For example, the dream journaling project we outlined would require that your journal stay at your bedside. In the Daily Creative Journaling undertaking that Teresa Amabile swears by, she recommends that you do the journaling exercise at the same time every day–this might lead you to leave your journal at your desk for use at the end of the workday, or, like the dream journal, at your bedside. The same goes for what might be referred to as a traditional journaling technique (recording your daily goings-on at the end of each day). This is another instance where you may want your journal to be in the same location all the time.
The reason a journal-style notebook is ideal when your notebook is staying in the same place is because in this case it is most likely to stay in good condition. Not that a journal isn’t durable–it definitely is. But if your journal is in the same place all the time, you’re less likely to lose it or damage it, so you can feel comfortable investing in the luxury of a nicer, more presentable journal-style notebook.
If you will be using your notebook to compose drafts or sketches that will precede a more “finished” version of your project, a journal may not be the right choice. But if your project’s first draft is also its final–a sketchbook, a daily journal, a travel journal, or any of the journaling projects we mentioned previously–a journal-style notebook is ideal. When you’re done putting your creations onto paper, you’re done: your beautifully bound notebook is ready to present or be carefully archived on a shelf.
A journal-style notebook is usually made of the highest quality materials. Its binding and cover are made to stand the test of time, and the bookmark will help you keep your place as you work on your project over time. Gary, who works on our online marketing team here at Miro, uses this journal (photo below). "The Journal Series is perfect for the thoughts and ideas I wish to keep preserved for years,” he explains. “Once filled, the journal can easily be indexed and added to my growing collection of completed journals.”
If you’re looking for a general-use notebook–something you’ll carry with you often and use for a variety of purposes (grocery lists to note-taking to jotting down random thoughts)– consider a spiral-bound notebook. A spiral-bound notebook’s metal binding makes it especially durable, so it’s ideal when your notebook will be taken in and out of your purse or backpack, transported from class to coffee shop, and stored eveywhere from your locker to your nightstand. Also, the pages are easy to tear away, so you don’t have to worry about everything being in the right place or the right order.
Bryan, who is a project manager at Miro, uses a spiral bound notebook for this exact reason. "I've always liked spiral-bound notebooks because of their functionality,” he says. “They lay flat, and the front cover can be folded behind the back, making it easy for me to just jump directly into writing."
We love what blogger Heather Sanders’ daughter did with her utility notebook–she used it as a place to store everything from short journal entries to watercolor paintings to magazine clip outs–even a menu from a sushi restaurant! Don’t be afraid to get as creative as you want.
Cate works on the content team at Miro and likes to have a separate notebook for each project she undertakes. “I like keeping things separate, so the utility notebooks are perfect for each of my projects,” she says. “I keep a separate notebook for work-related notes, one for to-do lists, and one for any personal project I may be working on on the side.”
Many people tend to feel paralyzed by the perfection of a brand-new notebook, but with a utility notebook, there’s no reason to try to make every sketch a masterpiece (although they could certainly turn out that way!). The Utility series notebooks are perfect for keeping with you wherever you go–just pull one out whenever inspiration strikes and draw or write to your heart’s content! The Utility notebook is the perfect place to draft something that you’ll finalize later, in a different place or in a different medium.