October 10, 2008

Weekend Wonderings - The Perfect Notebook

I'm headed out of town for a long weekend, but wanted to throw this out there real quick before I go:  What qualities make up the perfect notebook for you?

This is a pretty broad question, but the comments are wide open for you to post your thoughts.  Has anyone ever found the perfect notebook for them?  We all have different requirements.  For me, I like a medium size - say 8"x5" - with a firm but flexible cover, grid lines, and smooth paper for a variety of writing instruments.  I can hit most of those basic requirements, but I seem to be struggling with the paper being smooth enough.  And if I do find some paper I like, I generally don't like the notebook for other reasons.  I probably haven't experimented enough, but I have yet to have that aha! moment with one particular notebook.

So tell me, what does it for you in a notebook?

I likely will not have internet access while I am gone, so I'll be sure to respond in the comments when I get back on Tuesday.  And keep an eye out on the blog next week - it looks like I am about ready to start the giveaways.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy what is in store!


Marcel said...

Great question, esp. for fountain pen aficionados (moi) b/c of feathering issues.

Lines: Clairfontane with no lines whatever (blank). Binding: I like each of theirs and have a mix. As to size, I generally use the A4. But if I want a smaller size, I have a friend with a paper guillotine--they're scary but incredible at cutting several hundred pages effortlessly--cut the A4 in half to make an A5 notepad.

[ A FASCINATING story on A4 paper (ISO) and its origins is here: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-paper.html ]

The bummer is that these notebooks are not available in the US, so I have to import them from France via the distributor. It takes 6 months, and I have to order in bulk.

Ms Meghan said...

I generally love Moleskines, but if not, white legal pads. Not yellow. I pretty much exclusively use white paper (and black pens) unless I don't have a choice. Or I'm using a Moleskine. :)

pigpogm said...

The size would probably have to be that of a Pocket Moleskine - just enough space for notes and scribbles, while still fitting in a pocket.

The cover has to be fairly hard - I do most of my scribbling lying down, so I need something that doesn't bend - just like a Pocket Moleskine.

Lines have to be narrow. I actually prefer squared - just like a Pocket Squared Moleskine.

It needs to have a pocket, so I can use it in place of a wallet. Kind of like a Pocket Moleskine, I guess.

The paper should be smooth and white, and take fountain pens well - like a, er... Clairefontaine. The one thing that lets Moleskines down.

marianne walker said...

I'd say the ideal book would be small, no lines, with a super smooth, clean writing surface (like a Moleskine or a Copic Sketchbook). Something that feels smooth and is begging to be filled with fine, detailed artwork. But then you have to pair it with a larger, bright white book for really big ideas.

Smooth, crisp paper is the key. Paper that will accept fine ink perfectly and even make sucky pens look nice.

AlwaysSecondBest said...

to be honest it does depend on what its for, for work i use a large moleskine, for personal i use a pocket moleskine,

the one thing that notebooks do need is a hard cover, a back pocket, an elastic closure and squared paper. this all makes it seem like the perfect notebook is a moleskine

but moleskines's lack one thing, good paper, I never use my fountain pen in a moleskine it bleeds far too much.

so the perfect notebook? a moleskine with clairfontainr or rhodia paper would be nice.

oh and why not put perforated pages so you can remove stuff if you need too?

thedudeabidesninety said...

I tend to use either 5x3 index cards, Moleskines or Field Notes. All are good. All have +'s and -'s!!

Jessica said...

My favorite these days is the 'next basis' twin-ring notebook, made from recycled materials. Very smooth pages with 6mm ruling. Perfect for work and my favoite signo and frixon pens.

Jason said...

I have yet to find the perfect notebook, but I know some of the features I'd like to find in one.
1) No metal ring binding. These always end up deforming and ruining a notebook.
2) High quality paper - I use a fountain pen, and need to resist feathering.
3) Computation Pad lines - faint grid paper, so I can have structure if I need it.

I look forward to trying some of these suggestions - Moleskine seems popular, but has been a bit expensive for me to try thus far.

dowdyism said...

This is great stuff - thanks everyone!

Biffybeans said...

Hardback...lies flat...smooth paper that is FP friendly. Prefer ivory over white. Pretty much a Mole with better paper. I can't wait to get my hands on the NEW Rhodia Webnotebook....