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5 Great Notebooks For People Who Effing Love Notebooks

Shout out to everyone who has a sliiiiight notebook buying problem!

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Hello, my pen and paper people! A new school year is upon us, so I thought it would be a good time to share some of my favorite notebooks with all of you adults who kinda sorta wish you were going back to school right now (as well as all of you youths who actually are)!

1. The Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover A5 Medium Dotted Journal, a workhorse that can hold everything, and hold its own in your bag.

This notebook is, in the words of Ludacris, my main bitch. It holds approximately 80% of the things I write down these days — my to-do lists, diary entries, habits...the whole thing. A few reasons I love it: it has that dot-grid pattern (though you can get it with lined or blank pages); the high-quality paper means your pens won't ghost; it comes in a huge range of colors; it has pre-printed page numbers and a blank index; it's just the right size; and there is a pocket in the back. It's also very sturdy — the hard cover means you can tote it around with you much of the time and you aren't going to kill it. This notebook has 240 pages, and I fill one every three months — BUT I think that's a pretty high/unusual pace, and that most people's will last them considerably longer. Get it on Amazon for $19.95.

2. The Kokuyo Campus High Grade MIO A5 Paper Notebook, whose silky pages are a dream to write on.

This was my first Kokuyo notebook and honestly, it may have ruined me. The paper quality is above and beyond that of any other notebook on this list; it's incredibly smooth and silky. (But not, like, receipt paper silky; you can actually write on it, and quite easily.) It's 160 pages, very lightweight, and even though it's a softcover, I've been impressed by how durable it is.

I use this notebook for stream-of-consciousness brain dumps when I get home from work, and I've found that it's perfect for that; it would also be great for classic journaling/diary entries, or as a work notebook. (It's the one pictured at the very beginning of this post, BTW.) Normally I don't like notebooks with a line that says "date" on each page, but I find it sort of charming here, and I use the "number" line at the top to actually number each entry. (I also add in page numbers/an index to help me stay organized.) I think it's a tiny bit too small for taking notes in most classes, but that's a personal preference. Either way, if you're looking for a lightweight and relatively inexpensive ruled journal, it's an MVP. Buy it on for $6.75.

3. The Kokuyo Campus B5 Notebook, an upgraded version of the classic spiral notebook.

I recently started doing morning pages as outlined in The Artist's Way, and you're supposed to use a pretty large notebook for this exercise. (And fill THREE of those large pages! Which is HARD but also great. More on all of this in a future post!) And yes, I could have bought, like, a $3 spiral notebook for this purpose but, well...have you met me??

Kokuyo has a line of notebooks called the Todai Series, which I'd 100% buy if I were going back to school...but because I have no plans to Never Been Kissed it, I went with those notebooks' stylish and hip older cousin instead. This one doesn't have the cool-for-school dots and lines like the Todai series, and its pages aren't as silky as the MIO's, but it's still a damn good basic notebook. I also really love the look of it — it's just very clean/neutral/elegant. It's great for anyone who wants a bigger notebook/journal, and at 200 pages, it should last you a while. Buy it on Amazon for $7.62.

4. The Moleskine Cahier Journals, which are great for anyone who wants to have a bunch of different topical journals.

I was initially using these journals for my morning pages — until I realized that they were too small, and switched to the Kokuyo B5 instead. They are just very pretty ruled journals. (There are also several other color options if pastels aren't your thing.) They are relatively thin (just 80 pages), so I'd recommend them if you want to have a bunch of different topical journals — like, say, if you want to have just a dream journal or just a gratitude journal or just a work notebook or just a burn book. They also work nicely in a traveler's-style notebook cover, which is kind of like a smaller grown-up Trapper Keeper.

One thing to note: these journals' cardboard covers are no match for the dark recesses of the average person's purse or bag; they bend/dent pretty easily. So I'd suggest going the traveler's notebook route, or using them in a way that means they can stay in one place most of the time. It's a shame because they are so lightweight, but they really are more of a stationary (heh) notebook. But if you're looking to add some slimmer journals to your collection, you can get a set of three on Amazon for $11.62.

5. The Public Supply Embossed Ledger, which is so beautiful, it kind of hurts.,,

The first time I saw a Public Supply journal, I actually gasped. And when I saw the full collection and realized that they make dot-grid journals, I basically had to be resuscitated with smelling salts.

That said, this notebook is not built to be my main notebook, as much as I wish it were; the cover isn't terribly sturdy, and it's only 96 pages. However, after I wrote a book about journaling, I was like, TRULY, WHAT BETTER TIME TO BUY MYSELF A SEMI-IMPRACTICAL BUT INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL NOTEBOOK? I talked myself out of buying the $150 11-journal set, and instead purchased the mint green and the peach, and I have been waiting for months for them to restock the pale blue.

Once I bought them, I had to find a use for them. Eventually, I decided to turn the mint one into what I think of as a sort of an "encyclopedia of you" notebook — basically a notebook where you can write the things you want to reference again and again, and don't really feel like re-copying into multiple journals. Think: the most spot-on descriptions from your Meyers-Briggs results, prayers or poems or quotes you love, the meanings of all your favorite crystals, etc. Things that are going to stay relatively constant over the course of a year or two. You could also use one of these for a specific time in your life (a very Instagrammable trip, after a breakup) or for a specific type of writing. Or you could just keep it on your desk to gaze upon admiringly and/or pet lovingly when you are sad! That's what I'm currently doing with the peach one and it's working out pretty well so far. And before you judge me for spending $16 on something that makes me happy every time I look at it, consider how many people spent $16 to sit through one showing of The Emoji Movie.

Anyway. If you, like me, cannot resist the siren song of a beautiful notebook in a gorgeous color, you can get one from Public Supply for $16.

That's all I got! What notebooks are you loving lately?

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