Posted on December 18, 2012 by Admin .

 A few weeks ago, we wrote about a few writing and journaling projects you could start. Maybe you chose one and are well on your way. Perhaps you’re still seeking inspiration. Or maybe you started, but the journaling method you chose just wasn’t the right fit. We’ll continue to post journaling, writing, sketching, and other creative endeavour ideas here in our resource section and on our blog, but before we do, we figured helping you choose the right notebook was the best place to start. 


A journal is typically an upgrade to a standard notebook. These upgrades come in the form of nicer materials used for the cover and the paper, a more presentable and durable binding, and possibly features like a bookmark, clasp, or cover designs and embellishments. 

A journal is a perfect notebook choice when...
  • Your project dictates that your journal stays in one place at all times.

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.

  • The journal itself will be the project’s final product.

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.

  • Your project is long-term.

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 feel a journal-style notebook is right for the project you want to undertake, Miro’s journal series is sure to have something that will suit your needs! You’ll find our journals in three sizes (7x10, 5x8, and 3x5), two cover colors (black and white), two page types (lined and blank), and multiple page-gild colors (black, pink, red, green, blue). All journals have an elastic band to keep your notebook closed, a ribbon bookmark, and a pocket found on the inside of the back cover to keep papers or photographs. 

Purchase from Miro's Journal Series here!


A spiral-bound notebook can range from the cheap notebook you used in elementary school, all the way to a higher-quality notebook similar to a journal with a nice cover and high-quality paper. The obvious difference being the binding–a spiral-bound notebook features a spiral binding, usually made out of metal or plastic, rather than book binding. 

Consider using a spiral-bound notebook when...

  • Your notebook use will span a wide range of subjects, uses, and locations.

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.

  • You personally prefer that your notebook lays perfectly flat when you’re writing.

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."

If your project seems like something that calls for a spiral-bound notebook, Miro has plenty of options for you! Both our Canvas Series and our Soft-Touch Series are spiral-bound. The Canvas series offers three sizes (7x10, 5x8, and 3x5), two colors of canvas cover (black and tan), and features lined paper with a thick, pocketed panel in the back for keeping papers or photographs. The Soft-Touch series also comes in three sizes (7x10, 5x8, and 3x5). The cover is a unique, smooth surface that comes in either black or red. The soft-touch notebooks also have lined paper and a pocketed panel.

Purchase from Miro's Canvas Series here!
Purchase from Miro's Soft Touch series here!


Here at Miro, we call our most basic, rugged notebook the “utility” notebook. It features cardboard cover with a pocket in the back, a saddle-stitched binding, and a variety of page types and papers. You can use a utility notebook for anything, but here are a few uses we see it as ideal for. 

Using a utility-style notebook might be perfect if...

  • You’re not afraid to get messy.

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.

  • Your project is short-term.

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.”

  • You’re just doodling.

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.

Miro has many options for Utility notebooks. Our Utility Series features three sizes (7x10, 5x8, and 3x5), two cover colors (black and white), and three page types (plain, lined, and grid). All notebooks feature a saddle-stitch binding and a pocket on the inside back cover. And they come in sets of two!

Purchase from Miro's Utility Series here!

What writing or sketching project are you thinking of starting soon? What notebook would be perfect for that project? What notebook are you using for your current project, and what do you like or dislike about it? We want to hear from you!
Purchase from our Journal Series here!

Posted in Journaling