For The Record

It’s advice that comes up again and again, and which most recently came to my attention as I read a Fast Company piece about Pentagram designer Michael Bierut and his tips for productive creatives:

1. Keep a notebook. Bierut started this practice in 1992, and now has 86 of the things. But they’re not some fancy Moleskins full of lush watercolor sketches. They’re plain vanilla notebooks, filled with, well, notes and the occasional sketch. They seem to work as well as the high-priced spread.

Our workspace is overflowing with my notebooks, at all times. I love them. I collect them. I still have sketchbooks from middle school, that I’ve moved between each and every one of the seven apartments I’ve occupied in Boston. It drives Jack a bit crazy, since he’s the type to work an idea out in his head completely before putting pen to paper.

In an attempt to find a happy medium, we’re on the hunt for the perfect notebook – something durable enough to live in our bike bags, but flexible enough to open flat; large enough for loose sketching and doodles, but small enough to tuck in a purse; basic enough to buy in bulk, but sleek enough to leave out on the table; and, preferably, available with grid lines (for him), and plain sheets (for me).

Easy-peasy, yes?

And so, we’re working on a notebook round-up to be featured here in the near future – but we would love your input. Are you an advocate of notebook use? Do you have a favorite? Do you struggle with an addiction to crisp, new notebooks as I do? Do you have a notebook management system to keep scribbled chaos in check?

Get in touch in the comments or on Twitter, or shoot me an email at – I can’t wait to check out your suggestions!

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