Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Often I decide it's time to make myself a proper notebook, sometimes I make the book, seldom I actually use the book. For some reason I'm fine with books bound by others, but self made ones are trouble from the start. Maybe it is that I somehow find combining my two favorite things, bookbinding and writing, is a bad idea. My bookbinding and writing moods are quite the opposite, I need peace and quiet when I write (inside my head, for bookbinding I need those things outside it).

This one is the second real book I've ever made, and it took years before I even used it as a notebook, and never finished it. I did get closer to finishing it than usual, but still... all books made by me used by me end up only half-full.

My current notebook system may be a bit odd, but it works for me. I need a notebook wherever I go, even though I don't even use one everyday, but if I don't have one, I'm bound to come up with a master plan for the thing I've always wanted. But here's how my life is organized right now: three skinny lined notebooks*, a rubber band and two or three 0.01 pens, tossed in my handbag. One of the notebooks is for crafty things, planning and writing down shopping lists for 50cm invisible zippers and teal blue sewing thread. The other is a diary/poetry/serious writing notebook. And the last (the middle one, actually) is full of diary/poetry/serious stuff but needs to be carried around everywhere because important things were written in it (just realized it would be in a much safer place at home behind several locks).
There may be hope in the world as long as there are notebooks. At least my handwriting has possibly stopped deteriorating.

Would you please tell me about your notebook? I'd love to hear what you use it for (notes, drawings, newspaper clippings?), what it looks like,  if you keep it in a special place and whatever comes to mind. You can leave a comment or you can email me (the address is in my profile). What would make me really happy is if you sent me a photo or two. I'd love to make a little blog post of other people's notebooks too. Just write a line or two (or twenty) for me, if you're in the mood for sharing.

This isn't a call for artist's notebooks! I'm interested in your notebook (simply curious, I admit!), and if you happen to be an artist, well, maybe we can both live with it :) I'm equally fascinated by the notebooks of engineers and gardeners and all you people out there.

And geez, enough with the snow already!!

*from Muji, I hoard these whenever in London.


  1. Every year around my birthday I make myself a new journal. Often with elaborately planned out covers. One year the cover was a painting on silk. Another, a quilted dusky skyline. I have done this for the last 4 years. (Previously I wouldn't fill up a whole book in a year)
    I then carry the book around with me everywhere. My shoulderbag must be of a size to hold it. The goal then is to fill it up or have it close to full in time to start a new one on my birthday. Notes, lists, drawings, clippings, poetry, art post cards, metro tickets. Whatever seems important at the time. Starting the freshly new one is always the hardest part!

  2. Hmm, this could be a new year blog post because let's be honest, don't we all think about starting a new notebook in the new year? I know I do and I have been thinking about it this week.
    I have a notebook for notes and a diary for dates and then a journal - of which I have a growing collection of angst-riddled documentation of my life. It's kind of an ideas scrapbook too, recipe file, etc. I've never tried to record what's in each one, but I have a reasonably good memory for where a certain recipe or craft idea has been placed. I like that to read back over them is a delight to find buried ideas, or even that what I thought were new ideas go back some time. Hmmmm. I'll have to ponder this some more, I think.

  3. Notebooks are constant companions in my life (at one stage I had 22 of them in use at the same time - each with its own purpose).
    Now I limit them to a handful.
    A weekly planner for daily organizing; a reporter style with squared pages for explorations and observations that include my own photographs and ephemera; a ruled notebook for writing down thoughts, feelings, musings that will remain private; a notebook with plain heavy paper for drawings, watercolor and project planning; a spiral-bound, ruled pad for lists and reminders.
    The ruled pad goes into my bag when I leave the house while the others remain on my desk.
    I am most happy using notebooks with plain hard covers that open flat when in use. Should that covers be clad in leather ... well now, that is close to perfect.

  4. I carry everyday with me two notebooks, one diary for taking notes of I must do or dates or birthdays (moleskine one) and a plain notebook to draw, take notes of shops, magazines, cut and sticke notes. And I have some more at home. One for travelling, like a travel diary, for drawing and writing when I am outside. I don´t use notebooks for serious writting so I have lots of papers round my house and mother house (must do something with that) and I used to write a diary...probably will have to start again, need to talk to someone. And a pair more, one for leather notes and other for craft projects, logo making or so... Notebook girl.

  5. notebooks may just be the key to my life, my future life. I have many notebooks, lots and lots of them including a beautiful one made by you but these are in my ''looking at'' corner (along with my Marimekko napkins). Instead I use bits of paper, scraps that I am always losing. I don't make new year resolutions beecause I think new year is hyped but I think I may make myself a promise for wednesday, use a notebook, who knows it may lead to other parts of my life being better organised!

  6. I like notebooks with graph paper. I especially love engineers or surveyors notebooks and field guides. Right now, I have three running notebook. I use them all, switching in between them depending on my mood. I also like to make notebooks for other people, and always hope they'll use them. This one is my favorite.

  7. i am a disorganized notebooker. i wasn't always like this. when i was younger, i didn't have much, including notebooks. so, i often only had one or two to write and draw in.

    but now, i have way too many notebooks to keep track of them. i try to keep them organized. one for sketching, one for plotting out my crafty pursuits, one to make life's many lists, one to keep track of expenses, one to carry around in my purse for little notes. but.. that never works out. i end up grabbing the nearest notebook and using that one for whatever need it is i have. i have managed to keep one strictly as a diary for small thoughts. something that i hope to use for many years by keeping my thoughts to a few lines and writing in it only periodically. that's the only notebook that has kept to its original purpose.

  8. I use many notebooks at same time two of which I have always in bag; one must-do-work-issues and other all-around-private. At home I make art journal, private gluebook, written diary, another for serious thoughts and several travel journals. Basically me life is in books I make. And yes it is difficult to explain to others.

  9. I've cut it down to just one 5x7 spiral bound sketchbook, with a big fat fountain pen. I use it most for sketching, but when I need I write in it. Not fancy, but I am uncomfortable leaving the house without it.


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