By Jiji Lee

Notebook Roundup: Celebrating the Best Notebooks For You


May 20 is National Notebook Day!

May is National Notebook Month!

Finally, a month that allows us to celebrate all our favorite journals, planners, diaries, and yes, even the classic black and white composition books from our school days.

And in this age of email and online meetings, there’s something so refreshing about writing in a simple notebook. The chaos and noise of the outside world seems to recede, and time seems to finally slow down. 

We know how powerful and restorative notebooks can be. They can help you discover your strengths, brainstorm creative ideas, and serve as an outlet for overwhelming times. 

These are our very favorite notebooks - we know they'll be yours too. Whether you’re a grad student who needs a notebook for studying or a creative who needs a notebook for brainstorms and doodles, we’ve got you covered.

Know your types of notebooks

From paper quality to covers to binding, there are so many different notebook qualities to consider. So here’s a simple guide on how to figure out which notebooks are most suitable for your needs. 

Soft cover vs hard cover

When it comes to notebook covers, you’ll want to think about your lifestyle and work environment. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you plan on doing most of your writing at home or the office?
  • Do you need a lightweight notebook that you can carry around everywhere?
  • Or do you want a notebook that’s sturdy and durable and can last you a long time?

Soft cover notebooks are a great option if you’re looking for a notebook that can go from meeting to meeting or class to class. You can just toss it in a bag and head out the door. Maybe it’s the kind of notebook you want to jot down to-do lists or take notes or brainstorm on the fly. If you plan on taking your notebook everywhere, you’ll want to avoid anything with a heavy cover. Instead, look for covers that are described as leather bound, soft cover, flexible, etc. 

Hard cover notebooks are ideal if you’re looking for a notebook that feels more special. A notebook with a beautiful, precious cover can lend itself more import, making you feel excited every time you write in it. If you’re looking for a gift for yourself or recent grads or work colleagues, then a hard cover notebook is always a fantastic option.

Spiral vs bound

Some people prefer spiral bound notebooks because of the flexibility they offer. The cover lays flat, plus you can easily flip through pages, which makes note-taking a breeze. You can also easily tear out sheets which is convenient if you want to share or discard any notes. 

A spiral notebook wouldn’t be ideal if you’re looking for a more durable notebook and want to keep all your pages. In that case, look for “bound” notebooks. If you want the sturdiness of a bound notebook with the flexibility of a spiral notebook, you can find options like the Ink+Volt soft cover notebook, which has top quality binding that still allows your notebook to lay flat and open like a book. 

Lined pages vs dot grid

Lined pages are ideal for students and professionals who intend to use their notebook primarily for note taking and studying, and require a notebook with structure. 

Dot grid is optimal for people who want more flexibility in their notebooks, and want to be able to customize it to create their own layouts. You can use the dot grid pattern to create calendars, graphs, grids, habit trackers, and more.

For more help with notebooks sizes, check out our guide here.

Best notebook for budding entrepreneurs: Hatch Notebook 

If you’re looking for an outlet to journal your thoughts, brainstorm your next business idea, or put your plan into action, you’ll love the Hatch notebook. It’s like a notebook and professional development guide all in one. This notebook gives you the flexibility to unleash your creativity and the structure to make it happen. 

That’s why we love the Hatch Notebook to develop your next big idea. With 3 sections titled: Conceive, Incubate, and Hatch, you’ll be able to take your big ideas and then break them down into doable action steps. 

Best notebook for productivity: The Leuchtturm1917 softcover notebook

Whether you’re a fan of bullet journaling or looking for a notebook to help you organize all your to-do lists, tasks, and deadlines, then you’ll love the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook.

The pages are numbered (so you can easily find what you’re looking for) and you can add your own headings to the table of contents, making this a comprehensive notebook to organize your goals, track habits, maintain your daily tasks, and visually record your progress.  

Best notebook for students: Ink+Volt soft cover notebook

This is a light-weight and portable option for students on the go. Our soft cover notebook can easily fit into your backpack--and you won’t have to worry about it weighing you down. You can choose from lined pages (perfect for copious notes) or dot grid (great for brainstorming and list taking). Bonus: the book lays flat so you can easily write down notes without any distractions.

This would also make a thoughtful gift for a recent grad. With its high quality pages, cover, and binding, your recipient would feel so touched to receive this gift. 

Best notebooks for executives: The Executive Notebook by Ink+Volt x Kunisawa

This elegant and exquisitely crafted notebook is perfect for managers and executives who need a notebook that can capture their notes and ideas, while also being lightweight and durable enough to bring along to meetings and work trips.

The bigger A5 size allows for more space to brainstorm and strategize and the dot grid pattern is customizable for lists, tracking tasks, and more. The beautiful, understated notebook would also make a great gift for a manager or a work colleague who just received a promotion. 

Best notebooks for your first job

Ink+Volt hardcover notebooks come with the same high quality materials as our planners. This is the perfect notebook for people who’ve just landed their first big job and want to make a good impression in their new role. The gorgeous cover is smooth and almost suede like, while the pages are bright white, smooth, and great for fountain pens. This is the notebook that you can bring with you to your first meetings and display proudly at your desk. 

Best notebook for self-development: Ink+Volt Daily Reflection Journal

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with work and professional obligations, and you’re looking for a way to ground yourself, then our Reflection Journal is your new confidante.

The Reflection Journal is a structured and supportive tool to help you review your days, analyze your strengths, and gather inspiration for tomorrow. This guided journal is perfect for anyone who needs to call on their inner coach to help encourage them and push them to keep moving forward. 

If you’d like even more suggestions for the perfect notebook, check out our guide here.