Notebook nirvana – three stunning journals to behold

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where can I get the Chinese knockoff?


People who buy $20 notebooks like these probably don’t fill one up a week unless they make good money from doing so.

No way could I afford to spend more than a few bucks on these at the rate I chew through notebooks.


You may wonder about ghosting, bleeding, and other inkly topics; there are so many variables when it comes to pens and writing that there isn’t room to go into them in this review. I prioritize notebooks over pens; I recommend getting any of these that catches your eye, then finding the pen that works with it.

The Quo Vadis should handle pretty much anything you can throw at it, as it’s Clairefontaine 80g paper. I use a Quo Vadis Hebdo planner with fountain pens with zero issues.

I’m really happy with my $3 Moleskine knockoff. With a genuine product, I feel like I have to put important stuff in it to justify the price. With the knockoff, I actually use the notebook.

The only downside is that it doesn’t have a pocket.


I have a small leather notebook that I got as free swag from a now defunct company. Actually I have three or four–I grabbed as many as I could. They fit in my pocket and the best part is they’re refillable.

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My wife bought me a nifty notebook from Office Despot that allows me to remove and add pages as desired,

I finally use this notebook on a routine basis because now I can edit my notes and doodles easily and not obviously.

And it has dividers so if I start notes in one section and realize it really belonged in another section, I can move it.

Its nice to be able to take notes without the overwhelming dread of “what will this look like later”


I use a few different types of notebooks.
I like Field Notes notebooks for my “day books.” It’s where the jots and lists and quick sketches and all the other minutia of the days goes. They’re not too expensive ($10/3, 48 pages each), and they’re just the right size (3.5" x 5.5") to fit in a pocket. I write the opening and closing dates on each one and file them when they’re full. Each lasts me between one and three months (usually), so a three pack lasts a while. That said, I just as often make my own. Print a few pages of dot grid paper (5mm spacing, ISO pattern, ideally), cut up a file folder for a cover, slap a couple staples and round the corners, and you’re done.
For heavier tasks at work, I use Moleskine XL Black Soft Plain notebooks- dated start and ends, with each entry dated as well. Those are for work tasks, lists, notes, agendas, and the like.
For my personally, I use a Leuchtturm1917. It has numbered pages (yay!), dot grid (square…), and I usually add a few ribbon bookmarks (in addition to the single that comes with it). Lovely things for sketching, collage, writing, planning, and the like. These last a while- they have 249 pages, and my burn rate is a lot lower, too.
For dated entries I use a Hobonichi Techno, in a cover I made that adds some ribbon bookmarks. Lets me track diet, weight, emotional state, and other time-related data. Supremely made.

Yes, I know I’m a dork, and no, I don’t have a problem.


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