The notebook is the base for journaling, so it’s necessary to choose one that is suitable for you. There are many types of sizes, and different types of paper. Some have added details, others don't. The binding can also be an important detail. All this is to say that there are many things to consider.
What size do you need?
To start off... Do you plan on carrying your journal with you? or Will it remain at home? Do you need a lot of space or no?
Once you have your answer you may have an idea as to which size may work best with your daily routine.
- A5 notebooks are most likely to be suitable for everyone. They are small enough to fit in a bag, but big enough to write comfortably and have enough space.
- A6 or B6 formats are smaller notebooks and might be more convenient.
- B5 is more on the larger side.
Here are some different sizes :
The Cover Material :
Usually you will have to choose between a hard or soft cover. Everything depends on your personal taste. Different types of covers are classic leather, fabric, or paperback. Some alternatives to real leather are faux leather or PU leather.
What type of paper do you need?
The most important detail. Will you be drawing, painting, or just writing?
You can have the most beautiful notebook in the world but if the paper doesn’t live up to your standards, you may not enjoy using it. And it quickly turns into a “bad notebook”. It might be just paper, but there is a lot to consider before buying your notebook.
- Thickness: Often we think that the thicker the paper is, the better it is, but that isn’t always the case.
- 80gsm-90gsm is okay for using basic pens and pencils.
- 140gsm-180gsm is the better choice to avoid ghosting, if you're going to paint or use markers (non-alcoholic).
- Paper Treatment : All paper isn’t treated or manufactured the same way. Some paper have a coating that prevents quick absorption, meanwhile some paper exists without it. The no-coating isn't necessarily a bad thing because if it was manufactured in the correct way, it should hold up to ghosting and quick absorption also.
- Binding : The technique in which the paper is bound.
- Metal binding or staples, this is more often used in notebooks containing a few pages.
- Spiral binding, allows a notebook to be opened flat, but the spirals can be a nuisance when writing and the pages may fall out over time.
- Stitched binding, is the most durable binding over time because the sheets are sewn by a thread and not just glued together.
- What paper color do you like? Paper color ranges from natural white, ivory, to bright white. You can also find notebooks with brown kraft paper and even black pages.
- Do you want Blank, Dotted, Lined, or Graph Paper?
If you like to draw you may naturally turn to blank pages. If you like to write a lot, then perhaps lined pages might be the better choice, however you also have the option of dotted or graphed. Personally I enjoy writing and drawing so I have a dotted notebook. You can always experiment and try new paper styles, no matter what you are doing.
Something else to consider...
Some notebooks come with a few added details which may make a difference in your final choice. Such as : bookmarks, storage envelope for storing small paper, stickers, an elastic closure, or even a pen holder. All these accessories aren't essential, so it is up to you if you like them.
As you can see, choosing a good notebook is important! You may want it to last throughout the time of use, or even through the years.
Where to find your notebook?
Generic notebooks can be found in just about every store. But if you are looking for something more specific you can find interesting items in art stores.
If you have read this far, than you have read everything and I thank you. If someone you know is looking for a new notebook, don't hesitate to share this article.
Most of all, don't hesitate to leave me a comment down below, or find me on Instagram. Likewise, if you have any suggestions, I would be happy to read them.