The 10 Best Writing Notebooks to Capture Your Creative Thoughts

Perfect for the everyday writer.

Update: I’m designing and building my dream desktop publishing app, Desk PM, which has been inspired by many of these writing notebooks!

One of the things that might surprise you is the fact that I love physical notebooks and carry one around with me nearly everywhere I go.

You see, there’s something intimate about the experience of putting pen to paper and seeing ideas manifest themselves (spilt ink) into the physical realm right before your eyes – it’s nearly magical and I can tell you in truth that most (if not all) of my startups and creative endeavors have started in these notebooks (or paper napkins in a local eatery).

But I use them not only for product ideas and software imagination but also for blogging! I use them to jot down new blog posts ideas, creative ways to increase community (our previous Community Forums were birthed there), and ways to improve the design or features on my blog. Nothing is off limits!

Not only do I love them for all their various uses but I’ve tried too many of them to really count! I like experimenting with new mediums and seeing how they fit with my creative workflow and how they place my thoughts into manageable and understandable buckets.

Here are some of the ones that I love and that I’ve tried:

1. Moleskine Notebooks

Nearly everyone has heard of these “magical” notebooks and they are a staple within many productivity circles and creatives. I have many fond notes and no less than three successful startups have been started (and acquired) through the pen notes.

Classic.

You have nearly every option in terms of the size, the covers, and even the page lining. Check them out here!

2. Action Method

These notebooks have become more and more prevalent in my back pocket and I really love the style and offerings besides the philosophy about getting things done through “action steps.”

These are fast becoming a favorite.

You can check out the choices here.

3. Field Notes

These are simple, flexible, and quick to whip out! I feel like you could take them into the Amazon jungle (I’m not sure exactly why I think that but I do).

I’ve seen more people turning to these as quick (and cheap) physical notebooks.

Quick, easy, painless.

You can get a pack (or two) right here.

4. Ecosystem Author

I’ve enjoyed using these in the past, especially since they are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper! For those that like to keep the earth’s health in mind then these notebooks are seriously for you.

Eco-friendly!

Shop and save the earth here.

5. Habana Notebook

These notebooks are for the creative types and/or serious-looking executives that want to make an impression. Seems like I see more of the latter with them but perhaps that’s just me. The paper quality is serious-goodness.

Habana is for quality.

You can take a look at the selection here.

6. Ciak Notebook

These notebooks have been heralded by creatives as the only notebook that they’d ever choose to use. Hand-crafted in Italy they just scream creativity. Premium all over it.

Beautiful, without a doubt.

They aren’t cheap but neither are your ideas. Take a look here.

7. Rhodia Notebooks

I’m not sure why but I’ve started to see more people rocking the Rhodia notebook around creative conferences and meetups. Perhaps it’s just me or perhaps it’s because I’ve started using trying them out recently.

Hmm. They are quite nice.

Love the cover.

You can check out all your choices here.

8. Allan’s Journal

This notebook has such a rich history that you really have to appreciate it before you even start inking one up:

R L Allan hold the Queen’s Royal Licence under Letters Patent to publish the Authorized King James Version Bible in Scotland.  Queen Elizabeth still holds the copyright to the KJV Bible in the UK.

Note that he’s the only guy to have gotten this. Ever.

Rich history, beautiful craftsmanship.

Use one with respect and it might come back in spades.

9. WritersBlok Bamboo Notebook

I’ve found a love for having a few of these around since I just think they are cute as all get out. Don’t ask me why. I also like the idea of being made from 100% sustainable bamboo pulp paper. That’s just neat.

Cute but functional.

And of course the brand and name is seriously clever. Get them here.

10. “Old School” Composition Notebooks

For some reason I keep coming back to these and have more than a few stacks used up in my house (somewhere). I used them in nearly every school grade and they just work. And if that’s what get’s you going then go for it!

How could you possibly go wrong?

Sure, there’s a bit of nostalgia but whatever. Get yours here.

*Bonus – Muji Notebook

Since having lived in Japan for 4 years I have a unique love for anything that comes from that people group and culture and the Muji Notebook is no exception. Refined with a bare-bones aesthetic, these recycled products help you focus on just writing (just like my favorite writing app!).

The first picture in this post is of the Muji Notebook (but here’s another one for you):

Perfect.

So what about you? What do you use?