Best Notebooks for Every Girl
Notebooks might be commonplace, but boy are good ones hard to discover! So, naturally, I made it my mission to find, test, and review a few. If you’re looking for a good, high-quality notebook to take class, meeting, or project notes, then one (or all!) of these are more than up for the job.
There’s just something about a case-bound notebook, and the Erin Condren Journal is one of the best ever — I’d say it’s well worth the 20 bucks. The cover is silky, and the pineapple pattern is so so fun, but more importantly the inside pages are SO ORGANIZED. When you open the journal, the page on the left side is normal (lines, a colored banner to label the page), but the right-hand page isn’t so ordinary. There’s a bulleted column on the far right for you to write to-dos and such. I can’t even express how much I love this feature — I’m so list-oriented that I create my own columns in normal journals. This Erin Condren journal does that for me.
Personally, I like using each two page spread for a whole week as a complement to my planner. I use the column to write my writing assignments for the week and the rest of the space for notes throughout the week. For instance, I used it to take notes in team meetings, write down the photos I needed taken for articles, and random little tidbits I needed to remember for later.
I’ve also used the spread for personal blog projects. The column list is great at helping me keep track of the many things I need to do for a single blog post, and of course the rest of the space is fantastic simply for brainstorming and outlining. I think this journal is a great purchase for anyone who blogs or manages multiple projects with multiple of steps.
In addition to the layout, the journal comes with a sheet of stickers you can use to label other lists and info. It’s a nice bonus feature that can help increase organization and promote clear thinking.
I’ll admit, these notebooks are kind of basic. However, they’re made with great paper and are easy to write in thanks to the super flexible cover and bookbinding. The cover only comes in solid colors, but you do get to choose from red, black, purple, orange, pink and silver. They come in four sizes (mini, small, medium, and large), and are also available in regular ruled, graph, or blank paper. Essentially, Zequenz provides whatever kind of flexible notebook you need for school, work, or life in general — there’s even a magnetic bookmark that comes with each notebook.
I’ve included this notebook on the list not only because of the plethora of options, but also because it lays flat. When it comes to notebooks, the ones that have the option to lay flat have always been my favorite. It’s easy to write in without the page curving towards the center and there’s no metal coil to interrupt your flow. So when you’re trying to write things down quickly and concisely, there’s nothing stopping you.
This college ruled bookbound notebook will look fresh sitting in your cubicle, and we all know how crucial it is to fill those dreary desks with pretty things. The cover is fun, but simple and muted enough to not be obnoxious to your coworkers—basically it looks very professional. The pages are all college ruled, so there’s plenty of space for traditional note taking during your meetings and general workflow.
In addition to the pages for notes, there are also three reference calendars at the back of the notebook. These are super helpful during any meetings and when you’re away from your planner or phone (which is rare, but happens). Also, the cover of the notebook is hard so it’s easy to write in no matter where you are.
In all honesty, I was really skeptical of this notebook because it doesn’t look all that special — in fact, it looks a lot like Moleskine notebooks. It only comes in solid colors — although there’s a wide range of colors to choose from. They also come in soft and hard covers, varying numbers of pages, and four different page types (dotted, plain, ruled, or squared).
When I received it though, I was impressed by the quality in which it was made.(I kind of, maybe fell in love with it.) The pages are a creamy color and somehow seem to strike the perfect balance between thin and thick. You can see through the pages somewhat, but the paper doesn’t bleed at all. The pages are numbered also, so it’s a really useful notebook to use for projects or bullet journaling. It comes with a built in index for you, two ribbon bookmark, an elastic band, and a nice accordion pocket on the back cover. The A5 hardback Leuchtturms will cost you $19.50 and the A5 soft covers are $16.50—the cost varies depending on the size.
If perfect bound and book bound notebooks aren’t your thing, but you still want paper with a grid, you need to check out this notebook from Fabriano. The EcoQua A5 comes in several colors, is spiral bound, and its pages are all gridded (and a calming creamy color). This makes it feel like a much nicer spiral bound notebook than any I’ve ever found from Walmart or Target. The pages are actually really wide for an A5, so you get extra room to write—SCORE. I personally like how thin the cover is because it makes it easy to flip open and closed without snagging.
The pages inside are actually a gridded—not dots—so do consider that before purchasing. However, the lines are in grayscale and aren’t completely overwhelming like others. There are a lot of benefits to grid paper; for me the biggest is that the lines help control my handwriting and give a sense of organization to the page.
This notebook is only $6.49 on Amazon (much cheaper than others on this list), and it’s also environmentally friendly. As an added bonus, both the cover and pages are made with ecologically friendly paper so you can rest easy.
I honestly don’t think there’s anything I dislike about the Erin Condren notebooks. The thick wire coil pretty much makes everything in life okay; it’s super durable with sturdy paper, a solid thick cover, and fun prints and colors. I always feel like notebooks are either too small or too big and it’s near impossible to find one that’s the perfect size, but this one is. A single page is just enough to carry me through a whole day of work without wasting or needing space.
The top of each page has a colored banner that’s the perfect place for labeling. You can write the date or the focus of the page there so that it stands out among the rest of the writing. I’m always so excited to write in the notebook — and honestly struggle to keep myself from writing inconsequential things simply for the sake of writing.
If you’re in school, I think this can be a great notebook for classes that don’t require pages upon pages of note taking. Technically it can work for large amounts of notes as well, but that seems like a bit of waste of such a great notebook. I like to use it for the lists, ideas, and inspirations that I want to carry around with me. I use mine almost exclusively for creative ideas, blog brainstorming, and personal goal setting.
The notebook ends with a section of blank pages — a signature of Erin Condren — you can use for doodling, outlining, or sketching. I’ve used this space for my planner’s color coding key and blog flowcharts. Oh, and the covers are changeable! You can order extra covers online and change them out whenever you want to.
For a chic notebook to pair well with your stylish planner, purses, and clothes, I recommend one of the notebooks by XO Planners. The notebooks come in three b-e-a-u-tiful cover designs, have gold protective corners, and gold wire binding. If you have an XO Planner already then you absolutely need to buy a notebook to match. The covers come in a pink and orange abstract, blue marble, and a white and black banana leaf (my personal FAVORITE).
Even though they have a hard cover, the notebooks are lightweight so they don’t weigh down your already crammed backpack or purse. The pages are wide ruled (large handwriting is welcome!) with a large top margin, which makes them perfect for taking notes in class or to get you through all of those hectic work meetings.
When a notebook looks this good, it’s not easy to pass up. Wouldn’t you rather be the girl with the bomb-ass school supplies and work accessories than the one carrying around a Mead notebook? Yeah, me too.
Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3
Last modified on September 28th, 2017