This article is split into two parts. The top part showcases our recommendations for the best notebooks for aspiring and up and coming writers. The bottom part of this article provides information and first person accounts on how successful, up and coming and marketing writers utilise their notebook in everyday life.
The best notebooks for writers
Budget option: Field Notes brand, Expedition edition.
Recommendation from Joseph A. Federico of Anchors To Dusk Publishing
The best notebook I’ve ever received was from my mother as a gift one year for Christmas; it’s the Field Notes brand, Expedition edition.
As a writer and published author, I get many ideas a day, believe it or not, and need, NEED, to write my story / plot points down immediately. You can also bullet journal and draw in them as well. Plus, they’re easy to travel with.
Womens choice: Kate Spade Notebook
Recommendation from Mary Billiter, Fiction Writer
It’s not just fashionable and fun, the paper is super smooth for effortless note-taking or quick bouts of creativity. When I write it’s often a messy process and these notebooks allow me to fill the page and the margin. The spiral design and large pockets make it easy to use and allows space to pocket working chapters. And, it doesn’t hurt that the notebooks are always in bright, creative colors and designs!
Online option: Goodnotes
Recommendation from John Wilker, Rogue Publishing
I create new notebooks for each project, but also keep a larger long running “writing” notebook for ideas for next books, sketches, etc. I used to be a Moleskine person, but being able to search across all my notebooks is a killer feature. Plus I can carry all my notebooks with me now, vs. putting full ones away in the closet.
Old school choice: Moleskine Professional Notebook
Recommendation from Nate Masterson, mapleholistics.com/blog
Moleskine notebooks are durable and the pages have a wonderful texture. The paper absorbs inks and markers really well without any bleeding. The pages also won’t wear out if you’re erasing something. You can write on both sides of the paper since the paper is thick enough so that you can’t see your writing through the paper.
Spiral-bound option: Action Method Notebook
Recommendation from Nate Masterson, mapleholistics.com/blog
These notebooks are remarkably sturdy. The paper made from a recycled blend and is pretty thick. It’s best paired with fountain pen ink since it won’t bleed. The paper also has a very nice texture but it may be too much for ultra fine pens. If you like to tear pages out of your notebooks, you love the perforated pages on this one. You can easily tear out a page without leaving a mess behind.
For the tech savvy: Rekonect
Rekonect blends modern technology with the classic style of a traditional notebook. It is the first and only customizable magnetic notebook that allows users to remove, rearrange and reconnect individual pages.
The modular design delivers unprecedented flexibility and organization for a wide variety of uses – from personal journaling to creative sketching to project management. The most unique element of the notebook is the spine, which contains a series of magnets that allow the paper to sit in the notebook without falling out.
What do writers use their notebooks for?
Writer: Nandita Godbole from Curry Cravings (TM) LLC
I am a cookbook author and freelancer and use a notebook particularly when I travel.
My notebook serves as my travelogue if I am particularly introspective made even more personal with a doodle or sketch if I don’t think that my camera will capture what I wish to remember, a place to jot down thoughts and poems, as well as recipes, picked up from people during my travels. In places that have a poor internet connection, I will use it to keep peoples’ contact information. It is a place I tuck in bills that I need to remember to save, a pressed flower or leaf from a place I visited and such things. I sometimes use it on my flight to write notes and thoughts down. I will often use a Uniball gel pen to make my notes.
Writer: Alina Adams from Alina Adams Media
Ideas come constantly. Oh, that’s a good one, you think. I’ll definitely remember that one.
Two hours later: What was that great idea I had? I remember it was great, I just don’t remember what it was.
This is what writers use their notebooks for. If they’re smart.
Writer: Emily A. Francis, Llewellyn Author, emilyafrancisbooks.com
I kept a notebook with me a lot more before I figured out how to send myself emails with voice recordings.
However, I used my notebook more for organizing thoughts, random things that came to me. It was never to fully write, it was for off the wall ideas, letters to people, describing my feelings toward things when I didn’t want to say them out loud. I would grab napkins at restaurants and scribble notes on them when inspiration struck me. The only truth I have is that whenever inspiration finds me and gives me a nod, I never ever turn it away. It won’t come back the same way twice, so having a notebook nearby is a saving grace to all writers.
Writer: Kevin Munroe, Maracaibo Media, Thrive Global, and more
While my writing from rough draft to completion is done on a computer, my notebook is essential in the process.
Before I even start drafting, I jot down my notes and thoughts to get my creative juices flowing – nothing formal or to be printed. I like to write down funny ideas that probably wouldn’t make it to the final draft.
Writer: Audrey Wick, author and professor at Blinn College | Publisher
I work full-time and keep a writer’s notebook for recording ideas and tasks that I can review later in the day once I return home, which is where I write my manuscripts.
Perhaps there’s a character trait or line of dialogue that popped into my head for a work-in-progress; I’ll write it down and then be able to incorporate it into my manuscript that evening. I also use the notebook for keeping a list of words to look for in the editing of my manuscripts (mostly reminders of tricky spellings or hyphenation, like front yard is two words but backyard is one word or hyphenate pick-up line but don’t hyphenate pickup truck).
The notebook I use is a slim, soft-cover Marimekko patterned journal with lined paper. Coincidentally, I just posted a picture of it last night on my Instagram feed, in and among some other books I’ve been reading.
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Channeling Scandinavia: ✔my @marimekko writing journal ✔a currant scone ✔@Felixjams lingonberry jam ✔Norway travel guide ✔Book Two of Karl Ove Knausgaard's autobiography ✔A @backmansk novel 🌍 #scandinavian #scandinavianstyle #feelingscandinavian #lingonberry #karloveknausgaard #brittmariewashere #amreading #amwriting #travelresearch #travelprep #Norway #Sweden #exploretheworld #travelwithbooks #marimekko #writerslife
Writer: Carol Rose, marketing worx
There is a constantly evolving list of things to do and notes about potential blogs I plan to write.
There are about 100 dates and times listed. I believe at one time I knew what those referenced. I’m looking at one and realizing it was last week and probably a dentist appointment that I have missed (again.) There are a disturbing number of Beautiful Mindish doodles. These were obviously drawn during meetings. I listen better when my hands are moving. I’m seeing a list of band names. I am not in a band, nor do I play an instrument or sing, but I do love to come up with band names. No Fly List — Come on you know it’s good. Now if I could just get a band together…