In an age where there are so many different ways to use technology, I want to talk about the humble notebook. Ah, paper. What I find interesting is that despite technology being so widely used, trends like bullet journaling are also rising and super popular. (Just as a side thought there.)

I have a lot of notebooks, and I think a lot of other people do too.

The problem is generally the same; they’re pretty, you get given them as gifts, you have good intentions but never end up using them. The cycle goes round and round; you buy one or are given one thinking “This is it! This is the notebook that will change my entire life and will get me back into journaling/planning/creativity/writing!” Six months down the road and only two pages have been used, so you rip those pages out in the hopes of restarting the journal of your dreams.

This brings us to problem one: ripping out pages. Don’t do it. I know you want every page to look perfect and I know that you want every page to have the same ‘theme’ or to be in the same category, but if you ripped out every page that wasn’t quite right, you’d end up with the awkward notebook that’s so flimsy because two thirds of the pages have been ripped out over the years. Don’t deny that you haven’t encountered this before. We’ve all done it.

Notebooks are absolute gold because you should be able to put whatever you want in them. No one else has to see them! You can do what you want with them, and it doesn’t matter if the first few pages are about sewing and then it becomes a diary and then it becomes an address book. Just write, bro! Perfectionism will not help you.

I currently use four different notebooks. One is my journal (everyday thoughts, prayers, etc.), one is where I write down my dreams (as in while-I’m-sleeping), one is for novel planning, and one is for blog planning. (I recently started my blog-planning journal and I’m keen. It’s an ugly notebook; just plain cover plain paper, but it does the job so get excited.)

For as long as I can remember I’ve owned a journal; I still have most of them in my cupboard. Okay, so I’ve thrown away the embarrassing journals from year 7. But the rest I’ve kept because there’s something about them that makes you want to keep them! Is it because they’re pretty? Filled with your thoughts from years ago? Expensive? Who cares, they’re great!

I like novel planning on paper and using my fountain pen. I currently have two fountain pens; one is for my journaling and one is for my novel-planning, and I love it. There’s something different about physically writing words rather than typing them onto a word document. Actually writing them using a pen or pencil makes me feel more creative, or something. I don’t know what it is; I’ve just found that the writing process is much easier and flows better if I’ve written the idea down first into a notebook. It’s just not the same on the computer; it feels more stilted when I try to plan in a word document.

Writing has become a lot easier for me since I started to do the planning and original ideas on paper. Now when I type up my blog or chapters on my computer, I can have the initial outline/idea/planning process next to me in my notebook and it’s just made life more pleasant and is generally just easier for me to read and get my head around what I’m trying to say.

I like the thought of having a bullet journal because it can be for whatever you want, you can have everything in one place, it’s a way of being super organised, and they look a-maz-ing. But at this point in my life, I don’t feel the need to have one because I don’t have much to organise and everything that I do keep on paper already has its own notebook. But in the future, a bullet journal definitely sounds appealing.

Well campers, I’m going to go and write in a notebook. #allidoiswin

Sarah xx

2 thoughts on “Notebooks!

  1. I too, find writing on a notebook the only way I can be creative. Also, it gives me something to do when I’m stuck, copy the text into the computer, and that usually gives me a new idea to co tongue whatever the project is. (Alternatively, I have found that typing into my phone has a similar effect – if more painful for my thumbs!). I think it’s a matter of the writing process moving slower than our thoughts, instead of typing faster than we can imagine.


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