This post is inspired by Vikki from The View Outside, who drew upon Simon Whaley’s article in Writers’ Forum, to reorganise the way she records ideas for writing into separate notebooks. I have a similar system, which I’ll share with you here. I am a prolific note-maker: to do lists, shopping lists, birthday lists, packing lists you name it, I make a list. I use reporters’ notebooks for all household things and rip the pages out as I go. But for my writing, I use better quality notebooks.
These are the Moleskin notebooks I carry around with me in case of emergency note-taking. I have two different sizes which are used according to the handbag selected. The covers are plain and functional. Bruce Chatwin favoured these notebooks and bought a stock of them to take to Australia when researching his book The Songlines.
This year, I’ve decided to keep a record of all the books I read and note the details in this pretty book given to me by my niece for Christmas. You can find out which book is currently beside my bed and my latest recommendations here.
I keep a set of notebooks that I take to workshops and training sessions. This means I always know where to go when I need to look something up. I usually secure any handouts into the notebook with a paperclip and keep the pages together with an elastic band. These notebooks have a perforated line so that it’s easy to tear out pages and file them elsewhere, as necessary.
These are my special occasion notebooks. I love the ones made by Paperblanks with a tactile cover and magnetic clasps. I use them to make important notes. Literary Agent Lorella Belli commented on my notebook, when I met her for a one-to-one appointment. Pity she didn’t like my manuscript as much. Paperblanks have an interesting website which has a featured artists’ page. I submitted my details recently, but have yet to hear whether they’ll be published. You can read about other artists here.
What kind of notebooks do you use? And why?