Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How I Use My Notebooks

A couple of months back I saw a post on A Penchant for Paper about her specific notebook system. It was nice to see someone else with a bunch of notebooks with similar (for the most part) uses.  As pen enthusiasts the notebook is often overlooked. Without paper and notebooks half the fun of pens would be gone.

My Notebooks:
This is not my entire collection of notebooks, and specifically these are the notebooks I use during the summer.  Once school resumes I keep a separate notebook for each class, which adds at minimum 4 more notebooks to my collection. I also have a bunch of sketchbooks, old class notebooks, and empty composition books waiting to be used.  But enough about what is not here.

Black n' Red Wirebound a4 notebook
This is my workhorse.  I use this for writing drafts of projects that I am working on.  Part of the reason I'm so interested in pens and notebooks is that when I write something I start it in analog, in a notebook.  This is where the first drafts of papers, blog posts, and pen reviews go.  I also use this notebook for random thoughts and hashing out bigger projects.  My only complaint, is that the back cover has come off of the wire binding.  I am hoping this is just a faulty product that I have gotten because the paper quality is amazing.

Black n' Red Casebound a4 notebook
This is another notebook I use almost every day.  This notebook, which I previously reviewed, is where I do my daily writing.  I try to write 1000 words a day to keep myself in a constant state of creation.  By forcing myself to write daily I learn to push through the times of writers block.  Like the other Black n' Red products this is a joy to write in.

X-Large Moleskine Notebook 
This is my journal.  I don't write very long passages in it, but instead just list anything interesting that happened that day in bullet points.  I learned this super easy, super simple, and very quick journaling process from ZenHabits. I also keep a list of the books that I have read in the front of the notebook.  I bought this notebook before I really knew anything about Moleskine or any other notebooks.  Moleskine's are kind of like everybody's first experience with semi-high quality products.  It wasn't what I expected but is still cool looking and a quality product.

Standard Marble Composition Book
I love how these books look. The classic marble copybook, it is a staple in student's school bags.  I use this book for notes on non fiction books that I read.  I like to have a simple reminder of the main points of the books that I read so I can get an easy refresher later down the line.

Large 18 Month Academic Planner Moleskine Soft Cover
This was my planner from my Sophomore year of college. It is the type of planner with the entire week on the left hand of the page and a page for notes on the right. I used the note pages to write poems in.  The style of poem I write, combined with my handwriting, makes these pages the perfect length for my poems.  Actually this notebook is all filled up and needs to be replaced. 

Large Red 18 Month Academic Planner Moleskine Hard Cover
This is my current planner.  It is coming to the end of its usefulness and needs to be replaced.  This version has the week split on the left and right of the page.  There are no note pages and I use it just for writing due dates and other assignments.  I am not a huge fan of Moleskine notebooks as notebooks but I absolutely love their planners.

 Field Notes Dry Transfer Memo Book "Sage 02"
This is my book of quotes.  When I am reading a book, or listening to a speech, or consuming any type of media and see something that I like and applies to my life, or I want to adapt to fit my life, I write it down.  This book is sometimes called a commonplace book, but I call it my Sage book because it is filled with wisdom.

Field Note County Fair Pennsylvania Edition Memo Book
This is my everyday carry notebook.  I love these memo books by Field Notes and have a whole cache of them saved away so I always have a replacement.  I use this notebook as an inbox.  If I hear a quote and don't have my Sage notebook with me I write it down in this notebook to be copied later.  I write random thoughts and story ideas.  I use it for lists and to do's and do not's . It goes everywhere with me and is a quality companion for almost any pen.

Post-It Flags

These little guys are how I keep my notebooks semi-organized.  If something is important I put a flag next to it so I know to come back to that page.  Since I've started using these little flags I have become a whole lot more organized.

Not Pictured
Field Notes Steno Book
This is my absolute favorite notebook. My most recent one is all filled up right now so I'm not currently using it. However, I normally keep this open on my desk and use it for everything. It is my go to notebook when I have one and the paper is amazing.  Now I just have to order some more.

 Do you have a specific way you use your notebooks? Leave a comment and let us know.


  1. It's a great idea to have specific notebooks like that. You are very organized, unlike me! I tried sorting out my stuff but end up changing notebooks all the time or simply writing everything down in one notebook and forget about it. Time to think about change! :P

    1. The biggest change for me was honestly the post it flags. I used to write things down in my notebooks and forget about them. But now when I see a little blue or pink flag sticking out of a notebook I remember there is something important to look at or check up on.

  2. GREAT post! That is a really good way to use those post it flags--I'm going to shamelessly steal your idea :D
    I only have one in-use notebook--my Leuchtturm 1917 that I use for both journaling and just other random stuff. I did just order some Field Notes though and I plan to use those for "lists"-then it can move between my Filofax wallet and my planner.