Can you have too many notebooks? I don’t believe you can. And if you say you can – well then you and I need to agree to disagree. Confession: I have a whole drawer full of notebooks and right now it hardly closes. I know first world problems. But the struggle is real. So I have to have a closer look. I figured why not take you along and share my notebook love – a collection that needs to be minimized.
Overall I think I can categorize in four areas:
- Business notebooks
- Inspirational notebooks
- Random notebooks
- Empty notebooks
Of course I could also sort by pretty notebooks, bought notebooks, gifted notebooks merchandise notebooks, etc.
My business notebooks are probably the once I work with the most. Daily to be precise. Unfortunately they are also the once that are the “ugliest”. Why? Well, my thinking is that I will use all the merchandise and “professional” looking once here.
Here is the ones I am currently having:
I keep a notebook for all my big clients. The little stationary and gift shop I do the marketing for. Here I actually used a pretty one which I just completely filled on Friday. For the next one will most likely use one from their collection. Important to stay on brand, right?
For my more professional client I use their brand book I received when I started the job back in July 2020. Here I keep notes on topics and conversations and also scribble ideas in.
And then I have a notebook for all my other smaller clients that don’t require their one notebook.
I love keeping all my notes in notebooks. This way I can go back if I want to look something up. I usually keep to-do lists here of projects that are more long term or that I do not need to tackle right a way but shouldn’t be forgotten. I also have my own little short code with icons. That give a hint if it is an idea, a to-do something I need to delegate… you get the idea.
New business notebooks
Ever since I have started my freelancing I also keep a notebook for all inquiries I receive. It is really interesting to see what kind of offer comes my way and also keep track of the people that reach out. Every call gets a a double page. Starting out with basic info like: date, company, person, position, roll to fill, duration, budget, task.
When my profile was interesting and I am invited for a personal (or phone) meeting I add (aka glue) the official job advertising in and then make notes on how I can contribute.
I always try to use the same colored pen. And during the talk I use a different color to make my notes. Much either when you go back. I also make a quick note when I didn’t get the job so I know where to improve.
And then I have a couple notebooks where I track knowledge. Like when I attend a webinar or conference I usually keep a notebook in my purse and put everything in there. Again I have my own little shortcake that identifies things I need to research further, to-dos or inspiration. I also write down all words I don’t understand and leave a bit of space to add the definition later.
These notebooks are also a hybrid into the next category. I use them also for jotting down notes when I am at a blogger conference. Now I haven’t been to one since 2018 though.
This is probably my favorite category and these notebooks I won’t throw out and keep for a long time.
This red notebook is my catalog of all the random ideas that hit me and a track record of my crafts. It was a gift by my sisters for my 25th birthday. Back then I didn’t have a blog and it all needed to go somewhere. So it’s kind of a crafting journal. It holds photos of many of the jewelry pieces I made. Seeing ideas and pattern drafting – some have been realized some not. It holds the brainstorming for my blog name here and a dozen other business ideas and endeavors I could start. It has collages of outfits, jewelry pieces and accessories. Its a whole world of inspiration. But also it does show my growth and how my taste and style has changed over the year. And what has stayed the same.
And then I have a couple of drawing notebooks. One or two, maybe three are filled with hand lettering exercises. There used to be a time when I spend my lunch breaks in a coffee shop exercising my lettering skills. I have even made a card back in the day with this Christmas tree. Only after printing 200 and sending them to many people my dad pointed out my spelling mistakes. Upps. I came up with a recycle idea but still have a ton.
I also have another one for sketch noting. If you are based in Germany and are into hand lettering you may know Frau Hölle. Back in the day she started her business with sketch notes and my company booked her for a workshop. It was a fun Saturday we spend developing sketch notes especially for the business. I kept going for a while with the sketch noting. That is probably partly how I developed my personal shortcode for all my note books.
And then I have some small thin notebooks I use for doodling. I try to have a tiny one in my luggage when I travel. This way I have the chance to just sit somewhere sip a coffee or beer and doodle away. Like I did in Venice.
Another category hols all the random notebooks I keep.
Personal growth notebook
Back in the day when I had a bit of personal crises and struggled with depression I started this notebook. I needed to keep my thoughts somewhere. Some occurred after therapy. Some I pondered and needed to discuss in therapy. Some just came to me and needed recording. When I was ready to get back to work and trying to figure out how to proceed with my business life I was doing a career coaching. During that coaching a lot of interesting book ideas, there’s, personal test and such where part of the program. I kept all those notes in there as well. It is interesting to go back and read things from years ago. Things I still struggle with but also seeing how I pulled myself out of some dark places. this one is precious one.
On a lighter note I also keep a list note book. No actually more than one. One holds list of all the positive things that I have experienced in life. One holds all the craft ideas I want to do. One all the things I want to sell. I just love making lists. It gives me peace of mind to see it all neatly listed and out of my head. Sometimes seeing it on paper helps to say good by to things I think I need to do.
Notebook love – aka empty notebooks
I saved the biggest pile for last: empty notebooks. Pretty ones. Special ones. Valuable ones. Pure notebook love to keep. Well not really but some of them make me hesitate to set the pen on paper and deflowering them.
I guess I keep telling myself I use up the other ones first and then I can use the pretty ones. Not the best choice since we just established that I use the business ones daily. Shouldn’t I then use the pretty ones daily and leave the ugly ones in the drawer. Maybe that is a goal for the next year.
The middle one? That I actually a notebook I did myself. It’s a screen printed pattern I created in my #100daysofcraftaliciouspattern challenge. Unfortunately it is a bit messy and I couldn’t use it as a gift as it was intended to. So I kept it and until now just love looking at it.
Alright now I think I gave a good look into my notebook stash and you can probably understand my notebook love. I counted and overall that drawer holder 37 notebooks. I am sure I have misplaced some. Just thinking about it I can think of 4 that are stored in other places. In the end I minimized by three. Could have been better. But at least the drawer is now more organized.
Now let me know how many notebooks you have and what you use them for.
Happy note taking