me have a wonderful website to go to for many years to come.

  • Beverley

    I clicked on the reply to Amanda’s comment and came to this site. Wow. So many ideas. Firstly responding to Amanda – great to hear your story – so inspiring. I am at the moment dealing with an unknown infection in my mouth which causes a lot of pain. I find that when I am engaged in tangling – either learning a new one or creating a tile I find my mind over-rides the pain. I have only been tangling for about 18 months and really appreciate all that Linda offers. In the beginning I was downloading tangles I liked, printing them and putting them in ring binders to then copy. After a couple of binders which are big and bulky I decided to take down the steps by hand and then re-do them better in an A6 spiral good quality paper notebook about half inch thick. That was OK for a while until I was going to visit my family in America ( I live in Australia) . I needed to downsize again and I was finding the notebooks a bit difficult with the spiral. So … I cut up 100gsm A4 good quality photocopy paper into 3 inch strips and then fold in half. I work onto the mini pages both sides and put then slip four pages together. On the first two pages of one set I make an index with the name and a mini drawing of the finished pattern next to the number of the page. When I have 3 lots of four I stitch them onto a thicker piece of card with the very simplest book-binding stitch and cover my knots with a nice piece of hand made paper which lies flat. This way I was able to take my little book, a set of tiles and a few pens in a pencils case in my hand luggage and tangle all those miles across the world and then for hours while snowed in in Iowa City for 6 weeks. Now I am home again I am making another book with the tangles as they arrive on Linda’s site. The down side is they are not alphabetical but it doesn’t take long to skip through those couple of pages and find something. This size also fits into the smallest handbag along with my little pad of good quality paper that I use when I am waiting for an appointment. Time goes so fast. I have printed off Linda’s PDF she sent when I subscribed and like the idea of laminating and cutting up and picking at random – might try that one. Luggage tags sound good too. So many ideas! Thanks Linda for a wonderful sharing venue.

  • Kbresh1

    I am using the Moleskin App on my iPad to organize a catalog of Tangles! I have a Moleskine for each letter of the alphabet all on. My iPad! It’s very easy to use!

  • Suzanne Moshier

    I have my Zentangle patterns organized in boards stored alphabetically in Pinterest. I print out patterns individually that I want to create a piece. I see now the benefit of creating a notebook of some type. I probably will go with a binder. I’ve downloaded your template pages and greatly appreciate you sharing them. Hope to get better organized soon.

  • Some great ideas here. I have a file box and I place my designs in the box. Then when I don’t have an idea I take one from the file.

    I like the idea of using either putting pattern on pincrest, cut and paste unto my word program,o do a spreed sheet.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

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