100 Notes– 100 Thoughts

This looks like a very cool series of books, which reproduce handwritten notes, artists’ books and writings by various artists who are involved with the dOCUMENTA art festival in Germany in June 2012.


Read more at Creative Review – 100 notebooks for dOCUMENTA.

Notebook Gems

Lots of cool notebooks highlighted in this post at LookAtTheseGems.com, including these and more:

Most seem to be available on Etsy.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Galthea

This week’s addict emailed me a link to a blog post about her notebook collection, which is featured along with some other bonus items:


After coming back from Asia I decided to take picture of all my (current) journals and notebooks + few other things I use when writing and traveling.
Of course since I took the photo, the collection has grown up – I have another two pocket Leuchtturms 1917 (soft covers) – I can’t wait to try them and compare to my Moleskines.
So here you go:

And here it is with the description. Still, there are some notebooks without any tags or names – well those I mainly bought in Tuscany, or other countries in some local shops and there is no brand name on them.

You can read lots more details at My journal collection | Galthea’s blog. I would love to hear more of her travel stories, like how she had to use that pepper spray! Or of course read the stories in her notebooks. Thanks for sharing your addiction with us, Galthea!

Notebooks in the Tintin Books

I have been a passionate fan of the Tintin books ever since I was a kid. There are a few moments when notebooks make an appearance, including these:

All the images above are from King Ottokar’s Sceptre.


And there’s my favorite, which is from The Red Sea Sharks:

Maybe this is where my love of squared notebooks came from!

James Joyce’s Notebook

A page from one of James Joyce’s notebooks, which looks like some sort of ledger:

From the post at Biblioklept:

This page is from a notebook that contains some of Joyce’s preparatory notes for Ulysses—there are notes for characters “Stephen,” “Simon,” “Leopold,” etc. as well as lists “Books,” “Recipes” and general ideas “Theosophy”. This particular page, “Rhetoric,” seems to be part of the material that went into the “Aeolus” chapter of Ulysses, which plays with the windiness of rhetorical figures. From the National Library of Ireland, via UbuWeb.

Read more at  “Rhetoric” — A Page from James Joyce’s Notebooks | biblioklept.

A Fashion Designer’s Notebooks

I love this image of well-loved and beat-up notebooks, from the Facebook page of Massimo Osti:


Mattias Adolfsson Sketchbook

More fabulously detailed and whimsical Moleskine art from Mattias Adolfsson:

See more at

Sketchbook 21 on the Adweek Talent Gallery.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

This week’s addict is a bit different, as I picked her because of the way she is addicted to other people’s notebooks, not just her own. Amy Ludwig Vanderwater blogs at Sharing Our Notebooks, which “highlights pages from a variety of notebooks: paper, digital, napkin, any kind [so readers can] learn how students, authors, artists, teachers, and people of all types use notebooks to strengthen their thinking.”

This is a great blog you should all follow, as there are interesting insights on creativity, and LOTS of great photos of notebook collections! Here are a few that Amy has highlighted recently:

Kami Kinard, writer:

Heidi Mordhorst, writer and teacher:

Allan Wolf, writer:


Like me, Amy is addicted to notebook addicts! I’m looking forward to reading more of her blog.

Review and Giveaway: Monsieur Notebook

I received a sample of the Monsieur Notebook quite a long time ago, and in some ways it’s a good thing I hadn’t gotten around to reviewing it until now, as the company is growing fast and has had some interesting recent developments. Monsieur has been in business for about two years, producing hand-finished leather-bound notebooks in India. They come in various colors and sizes and paper types, and they now offer customized engraving on the covers.


In most respects, this notebook has all the standard features: ribbon marker, elastic closure, and logo stamped on the back. The inside front cover has a space for your name.

The key difference is the leather cover. Rather than being a thin layer of leather wrapped around cover boards, it’s a single layer of thick, sturdy leather, as you can see from the edges. It has that nice leather smell, and I’m sure it will soften up nicely as it ages. One immediate benefit I can see to this type of cover is that you won’t have that fraying that often happens at the corners of the spines of Moleskines and other similar notebooks, where the outer layer of the cover starts to tear from repeated folding.monsieur2monsieur3


They have a beautiful selection of colors:

The spine feels a little stiff, more so in front and back than when opening at middle, but it should soften up and break in: as the company points out on their website, “If you want your notebook to lie flat, bend the book back on itself. It can take the strain; they’re stronger than you think.”


The sample I was sent has their 90 gsm plain paper, which is smooth and somewhat “hard.” (Their “sketch” notebooks have a 140 gsm paper that is said to be “not as primed,” and better for pencil and charcoal.) All my usual pens felt good writing on it, and there was no beading-up or feathering. Only the Super Sharpie bled through. Show-through was about average.


Overall, this is quite a nice notebook and I look forward to seeing how it settles in over time. Prices start at £9.99 for A6 size, which is not super cheap, but also not unreasonable for the level of quality, I think. If you’d like to try a Monsieur Notebook yourself, at the moment your best bet may be ordering online– they are have distribution in the UK and Australia, but the US is “coming soon” at this point. In the meantime, we have a giveaway!

The folks at Monsieur Notebook have kindly offered to give one lucky reader a free notebook, including customized engraving! The winner can select any A5 or A6 notebook from their shop. I’ll select a random winner from entries received in these ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing “@M_Notebook” and “@NotebookStories, and follow “@M_notebook” and “@NotebookStories.

On Facebook, “like” the  Notebook Stories page  and the Monsieur Notebook page, and post something containing the words “Monsieur Notebook” on my wall.

On your blog, post something containing the words “Monsieur Notebook” and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this blog.

The deadline for entry is Friday May 18 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
And please remember to check my posts on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of the winner.

More on Washi Tape Notebooks

After seeing this post while ago, a reader named Saaleha sent me a link to a notebook she’d decorated with washi tape and used as a travel journal:

Washi tape is a wonder.
I carry along a few small rolls whenever I travel so that I can quickly stick down any ephemera I encounter into my journal.
I wish I’d started doing this sooner; I’d come home with packets of ticket stubs and paper coasters from a  trip and end up trashing it all because there just wasn’t enough time (or the inclination) to sit down and journal it.
Here’s a travel journal I embellished with washi and decorative masking tape:

I love the beautiful colors and patterns– such a simple and elegant way to embellish a plain notebook. This inspirted me to go looking for some more notebooks decorated with washi tape:

Washi Tape Notebook Tutorial:

Moleskine + Washi Tape:

Washi Tape Notebook:

So many colors and patterns… the possibilities are endless!