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TehUltimateMage

Notebooks, Sketchbooks and Commonplace Books

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There's already a topic for diaries, but I wanted to discuss things outside of that. ^^ Not everyone keeps a diary, but many more people keep some kind of "blank book" with them. You probably keep a notebook for school, or a sketchbook if you draw. Or have the two combined if you're like me. I used to do it on my lined paper notebooks because they were cheap and easy to acquire, but I've moved on to more durable books like Pauper Press Journals, Moleskines (actually not a fan of those but they're everywhere), Leuchtturm notebooks (there's an old shop in town that sells them), and Rhodia notebooks (the smoothest paper you can imagine).

 

My professor introduced to us this year the notion of the Commonplace Book (no, not Night Vale). It's a place to record your thoughts and wisdoms gained from people or books or movies, but for me it has evolved into a place where everything goes, including sketches. At the beginning of the term, he told us to get a nice, solid journal with blank pages (no lines, although mine had really light lines) and record whatever was in our minds be it words or pictures. I've also found that keeping a note/sketchbook by your side does wonders for your art skills because you can practice drawing anywhere, any time, provided that you have a pen or pencil on hand. It's also one of my favorite things to find an old sketch/notebook and see how far I've come.

 

What inspired me to make this topic is the conclusion of my town's "Notebook project" sponsored by the local fine paper shop) where 100 people of varying ages are given sketchbooks and have 4 months to fill it with whatever they want: writing, pasted photos, sketches, paints, mixed media… I think the event was influenced by the Brooklyn Art Library's Sketchbook project. It would be interesting to start a project like this online, although it is hampered by the fact that not everyone has a scanner.

 

 

 

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When I first started drawing and writing my thoughts I was around 10. I repurposed the diary we had to write in for class because frankly, I thought at the time that recording your daily life was kind of dumb. Even though it's filled with terrible scribbles and cringe-worthy fanfiction, I still get a warm feeling inside when open it and look at its contents.

 

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The ribbon was forcefully attached with glue.

 

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The inside has a title page which says this is the third book in the series. But I can't seem to find the other two...

 

After that my notebooks were either

1. my school agenda,

2. one of those flimsy subject notebooks or

3. a bunch of loose pages in a duotang

Since none of those were permanent or durable, I never reached the end of a book. I was also nervous at one point that people might look through them and so I wanted everything to look perfect so I didn't put anything. xd.png

 

The first 'serious' book I got was a cheap little journal I snagged at Shopper's Drug Mart and asked my mom to buy. It's suffered a lot of wear-and-tear from Grade 9 to grade 11, though most of my work and writing was still done in agendas and subject notebooks -- though I've moved to spiral notebooks.

 

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Rather plain. The tape on the spine is because the actual spine broke apart.

 

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The interior is regular blue and red ruled lines. It made it somewhat of a pain to clean up scans, so I guess that might be one of the reasons I didn't really work in it. Despite that, there's quite a few drawings in here mostly from later years (2012).

 

 

When I got some allowance money for myself, I went got my first notebook I purchased for myself. It was a Pauper press journal and had lasted me only from April 2014 to November 2014. It started a lot of my journal traditions, such as putting a start date and a finish date on the book and writing an opening poem and an opening statement. It's when I became really serious about journals.

 

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I love Pauper Press for their pretty covers, though the magnetic clasp was falling apart so I patched it with some duct tape.

 

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The opening statement:

 

Welcome to my new journal!

 

It will mostly be IB study notes from here on until the end of May. So, sorry if you were looking for some juicy gossip about non-existant boys.

 

I seldom write regular journals anyways, but there will be an eclectic (sp?) mix of notes, observations, doodles, and poetry.

 

May anyone who chances upon this journal have a sense of my legacy.

 

- Kelley, April 14, 2014

 

 

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It was a nice journal with cream-colored pages and very light lines. Too bad it got wrecked by a puddle in December 2014 (I use non-waterproof inks so I nearly cried)

 

 

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With a notebook store in the middle of the town my university's in, I've invested in some higher-end journals whose spines don't unravel after a few months. I personally like off-white pages, and the discovery of "dot" notebooks (as opposed to blank, grid, or lined) got me hooked -- that's the Rhodia on the left. The orange one on the right was picked because it had thick pages for watercoloring (although I've wasted so many pages simply writing class notes instead…) and because it's… neon orange.

 

So, what are some notebooks you've owned? I hope this encourages some people to start keeping notebooks!

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I have a diary (that I don't write in enough), but I also have a love for notebooks in general. I have probably 4-5 notebooks that I've never actually written in, I just buy them randomly 'cause why not?

 

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These are my current notebooks. The black one I keep in my purse at all times, just in case an idea for one of my novels comes up unexpectedly. I tend to use that notebook a lot.

 

The pink one in the middle is my poem journal. It's... maybe halfway full, right now. I sometimes go months without writing in it, though.

 

The red notebook is my dream diary, which I only write in when I have a very interesting dream. Again, sometimes I go months in-between entries.

 

I have a few notebooks that I've 'designated' as being only for certain stories I'm writing (like, all notes about Kris's story go in a purple notebook) but that never really works out.

 

I do keep most of my old journals, though. I still have the journals from grade school, when we had designated writing time during school. I still have the grade-school journal that I wrote my very very first story in. And I still have old diary-journals, dating back to when I was 8, I think.

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I'll keep track of this topic, I love scribbling in my sketchbook ^^

I have just started a new one, red hard cover, format A4 and the paper is thin, creamy colour.. I just love it, because my previous ones were similar, but dark green, blue and black. Oh and I think I've got a pile of little notebooks somewhere, not sure where huh.gif

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I used to carry a notebook around, but when carpal tunnel set in, I had to swtich to my tablet. It's much lighter and easier to carry around.

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I always carry a small spiral notepad in my purse. As a writer, I have no idea when inspiration will strike, so I keep that one and several others. There's always one within reach. Sometimes I'll sketch or doodle, but mostly it's just writing and notes.

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I used to use my bag full of notebooks as a lifting weight. xd.png

I had so, sooo many notebooks... sheesh.

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I have 3 notebooks I write in right now, plus a bunch of old ones and blank ones. My give pictures soon.

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Wow, thanks for sharing your epic notebook history with us! The OP was super interesting to read.

 

I have a billion notebooks, I swear. One notebook is for drawing cetaceans, one notebook is for scribbling down ideas for rants/essays, or ideas of what education stuff I should do at my zoo. I have plenty of notebooks for whatever pops into my head, and sadly I do have a few hoarded. I always get an awesome notebook and I'm like "This is so cool, I HAVE to save it for something special!" And then I never use it. I need to suck it up and start using the notebooks, lol! I also have a notebook that I use as a little field journal/training log. I love looking through that thing, because I recorded every single training session that led up to my dog being able to target (aka touch my finger on command)...since animal training is what I want as a career, I think that's super cool.

 

Honestly, I need to start carrying a notebook with me everywhere and drawing more. Usually I just draw on paper...it's so much less convenient, and now I have an entire heap of folders stuffed with drawings. X3 I love notebooks, and seeing this thread kind of reminded me of how awesome they really are.

 

Just today I decided to start sketching more anyways. I always think it's cool when my friends sketch constantly, and I want to do that. Today I took a State Test for Biology...I finished early, and the (super amazingly sham-wow nice) proctor gave me some paper to draw on. I did a bunch of derpy little sketches...it made me laugh, I really enjoyed it. So I know that I should do that more often. Lately, every time I sit down I'm like "HUUR I MUST DRAW SOMETHING AMAZING." That mentality makes me draw less, and it makes drawing less enjoyable.

 

So yeah, I'ma start using notebooks more often. i have a really epic Neotropical Dragon one that my cousin bought me from the DC store. It's awesome. :'3

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Wow, this was really cool to read about!

 

I don't keep a journal as meticulously, but I have a long history of hoarding sketchbooks and notebooks. I've never been able to keep a diary consistently, but I have:

-Filled up 4+ sketchbooks with drawings, and sketches

-Used up 3 pads of watercolor or ink paper

-Filled four spiral notebooks (the five-section kind) over the last two years for school

-Started a bullet journal in a Moleskine very recently

-Started countless unfinished and half empty notebooks and sketchbooks.

 

Currently, my journaling habits are a bullet journal in a Moleskine that I doodle in, and a five-section notebook in which I keep notes, school things, and some sketches.

 

I also have started using a heavyweight watercolor journal because I've started experimenting with acrylic inks, and that seems to hold it best and gives me lots of space to paint on.

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I was first introduced to the idea of a commonplace book when I read A Series of Unfortunate Events in middle school but I didn't start keeping one until high school.

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This is what I have so far. The first two are full and the purple composition book is my current one. I too write start and end dates on mine. I write journal entries, lyrics to songs I'm trying to learn, sketches, random bits of info I need to remember, etc.

 

The first few pages of the spiral notebook contain the pages of the journal and diary I used briefly in elementary school (they were both about the size of 3x5 index cards) because those books were falling apart anyway. My writing was frighteningly horrible back then. *shudder*

 

I've fallen a bit behind of late. Haven't written anything in it since mid-2013. I use the Evernote app on my phone as my dream journal because it's easier to find and use at 3-4am while I'm still half asleep but I should probably start recording them in my paper notebook later when I'm properly awake.

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I, um... I have a notebook that I use for all free thoughts, diary entries, etc., and on the first page I printed very clearly:

 

"DO NOT READ.

This is my notebook so please censorkip.gif off."

 

It was a liiittle awkward when I left it at a friend's house and their parents found it. xd.png

 

I carry two notebooks with me now, one is the kipz for miscellaneous notes, and another is for a long-term writing project I've got.

I have several sketchbooks that I use for, uh, sketching, but I usually keep them at home.

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I was weak and I bought another notebook (green cover with dot matrix, will post pics later), now that my 100 Notebook Project entry is done and filled in (did I link it here already?). I kind of just dump everything into the same book because I don't really bother with carrying more than one around with me. This leads to me putting watercolors in the non-watercolor book, and writing in non-waterproof ink in the watercolor book (d'oh!). At least I got some permanent ink for my fountain pen now.

 

I've got a definite preference for medium-sized books, about 6"x8". I've gone smaller in the past but my writing and drawings get cramped (I write in big, fat letters) and bigger ones can't fit in my satchel.

 

@Oddi: Oh man. I used to hoard them when I was younger, but now that I buy them with my own money I figure that I might as well use them. xd.png At first I found more expensive books too precious to write in, but now I keep telling myself that not filling them would be an even greater waste.

 

@Igloo: That's so cool! :0 (to both the animal-related entries and the DC journal). I love looking back through my old notes as well. They bring up memories even if those memories aren't written down.

 

It also doesn't help that I hoard every piece of paper I've ever drawn on, so my notebooks are filled with derpy sketches anyway.

 

@Cheese: So many... @_@ I should probably keep track of my stats. Right now all mine are sitting in a box at home so I have no idea how many I have.

 

@Dewdropmon: I remember I used to write down lyrics as well. Don't know when or why I stopped.

 

@ab613: Up until middle school, most of the notebooks I started had crude drawings on the first page and threatening words like "DON'T READ, OR ELSE THE TOMATOES WILL GET YOU" of "IF YOU TREASURE YOUR SOUL DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT LOOKING IN THIS". The habit of making a title page carried over into high school where I would always leave the first few pages blank in case I want to fill them in with something official. xd.png

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Haha, I have so many notebooks. Lots are starting to get filled to the brim xd.png

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Do you guys also hoard notebooks, even if you never write in them?

Yes, I've done that. xd.png It's nice to know that you won't run out of paper that way. laugh.gif

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Do you guys also hoard notebooks, even if you never write in them?

I got my first little notebook when I was nine years old, and so have been collecting notebooks for half a century. And yes, there are a few empty ones around.

 

There are also binders full of notes, poems, lyrics and journals, and sketch pads full of doodles, drawings, plans and a wide assortment of garden plots! laugh.gif

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I never really actively kept up a blank notebook of anything really, I tried to keep a dream diary but I ended up stopping with that, it was fun while it lasted thought, but my writing just after waking up was terrible, so looking back at it, it's kind of hard to read. xd.png

 

I have recently been doing some writing in a journal with my left hand. Essentially what I'm doing is writing simple stuff (going through upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation marks and other various symbols). I write it on a line in my right hand and under that line I write it with my left hand. I know the slant is different, but it really does help to have something visual to look at while practicing. I'm on Day three of this, and I have seen some improvement I think, but it also depends on whether I'm rushing things or not. It also gets a point where you can hold the pen naturally without having to think about it. My writing still sucks, but at the start I and to think more carefully on how I was holding the pen in my left hand.

Edited by psyshock

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I never really actively kept up a blank notebook of anything really, I tried to keep a dream diary but I ended up stopping with that, it was fun while it lasted thought, but my writing just after waking up was terrible, so looking back at it, it's kind of hard to read. xd.png

 

I have recently been doing some writing in a journal with my left hand. Essentially what I'm doing is writing simple stuff (going through upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation marks and other various symbols). I write it on a line in my right hand and under that line I write it with my left hand. I know the slant is different, but it really does help to have something visual to look at while practicing. I'm on Day three of this, and I have seen some improvement I think, but it also depends on whether I'm rushing things or not. It also gets a point where you can hold the pen naturally without having to think about it. My writing still sucks, but at the start I and to think more carefully on how I was holding the pen in my left hand.

Are you trying to train yourself to be ambidextrous?

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I hoard any notebook I've written on and basically use them as doodle pads, snippet writing, whatever. I also do this with unused planners.

Currently I've got a black notebook, a red 5-subject notebook, and a somewhat-smaller planner.

 

My notebook covers keep wearing out and ripping off if they're not plastic D:

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Are you trying to train yourself to be ambidextrous?

Somewhat? I don't know how far I want to go, but I do want to try at least being more competent at things with my left hand, it just seems like something fun to do, and if I ever get an arm injury I'll be ahead of the game.

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So I took some pictures! (Some are more photographic than informative, lmao)

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You can check out more photos here.

 

The 3 notebooks I'm using right now are the grey one, the nu: craze one, and the paperclips one. In the grey notebook I write song lyrics I'd like to remember, and other sorts of little projects. The nu: craze notebook was given to me by my English teacher last year, for Creative Writing Club. As such, I write down stories and stuff in there, but as of late I've been writing mostly song lyrics of my own. In the paperclips notebook I just write down little notes like translations and definitions and stuff. I've had these for about 1 or 2 years.

The blue/pink/white notebook is and older one that I wrote lyrics in. I've had it for maybe 5 or more years.

The funky green notebook, DJ notebook, and Thailand notebook are all blank. The Thailand one was given to me by my sister when she got back from there. These were all from around 2014 Christmas time.

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I have four notebooks that are ostensibly for school, a different color for every subject.

 

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The pages, however, mostly serve as measurements of how many notes I've pretended to take in each class, as in most of them the trippy doodles and sarcastic comments far outweigh the relevant writing.

 

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(Any other Daearen fans out there?)

 

Edited by wingedcat

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Notebooks have always been one of the things that I liked to collect. Back then, I would write my journal entries in them. But due to my slight OCPD which would trigger me to a rage of ripping pages out of notebooks whenever I did not consider my penmanship perfect enough, I write my journal entries in MS Word. I still collect notebooks though, but I use them rarely. I have a lot at home but this spellbook-looking one (x, x) is my favorite.

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I find myself constantly buying notebooks and never writing anything in them. I always plan what I'll write but I never do D: I'm just terrible at keeping diaries and stuff like that. But I'm great at hoarding notebooks.

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