Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

What would be your ULTIMATE journal design?

Stephanie

Once I discovered that there were paper products better suited to my writing habits beyond what a composition book from my local drugstore could provide, I ended up dedicating a good deal of time and energy trying to find what would be my ULTIMATE journal. The one that I would buy by the truckload so I would have enough of it on hand no matter what.

Trying about a billion (ok, maybe not that many) different products, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have two distinct needs to be served. For note taking, I prefer a spiral A5 sized book like the smaller Rhodia Meeting Book. I do not have a suitable flat writing surface in my house so I always use a spiral notebook folded back on itself balanced on my knee. I specifically like the width of the A5 size (5.83 “) for this purpose.

For journaling, my number one preference is a hard bound book which again, I use propped on my knee. Sometimes I even write with the spine balanced in my hand while standing. In either case, an A5 book is too wide. I need something a little thinner, like in the 5.25” range which is easier to balance.  When you aren’t writing on a flat surface, a book that opens flat is much easier to write in. (If you aren’t at a desk or table, you don’t have the leverage to force the pages as flat as they can go.)

I prefer off-white blank pages as white is too much of a strain on my eyes for extended writing sessions, and blank because I love to doodle in my journal. Lines in a journal make me feel like I’m back in high school doodling on 3 ring notebook paper. The paper MUST be compatible with waterbased fountain pen ink and super wet gel pen inks. Bleeding & feathering is unacceptable.

I like the covers to be solid colors like black, red or purple, and I prefer the cover material to not be too slippery that I can’t easily grab it from my bag. Ribbon bookmarks are helpful, but they have to be long enough and made from a material that resists fraying on the ends. (As that is unsightly.) I like the book to have some method of securing it shut – but that method should in no way interfere with how the book functions.  (It should not get in the way.)

I appreciate a journal with rounded corners to the pages and the cover because when you get to the end of a page that has squared edges, the corner digs into the palm of my hand.

Having said all that, I want to hear what constitutes your ULTIMATE journal.


34 thoughts on “What would be your ULTIMATE journal design?

  1. Your specifications fit mine exactly. The only thing I’d add is that I also prefer a hard cover to make it easy to write while standing. A hard back, side bound, lined spiral notebook with an elastic band for closure and rounded edges….with Clairfontaine paper.

  2. Your specifications fit mine exactly. The only thing I’d add is that I also prefer a hard cover to make it easy to write while standing. A hard back, side bound, lined spiral notebook with an elastic band for closure and rounded edges….with Clairfontaine paper.

  3. My ideal journal?
    Before I start with ALL of my desires I need to preface that I use more than one size journal depending on the journaling that I’m doing.
    *I would love for the pages to be perforated so I can remove a page now and then if I decide to include a picture, tickets, card, etc. so the journal doesn’t expand in that awkward overstuffed way …
    *I desire a true 5.5 x 8.5; 8.5 x 11; 4 x 6; and 3.5 x 6 – inches sizes AFTER the page is torn out with a left-hand margin of .5-inch so I can punch holes and move pages — if I desire to a ring-bound journal/organizer/etc.
    * Another desire is a journal that accomodates a year’s worth of diary/journal entries — one page BOTH sides per day if I want to use it as a yearly organizer or daily diary.
    *The desire continues in that I need it to LAY FLAT — that’s important if I need to refer back to an entry as a reference. I keep track of the haikus that I write recording them by date written with a note of what spurred the poem based on what I was doing that day.
    * A ribbon book marker to mark my place.
    * 5/16-inch wide pale lines that don’t interfer with writing or placing items on the page.
    *And VERY important is the paper. Smooth writing and paper that is thick enough to prevent fountain pen bleed through or the occasional marker. White or pale ivory would be nice as would a faint eye-easy green color.
    *And, have a top-bound journal/notebook option in the above sizes would accomodate both left and right hand journalists and could allow for note-taking at a meeting and the removal of pages (top perforation) so the pages could be placed into a ring binder if I desire.
    The cover is never as important as the inside content and the use-ability of it.
    If the pages were faintly numbered that would be helpful.

  4. My ideal journal?
    Before I start with ALL of my desires I need to preface that I use more than one size journal depending on the journaling that I’m doing.
    *I would love for the pages to be perforated so I can remove a page now and then if I decide to include a picture, tickets, card, etc. so the journal doesn’t expand in that awkward overstuffed way …
    *I desire a true 5.5 x 8.5; 8.5 x 11; 4 x 6; and 3.5 x 6 – inches sizes AFTER the page is torn out with a left-hand margin of .5-inch so I can punch holes and move pages — if I desire to a ring-bound journal/organizer/etc.
    * Another desire is a journal that accomodates a year’s worth of diary/journal entries — one page BOTH sides per day if I want to use it as a yearly organizer or daily diary.
    *The desire continues in that I need it to LAY FLAT — that’s important if I need to refer back to an entry as a reference. I keep track of the haikus that I write recording them by date written with a note of what spurred the poem based on what I was doing that day.
    * A ribbon book marker to mark my place.
    * 5/16-inch wide pale lines that don’t interfer with writing or placing items on the page.
    *And VERY important is the paper. Smooth writing and paper that is thick enough to prevent fountain pen bleed through or the occasional marker. White or pale ivory would be nice as would a faint eye-easy green color.
    *And, have a top-bound journal/notebook option in the above sizes would accomodate both left and right hand journalists and could allow for note-taking at a meeting and the removal of pages (top perforation) so the pages could be placed into a ring binder if I desire.
    The cover is never as important as the inside content and the use-ability of it.
    If the pages were faintly numbered that would be helpful.

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