I love writing long-hand. Taking notes long-hand. I love the way the pen looks on paper. The feeling of a complete notebook - though I have so few because I love them so much. Here are a few of my favorite journals to write in.
Okay so narrowing down my choices was incredibly difficult. I write in a lot of journals - some more than others - but a lot nonetheless. I treat my journals a lot like books - I rarely finish them. But below are a few journals I've finished and loo forward to completing more of in the future.
I just love the style of the Evernote journal. Not a huge fan of the green/black colors, but it's their brand and I get it. It's an incredibly well-made piece to have in your collection. They definitely didn't skimp on the construction of the journal itself.
The journal comes with more than blank pages, though. It also comes with stacks of stickers, etc. that incorporate into the Evernote app somehow. I have yet to try this feature because all I want to do with a new journal is write in it. Some could view this added "feature" as fluff - but if you're disciplined enough to utilize what else you get with the journal, then by all means.
Here is a more in-depth explanation of how their notebooks "work":
"The new Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine uses Evernote's Page Camera feature to capture the pages of your notebook with your smartphone or tablet. Evernote Page Camera is available for the current iOS and Android release. Evernote Smart Notebook features unique 'Evernote ruled' and 'Evernote squared' page styles with dotted lines designed to ensure a clean image when digitally capturing your notebook. Moleskine Smart Stickers introduce Smart Tagging into your workflow. When you capture a page with Evernote, the Smart Sticker icons become searchable, digital tags that make it easy to keep your ideas organized and to keep your digital and analog workspaces synced. Each Evernote Smart Notebook comes with 3 months of Evernote Premium, which offers a number of added features to make your newly-digitized, handwritten content more accessible, searchable, and shareable."
So there you go. As you can see, a super cool tool if you use it correctly. Or, if you're more like me, you just want a place to write. They have that too.
I was anti-Moleskine for a while. I became a notebook snob for a little bit. But having gone through that phase, I realized it's all paper. Sure some is softer than others, or my favorite pens look better on higher quality paper - but that was all semantics. It didn't matter. So I reverted back to Moleskin and haven't really looked back.
First of all, they're incredibly accessible. I only bought the "higher quality" brands online because, well, that was the only place I could find them. But if I go to a Target or Barnes and Noble, I'll be greeted with a rainbow of Moleskine colors. So I caved. I went back to them and am really coming back around on to the entire brand.
Second, they are super high quality notebooks. You don't need an indestructable notebook per se, but knowing that your idea book isn't going to fall apart is nice. And these for sure won't. Now I'm speaking strictly from the experience of using the 8.25 x 5 sizes (I think that's the size?), not the little pocket, "field notes" sized pads.
Build and accessibility are my go-to's for choosing Moleskine as my second-favorite. You can find them anywhere, and you know you're getting your moneys worth because they won't fall apart.
Sidenote: My brother got me an unlined version for Christmas and I fell in love. I used to not like their lack of structure but have suddenly warmed up to them quite a bit. The freedom is super nice and I rarely find myself wanted to write on the lines. Plus it gives me an excuse to word-vomit all over the pages and not seem like a total crazy person.
3. Baron Fig
I first heard about Baron Fig when listening to the founder of Digg.com, Kevin Rose, on Joe Rogan's Podcast. He preached about not only the quality of the paper, but that the journal itself laid flat. I was obsessed. A journal that LAID FLAT right away? So I bought a couple, and yeah, they're pretty good.
The front and back covers of the journal are covered in an almost jersey-like material. That alone sets it apart from the classic leather or thick paper-covered journals. The paper does the job - ink doesn't bleed (or hasn't yet) and the lines are spaced neatly. The line spaces seem larger than Moleskine, but this obviously isn't a big deal, unless you're a line space stickler.
The only thing I've noticed I don't like so far is that the cover of it begins to "pill" much like an old t-shirt or sweatshirt would. Again, not the biggest issue, but a small drawback for a product that stands out as much as Baron Fig journals do.
4. Undated Planners
Sadly it wasn't until recently that I was exposed to the awesomeness that are undated planners. I always felt so pressured to finish one in a calendar year. Oh how silly I was.
Undated planners are the move. Especially if you're so "shiny toy syndrome" like me. I love some new toy for literally 20 minutes and then it's on to the next. So undated planners are perfect for me - or anyone who has that same issue.
Currently I'm using two - the Panda Planner and the Law of Attraction planner. Both get the job done, each with more features than the other, of course. I like both of them a lot for different reasons:
- The Law of Attraction planner seems to have better quality materials and is much larger than the Panda Planner
- The Panda Planner is your typical black leather planner, but has spaces for things like "I'm Grateful For" or "I'm Excited About" - and event "Affirmations" and "End of Day Review"
- The Law of Attraction planner has some of the mentioned above, but the spaces aren't as big and you don't get a ton of room to write
As you can see, they each cater to a different person. I've liked having both because I can mix-up which one I use on which days depending on how I feel or what I want to work on. If I'm super motivated and want to write my Affirmation or what my focus is for the day, I'll choose the Panda Planner. If I want to plan out my whole week and jot down a ton of notes, the Law of Attraction planner is my go-to.
So what do you of my list? Do you have any favorites that I'm missing? Leave them in the comment section below - I'd love read about them!