It’s more than just a collection of blank pages.
The best writing notebooks can inspire some of your best work. Whether you’re an aspiring author, reporter searching for a scoop, or looking to level-up your note-taking game, it’s pivotal to have the right tools.
Most writers will tell you the right notebook can make all the difference, and not all notebooks are suitable for every situation. It all depends on your style, workflow and goals. Sometimes a blank page really helps you express your ideas and other times you need a little push with a prompt. In short, it takes all kinds!
For whatever your day brings — creative or technical, hectic or orderly — there’s a notebook for that!
Best writing notebooks for a meeting
Meetings can be fast-paced places, and you need a notebook that can help you keep up. Keeping track of comments, decisions and next steps is just a little bit of what you’ll have to record in a meeting. You may also want to write down questions or observations for later use.
A good notebook for meetings is one that gives you enough room to record everything happening while also leaving enough space for your own thoughts and ideas. It also has to be sleek and professional.
Our pick: The Executive Notebook. It’s made with high-quality materials that give the notebook both a modern and timeless look (this is the perfect notebook for fountain pen users because of how thick the pages are). It’s also a bit bigger than the standard A5-sized notebooks you’re probably used to. That makes this notebook a game-changer in meetings, especially if you like to include bullets, graphics or diagrams.
Best writing notebooks for on-the-go
Are you taking notes on the fly? If so, it probably goes something like this: you’re scribbling notes down — maybe a little frantically — as they happen. Recording details, quotes and reminders may even feel a little haphazard. You need to be able to write fast and keep moving.
A bulky, large notebook for these instances just won’t do.
Instead, you’ll want a palm-sized notebook so that you can walk and write if you need to, or you can pull it out of a bag (or pocket) in a moment’s notice. Anything bigger will slow you down.
Reporter-style notebooks are best for these types of notes. Journalists are the pros of note taking during hectic events, and it might just be because they’ve mastered the notebook. Long and slim, a reporter-style notebook can be held with just one hand. Even flipping the page (which is typically bound by spirals at the top of the page) only requires a simple movement. However you find yourself feverishly scribbling notes, you’ll want to make sure you have something similar.
For something a little more sophisticated in the field, try a side-bound notebook. As long as it’s small enough to tuck away while traveling, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Best writing notebooks for big ideas
Brainstorming can be a difficult process. After all, ideas are messy things! Having a notebook that can capture it all is a must for any creative person.
You’ll want something with blank, gridded or dotted pages. Lines just tend to get in the way of creativity sometimes, and if you’re making mind maps or doodling, something more minimal might be more helpful.
Another helpful feature for brainstorming notebooks is that they have pages that can withstand heavier inks. You may want to use these pages for highlighting or writing in different colors to really get the creative juices flowing, so don’t skimp out here.
Best writing notebooks for freewriting and journaling
Journaling is one of the best mindfulness activities. It helps boost creativity, minimize stress, and it has endorsements from everybody from Marcus Aurelius to Michelle Obama because it’s so restorative. The great thing about it is that you can tailor it to your style and needs.
Whether it’s for a creative project, daily reflection or in a professional setting that helps you find further purpose, a good journaling notebook is a must.
A few things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect journaling notebook:
- Lined pages are best for writing, but don’t let that stop you from getting creative. A simple notebook gives you plenty of freedom.
- A hard cover is great if you’re a traveler. It’ll keep your pages protected.
- Customizable contents pages can really make your journal feel special.
Best writing notebooks with prompts to inspire you
A writing notebook doesn’t have to be blank to be useful. In fact, you might get a lot of use out of a journal that’s laced with prompts. Prompts are great when you need a little nudge on your creative journey, but still want to explore.
A few of our favorites:
Gratitude Journal — Did you know that a gratitude practice can make you happier? It’s true. This notebook was specifically designed with the power of gratitude in mind. In just a few minutes each day you can be a little bit closer to feeling less stressed and a lot more blissful. Through its pages, you'll discover what small things truly matter to you and how to pass that feeling on to people around you.
Prompt Journal — Let’s face it. Journaling isn’t always the easiest form of self-care. A blank page can be really intimidating. This notebook takes all of that pressure away. With 91 prompts, you’ll have nearly three months of topics. The best part? You won’t spend a bunch of time overthinking what you choose to write about every journaling session. That makes the whole process a bit easier.Reflection Journal — Making a change in life takes some deep self-reflection, and knowing where to start or which details matter the most can be a challenge. Ink+Volt’s Reflection Journal asks all the right questions so you can start dissecting your habits and experiences, which will help you really learn about your day so you can improve it.