There's no better place than a paper notebook to pour out your blood, sweat, and tears. It helps you to slow down and be more thoughtful about what you write, whether it's deep, dark secrets or lyrics to the song you're writing. With so many different variations out there, we want to help you sort through all of your options. Read on to find what kind of paper notebook is best for you!
You've probably seen lined or even blank notebooks, but there are many other styles out there that you can consider depending on your application.
If you use notebooks to write down phone numbers, recipes, or other miscellaneous items, your needs are simple. A basic ruled notebook in a compact A5 size would be sufficient to keep your information organized. We like using the Apica CD Notebooks for their simplicity and light weight. You can carry them around with you, and with their attractive, stylish covers, why wouldn't you?
Recommended product: Apica CD Notebooks.
|Paper Weight||81.4 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||28 (14)|
Also consider: Rhodia Pad No. 18.
Students use notebooks for a variety of tasks, including taking notes during lectures, writing down assignments, doing homework, and more. We're partial to a particular ruled style from Japan called dotted lines. The dots are evenly spaced so that when you're simultaneously taking notes and making diagrams, you can use the dots as guidelines and keep your notes organized and easy to read. The Kokuyo Campus Notebooks are perfect for students. They're color-coded so you can have one for each class, and they feature the versatile dotted lines pattern.
Recommended product: Kokuyo Campus Notebook.
|Paper Size||Semi B5|
|Sheet Style||Dotted line|
|Paper Weight||85 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||30 (15)|
Also consider: Lihit Lab Twist Ring Notebooks.
Whether your journal is a chronicle of your life, a dream recorder, or a place for you to put your thoughts and feelings, our favorite part of keeping a journal is looking back at completed journals and seeing how we've changed over time. Refillable notebooks are great for this, since you can organize your old notebooks in a bookshelf somewhere and reuse the notebook cover. For a journal that is luxurious and functional, the Exacompta is our pick. It has a lovely leatherette cover that protects your journal and perforated edges to keep your place as you write.
Recommended product: Exacompta Journal.
|Paper Size||5" x 7"|
|Paper Weight||64 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||192 (96)|
Also consider: Palomino Blackwing Luxury Notebook.
For all you visual thinkers out there, we recommend completely blank pages, so your imagination can run wild. You never know where or when inspiration may strike, so having a notebook with a hard cover will help protect it as you carry it around. The legendary Moleskine notebook is a great choice with its durable cover and creamy blank pages. It opens flat so you can sketch away to your heart's content.
Recommended product: Moleskine Classic Pocket Notebook.
|Paper Size||3.5" x 5.5"|
|Binding||Thread and Glue|
|Paper Weight||70 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||96 (48)|
Also consider: Art Alternatives Pen & Ink Sketchbook.
For engineers, architects, and designers, we recommend using graph paper notebooks. You can present your work in a clean and clear fashion within the grid guidelines, and keep everything neat and to scale. Aptly named after the Greek goddess of memory, the Maruman Mneosyne Notebook features subtle light gray graph lines that will help your work stand out. Its flexible but sturdy cover, durable ring binding, and carefully perforated paper all speak to its high quality.
Recommended product: Maruman Mnemosyne Imagination Notebook.
|Paper Weight||80 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||70 (35)|
Also consider: Life Expert Notebook.
Fountain pen users often struggle to find a paper that will prevent the much dreaded effects of feathering and bleed-through. Ideally, the paper will be dense, but smooth and silky, and not so absorbent that it bleeds through to the other side. We recommend looking for notebooks that are specifically made with fountain pens in mind. We like using the remarkably smooth paper of the Clairefontaine Collection 1951 Notebook with our fountain pens. It's definitely a match made in heaven!
Recommended product: Clairefontaine Collection 1951 Notebook
|Paper Size||5.75" x 8.25"|
|Paper Weight||90 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||48 (24)|
Also consider: Kokuyo High Grade MIO.
If you're looking for something a little grittier, or a notebook that can get down and dirty, we recommend looking for notebooks with an unpolished cover, such as chipboard or craft covers. These kinds of rugged notebooks will fit right into your workshop or garage. Doane notebooks do just that. With their sturdy twin ring binding and unfinished chipboard cover, you don't have to worry about damaging or being overly careful with them.
Recommended product: Doane Paper Grid + Lines Idea Journal.
|Paper Size||5.25" x 6.875"|
|Spacing||0.125 mm; 9 mm|
|Paper Weight||60 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||100 (50)|
Also consider: Field Notes.
Some notebooks feature innovative, eco-friendly paper. One type of paper that particularly stood out to us is Repap paper, found in Ogami Professional Notebooks. The paper is made from limestone and ecological resins. Unfortunately, most fountain pen inks will bleed on this paper, so this is a skip for fountain pen users!
Recommended product: Ogami Professional Notebooks - Hardcover.
|Paper Size||5" x 8.25"|
|Binding||Thread and Glue|
|Paper Weight||140 gsm|
|# Sheets (Pages)||64 (32)|
Also consider: Kokuyo ReEDEN Notebooks.
Even though people have taken to storing information in digital clouds, we still reach for our paper notebooks. We feel a little bit like Lord Voldemort when we say this, but it's like the notebook contains a part of our soul after we've written in it. Do you feel that way? Let us know what you put in your notebooks in the comments below!
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