Top 5 Notebooks for Creative Thoughts & Notable Notes

Melissa Sugar's Five Favorite Writing Notebooks:

Top 5 list of notebooks for a Writer's Creative Thoughts +1


As a writer I know that I am in the minority when it comes to actually writing a novel. I am sure that in 2012, most of you find the luxury of a laptop with all the bells & whistles and a fancy word processor far superior to the old school notebook. I love notebooks. I love the way they feel, smell and I feel naked if I leave home without one.

There is something intimate about the experience of jotting down my creative thoughts and ideas and watching them magically transform into quirky characters, mysterious plots or vivid settings. I take it out when I overhear scandalous tidbits of conversation while standing in line at the grocery store or eating lunch at the deli. I mimic strange or unusual dialects and accents and phonetically spell out words and phrases I overhear.

I use notebooks for the plethora of list I can't live without. I jot down notable blog post and thoughts for my upcoming opening statements or closing arguments in a jury trial (back when I was still practicing law).

My notebooks are filled with song lyrics, ideas that would otherwise be long forgotten, important telephone numbers, appointment times and dates and even the numbers of the license plate on the car that once sideswiped me and kept going.

What I am saying is that I love notebooks. Every creative idea ... original idea sprung from one of my notebooks. The best ideas sprouted from one of my five (5) favorite notebooks.

As a compulsive notebook'er, I have tried just about every kind from the fifty cent notebook at the dollar store the upscale Moleskin. I like to experiment with different kinds to see how they meet my individual creative work flow and needs.

Here is a breakdown of some of my favorite notebooks:

Notebooks that Made the Gold List:


1. Moleskin - Most of you have heard of the legendary Moleskin notebooks. I used to wonder what all the hoopla was and why anyone would waste that kind of money on a notebook.  That was, until I received my first Moleskin as a gift and I fell in love. They now come in an array of bright colors and designs.


2.The Action Journal by Behance, is based on the online Action Method a suite of products that all sync to your online Action account and are designed to capture task, collaborate and get organized.


I really like it because I am utterly unorganized and on a mission to attack my vice. Action has a host of nifty gadgets that are helping me.

3. Rhodia  is not a new brand, but new to me. I have seen an upward trend among lawyers and other business executives sporting these pop orange, eco friendly designer notebooks. They are less expensive than most of the other notebooks preferred by writers and other artist, but they are not my favorite. If you are like most people and fancy a smaller notebook that is easier to carry then you will like Rhodia. Me ... not so much. I'm that odd person with a passion for gigantic notebooks.
4. Writersblok Wouldn't you know, just as I fell head-over-heals for another notebook, I discovered that it had been discontinued. You can still find WritersBlok at Amazon and a few other places. They are cute, made of 100% bamboo pulp paper and I just kind of got stuck on the catchy name. I begged off this book, despite the amazing qualities now that they've been been discontinued. I'm not getting into anymore Ebay bidding wars ... not over a notebook. I don't know if this has ever happened to you  but it sucks. I'm serious. This is for real. The exact same thing happened to my favorite Lancome perfume and I duke it out every 6 months on eBay. I kid you not.




Video Author claims this notebook is the exact, same or similar to original WritersBlok Notebook, a former favorite of many writers, authors, journalist. I certainly cannot attest to the authenticity, but I've missed the notebook so for the price, I'm willing to take a chance. What do I have to lose? Ah ... nothing! What to I have to gain? One of my all time favorite notebooks. Worst case scenario ... I get sheets of paper bound together. The quality cannot be the worst.  And c'mon is there truly a writer out there who ever -- ever -- ever has too much fucking paper. Me. I think not


5. Habana is quickly becoming my second favorite notebook behind Moleskin. They are comparative in price. Habana has a distinguished look in black, but I can't get enough of the sleek ivory color.  The Clairfontaine paper has an exceptionally smooth satin finish. This notebook proudly boast that is is the choice for many fountain pen users.


 6. Leuchtturm  ***    Update -- I used this notebook in 2018 for my Bullet Journal and I love it. In fact. I will soon write an in-depth post reviewing both the Leuchtturm Notebook
and my all time {Oh, no, say it isn't so ... could it be my former favorite ... } favorite notebook Moleskin


As Devoted as I am to Moleskin, It's hard to pass up the quality paper Leuchtturm offers. If organization is a plus for you then that point or two or maybe three goes to Leuchttrum (sorry Moleskin). The pages are already numbered, the first few pages offer quite the organized index and if you're into bullet journaling and you purchase the bullet journal version you also get a built in key. Hard to top that.

However, I'm still a fan of the size of Moleskin. They win in every category: Small, Medum, Large, and  X-large.




As I have vowed to conquer my unorganized life, I can see the benefits of this brand. Apparently, each book has numbered pages, a table of contents and a set of stickers for labeling. I intend to order one soon. Do any of you have anything to share about this style?





So, there you have it. My top 5 list of notebooks for writers and other creative souls + 1 that I am aiming to try.

Are any of you still partial to writing with pen & paper? If so do you have any notable notebooks or favorites to share?

This post partially updated 2/8/2019


16 comments:

Nicole Pyles said...

I am so basic when it comes to notebooks! I'll use the standard spiral bound kind you can find in the store! I do love the fancy kind, but for any lengthy notes I love notebooks I don't feel bad to use. :)

Melissa Sugar said...

I love notebooks, especially when they are all new and pretty and I'm the first person to write in it!  Haven't tried moleskin ones because of the price tag, but I do love spiral bound ones - I hate creased spines on any type of book! :)

Melissa Sugar said...

I love notebooks too.  I use them for notes, but I still fill at least 2 per story.  I usually prefer a spiral bound, but any notebook will do! :)

Melissa Sugar said...

Yeah, notebooks can be fun! I prefer the ye olde spiral bound neon colored ones that you get cheap because...spiral bound and neon colors! I've never used the ones above. I've only recently heard of moleskin, and the ones before this post were all black and brown and boring. I mostly use notebooks for writing outlines.

Melissa Sugar said...

I never would have tried Moleskin either, because of the price tag. I received some for Christmas last year and I love them, but I still haven't purchased any for myself . I will soon have to decide whether it is worth the money

Melissa Sugar said...

Spiral bound is so much easier to work with.

Melissa Sugar said...

I love spiral bound as well. My problem is that I have so many notebooks is almost defeats the purpose of using them to organize my thoughts.

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm also addicted to notebooks! Especially the hardback linen-covered ones from Paperchase, which I use as my main writing journal. If I see a pretty one in a shop, it's hard to resist - hence I always have a few blank ones awaiting a purpose!

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm always looking for notebooks. I've seen Moleskins, but they're a touch expensive, even if Hemingway did use them.

I'll check your offering. And try to make it back here more often.

Blessings and Beaar hugs. 

Melissa Sugar said...

Those are gorgeous notebooks! I've had to stop buying them, though. I never use them (too slow for my brain!) and they just pile up. But I love those~ :o)

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm so pleased to know I'm not the only writer who's obsessed with notebooks! My favourite is also the moleskine notebooks. My only grumble is not having somewhere to fix pens to notebooks as they frequently get separated. A notebook without a pen is a crisis!

Melissa Sugar said...

That's awesome!  I actually write all of my first drafts in small notebooks that I keep in my purse.  My last first draft took up five or six of them I think.  Then I go back and type it all up.  But I always, always, always have a notebook on my person for the same reasons as you!  So cool!  I didn't think anyone did this anymore.  I feel totally vulnerable and off-center without my notebook!

Melissa Sugar said...

Those are a lot nicer than the notebooks I use. Mead notebooks may be cheap, but they're always around my house. That way I can write down an idea ASAP!

Melissa Sugar said...

i love notebooks--these are nice!

Melissa Sugar said...

Oo, I love colorful notebooks. :) What a fun post!

Melissa Sugar said...

I do scribble quite a bit but not so much on books. I tend to use scraps of paper and then probably lose them when I actually need them! MaYBE I should try a notebook...

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