Cheap Notebooks at Barnes & Noble

Spotted at a B&N: bargain priced Piccadilly notebooks (medium size only) and a prompted journal/sketchbook, obviously modeled on Wreck This Journal. These were in the bargain book section, along with some other low-priced sketchbooks and journals, separate from the stationery/art supply/full-priced journal section of the store.

Writing in a Journal Can Help You Disconnect and Focus

“If you needed a reason to get off your smartphone from time to time, consider that keeping a written journal may actually improve your life.”

This article has some tips for those who haven’t yet succeeded in developing the habit of journaling: 4 Tips to Keep a Personal Journal That Can Help You Disconnect and Focus

Flying Tiger Notebooks

Flying Tiger is a Danish design store — they’ve recently opened a location in New York, and when I checked it out recently, I found that they have some amazingly cheap notebooks!
They have colorful composition books for only $2:
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There are also 3 sizes of hardcover journals, 4×6″ for $1, 6×8″ for $2, and 8×12″ for $3.
They come in a variety of solid colors and patterns.
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It seems like the kind of store where the products are frequently changing, so it will be interesting to see what other notebooks come along over the next few months…

Notebook Addict of the Week: Saeed

This week’s addict is a self-described “Moleskine whore” who blogged about his sudden infatuation at NitroCats:

“I have a confession to make: I’ve become a bit of a Moleskine whore. And I’m okay with that. It started a few months ago when I wanted to get back into screenwriting and wasn’t feeling very creative sitting in front of a word processor. So I packed the nearest notebook I could find and wrote things down the old-fashioned way. And it felt great….

A few months go by and my Moleskine collection has multiplied like a horny jackrabbit. “

That does indeed look like a pretty serious addiction! A whole shelf-full of various sizes and styles of Moleskines, all waiting to be filled!

Read more at: I’ve become a bit of a Moleskine whore – NitroCats

Logo Designers’ Sketchbooks

Here’s an article I came across at

Inside a Logo Designer’s Sketchbook:

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“Every designer has their own design process, but paper and pen is the first place to start for most. You can quickly sketch and explore ideas with no limitations.

Some designers may choose to work directly on the computer, but personally I find that designs can feel refined and perfected far too quickly without any real experimentation. Sketching on paper allows slight variants to be explored very quickly, and often small mistakes and scribbles can actually form the basis of better ideas. I spend most of my time on the computer anyway, so drawing in a sketchbook is a welcoming break.

The beauty of drawing ideas on paper is that you can scribble without worry. Nobody is going to see your work. You can scribble and doodle for as long as you want. Sometimes an idea might be rubbish, but who cares? Free your mind of those crazy ideas, and doodle until the perfect idea comes together. You don’t need to draw perfectly or be an artist as long as you can produce the final piece. All that’s being put on paper at this stage is the underlying idea, and its for your reference only.”

Lots more to read and additional images at



Journal Junky

It’s always cool to see someone turn their love of notebooks into a business:

“Nicole Watkins knows firsthand that faithfully writing in a journal can change your life.

“I’ve been journaling since I was a little girl. I loved that connection between the hand and the mind and writing would always get me through sad times and happy times,” Watkins said.

She called herself a journal junky, buying up paper to record her life. Until she had the idea to save some money by making her own journals. Then Watkins took a brave step further. Why not make journals for others to write in?

Now she’s built a thriving online business, Journal Junky, operating out of her West Asheville home, and making her first ventures into nontraditional book publishing.”


Visit her Etsy shop at this link!

Source: Asheville woman’s journals turn tough times into success

Notebook Addict of the Week: Naomi Leeman

This week’s addict is a designer and illustrator who has filled many Moleskines with collages from her travels, among other things:

“For the past several years, I’ve keep a sketchbook that I use for everyday notes, ideas, lists, sketches, as well as travel collages.  I carry it with me everywhere and, recently, it has been filling up with new Japanese words I’m learning!  Whenever I travel, I add collages of each city I visit.  You know all those maps, brochures, and ticket stubs you collect while traveling?  I have always hated throwing all that information away; I have this irrational desire to hang on to it all because I’ll want to look at it again one day!  Of course, I never actually look at it again, so I’ve decided to save some of it in my sketchbooks by cutting it up and making collages. ….  Between sketching and collaging, I’m sure my collection of black Moleskine notebooks will continue to grow.  Filled with good memories, preserved for the future.”

Read more and see lots more collages at: Travel Collages — Naomi Leeman

Magma Sketchbooks

The Magma sketchbooks are an interesting combination of blank sketchbook and reference guide. They are available in various formats for different creative disciplines such as fashion and architecture, each containing pages with handy information relating to that field.
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The whole series is available at Amazon.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Toby

This week’s addict tweeted a photo of his collection with the note

“so, this is what I had in arm’s reach today; decided to spread it out and see. :-)

I love this collection! There’s a little of everything– Rhodia, Doane Paper, Whitelines, Federal Supply Service military notebooks, Furrow Books (a Kickstarter project), Piccadilly, Apica and probably quite a few more that I can’t quite identify.

Thanks for sharing your addiction, Toby!

Harvard Business Review: Paper or Digital?

I noticed these two dueling articles, both on the Harvard Business Review website:

What You Miss When You Take Notes on Your Laptop

“Even in my relatively short foray into office life, I notice that few people bring a pen and notebook to meetings. I’ve been told that over the years, the spiral notebooks and pens once prevalent during weekly meetings have been replaced with laptops and slim, touch-screen tablets.

I suppose it makes sense. In a demanding new age of technology, we are expected to send links, access online materials, and conduct virtual chats while a meeting is taking place. We want instant gratification, and sending things after the meeting when you’re back at your desk feels like too long to wait. It seems that digital note-taking is just more convenient.

But is longhand dead? Should you be embarrassed bringing a pen and paper to your meetings? To answer these questions, I did a little digging and found that the answer is no, according to a study conducted by Princeton’s Pam A. Mueller and UCLA’s Daniel M. Oppenheimer. Their research shows that when you only use a laptop to take notes, you don’t absorb new materials as well, largely because typing notes encourages verbatim, mindless transcription.”

Dear Colleague, Put the Notebook Down

“I knew right away, when you walked in here with a paper notebook — a paper notebook! — I realized that this meeting was not going to be a good use of our time.

You’d make better use of your time if you took your notes in digital form, ideally in an access-anywhere digital notebook like Evernote that makes retrieval a snap. If you had that, I could shoot you the link of the book I want you to read, or the contact card of the person you want to meet. And if you planned to act any of the ideas or outcomes from this meeting, you would want to pop the follow-up tasks into your task management program.

Unless you reserve 20 minutes after each meeting to transcribe your notes and enter your follow-up tasks, however, most of this meeting’s value will slip like sand through a sieve. And if you’re taking 20 minutes to transcribe each meeting, you’re losing several hours per week of productive work time.”

Now obviously, I like paper notebooks. I like digital tools too. But I found the “you’re wasting my time and yours” tone of the anti-paper article to be extremely rude and condescending. Why should my paper notebook stop anyone from sending me a digital note? I wouldn’t be reading that book or calling that person til I got back to my desktop computer anyway! And the research in the first article indicates that typing notes on a laptop may change the way people process information, in a negative way.

Ultimately, everyone will have their own preferred style of taking notes in a method that works well for them. I usually have a paper notebook AND a digital device when I go to a meeting. I can quickly jot down notes, circle things, draw arrows, whatever. (I also doodle a lot, and there have been studies that claim doodling can help you focus, rather than being a distraction.) I may later transfer something from my notes to digital form, but it certainly doesn’t take me 20 minutes. I could never take notes as efficiently on a tablet or laptop, but I like having one handy in case I do need to look something up or refer to an email. If someone else uses a laptop in a meeting, I don’t hold it against them, and I would expect them to respect my choice of note-taking method too.

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