Being a digital agency, we work in a paperless office and pride ourselves in our minimal carbon footprint, however, we do believe that sometimes the best impromptu ideas are housed in that oh-so-perfect notebook. Kind of like how writers like Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde were said to have their own pocket notebooks, jotting down thoughts as soon as moments of inspiration hit them. And so, we like to think that’s how characters like Robert Cohn and Lady Brett Ashley developed, or lines like “we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars” came about. Here are a few of our favourite notebooks to dump all your creative juices into.
1) FIELD NOTES
Field notes are excellent pocket sized notebooks manufactured in the U.S. with the intent of being used in different environments and situations for note taking. They pride themselves on being durable and are thin enough (48 pages) to be carried in your back pocket providing convenience and simplicity to the writer. Types of paper include blank, ruled, grid, and dotted. Field Notes does a great job in creating special 3-packs that are limited edition, seasonally designed, or exclusive to certain locations. For example, the Expedition Pack, printed on waterproof and tearproof Yupo Synthetic Paper, or Starbucks Reserves Coffee Origin set featuring the different coffee growing regions, sold exclusively at Seattle’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery.
Rhodia’s iconic orange and black design makes this brand easily distinguishable, not to mention they’re very affordable for a high quality notebook. Made in France in a variety of sizes and paper types including blank, lined, grid, and dotted, Rhodia dates back to 1934 and are becoming more and more popular today. The notepad design makes it unique from the other brands, folding upwards and back, and the paper quality is higher compared to brands such as Moleskine, allowing for the use of fountain or more inky pens without feathering or bleeding. You can’t go wrong with Rhodia’s durable, no-frills, simplistically designed notebooks.
Japanese-based brand, Midori, has a dedicated following across Asia. If you want to geek out on organization and note-taking, recommended is Midori’s Traveler’s Notebook. Though the price may be a deterrent, this is an investment that will last you a long time. It’s a simple and beautiful leather cover that will age and wear over time dependant on the frequency of use. The huge perk of the Traveler’s notebook is its customizability, users can add various notebooks (not just Midori brand – Field Notes fits perfectly as well!), zip cases, and even a pen clip through connecting bands. In this way, each Traveler’s Notebook is meaningful and unique to each individual. Patrick Ng is a big, big fan – be sure to check out his Instagram feed for some stationary inspo.
Nowadays, it’s easy to get your hands on a Moleskine (pronounced “mole-skin”). Being widely available, it’s probably the most known brand on the market. Moleskines come in a variety of colours and sizes with different types of paper including blank, perforated, ruled, dotted, lined, and agenda. They’re designed in Italy and in more recent years, the decision was made to source the paper from China. Some argue that because of this fact the paper quality is lower compared to other brands, and support for their beloved Moleskine was lost. Moleskine is many people’s first gateway into notebooks and the world of note-taking, list-making, and agenda planning. A pretty cool thing they do is collaborations to create limited edition themed notebooks, like the Game of Thrones series for all those diehard fans.
Leuchtturm (pronounced “loysh-term”) means lighthouse and is Germany made since 1917. These notebooks closely resembles Moleskine’s, however the paper is also sourced from Germany where the brand originated. Leuchtturm’s paper is thicker allowing for little bleeding or feathering with gel or inky pens. Coming in a variety of colours and sizes, Leuchtturm distinguishes itself from Moleskine by its numbered pages along with a few perforated pages in the back. Some also argue that Leuchtturm’s paper quality is much better than a Moleskine.
Where will all your creative ideas lie?