Can We (as writers) Have Too Many Journals or Notepads?

Small sampling of my journals and notebooks

Small sampling of my journals and notebooks

I enjoyed all the responses to my post last week about personal libraries and how many books we have, don’t have, need to get rid of, and so on.

On a similar track… I’ve always enjoyed journaling and my mom and friends know that, so I’m always receiving beautiful journal books for special occasions.

I can use journals for:

  • Personal thoughts
  • Notes about individual novels I plan to write (someday)
  • Short stories that need to spurt onto a page
  • Travelogues
  • Trip planning
  • Story idea collecting
  • 5-year journal for brief snippets of my day
  • Morning pages
  • Poetry
  • Personal growth (some journals come with daily exercises)
  • Wines I’ve tried
  • Books I want, are recommended, have read, have reviewed…

I also have a collection of various types of notebooks and note pads and use those for writing workshops, writing group exercises, conferences, and so on. It’s difficult to pass up back-to-school specials on some spiral bound notebooks or pads of paper – so I have a lot!

Do you find different uses for different types of journal books, notebooks, and note pads? Do you have a favorite type of journal or notebook that you use most often?

Lisa_2015Lisa J. JacksonΒ is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

55 thoughts on “Can We (as writers) Have Too Many Journals or Notepads?

  1. I like to keep a pocket notepad to jot down notes and reminders. I’m not a fan of using smartphones for note taking. Even though smartphones are convenient I find it much easier to write with a pen than with a tiny digital keyboard.

  2. It is so good to know I am not the only notebook/journal collector out there! When I see a really cute or interesting one I sometimes literally have to tear myself away from it. It’s crazy how many empty ones I have in stock. Although, after reading your post, now I know it’s normal to have so many πŸ™‚

  3. Okay, so it’s agreed we all have tons of these! And love them. What I want to know is how many are kept and how many are discarded and what the criteria for getting rid of them is? I’ve boxes and boxes of used (as in: I wrote in them!) journals – yikes!

    • I’ll probably horrify a great number of people reading this – many of which write – by stating that I’ve come to the conclusion I want to discard many of my notebooks. Things written years ago either seem stale, or written by a totally different person…

      • I don’t think people will be horrified, Bea. I need to dedicate some time to go through my journals… I already know I have similar feelings about some, as you mention. I have definitely read journals from my late teens/early 20s that I can’t believe I wrote. Love who I am now… don’t even know what I’d say to the younger me I find in those journals….

    • I posed that question earlier in the year, Laura, as I have way too many, too and I was packing to move and didn’t know if I wanted to save & move them again or toss ’em. Decided to keep them until I can go through them. My favorite feedback was to keep those journals/pages that bring back memories I want to cherish and not save the ones that bring back unpleasant memories. I find that when I read old stuff, I can’t even believe (at times) that I wrote it! Only you can decide what is best for you, of course. πŸ™‚

  4. I compulsively buy the dollar rack notebooks at a crafting store, every time I am there. I fill them with research notes and plot points and character sketches. I keep them all and there are never enough. LOL

  5. Aside from little notebooks I keep under my pillow, on the coffee table, in the car and in my to go bag to jot down my writing ideas when they hit me, I recently started a new notebook exclusively for words I think/believe might help me shape the novel I’m currently writing and those that I will write in the future (dream big, right?) I did it because although there is something called Goggle, you have to know first what word you are looking for to be able to type it on the search bar, and since my mind is experiencing an early onset of Alzheimer this little vocabulary notebook will certainly help me to remember when my foggy brain needs some nudge to work properly.

  6. I don’t do journaling, but I know two sassy ladies who do:

    Emma Watson has about 30 journals where she keeps everything:
    diary, yoga diary, quotes, things people have said to her…

    JK Rowling more ore less wrote Harry Potter in journals:
    She has shoe boxes full of paper, and diaries and so on, where she wrote every tiny bit of the Potter world. There’s a video: Harry Potter and Me, there’s a scene in there where you can see all this mess, and she still has some sort of understanding where everything is. Amazing, isn’t it?

    Have a nice week!

  7. I keep digital notes in my phone for ideas that come while I’m working out then I have a journal for dreams and devotions which have been known to spark posts. My absolute favorite pen is a Zebra ball point. Aside from that I always want to buy stationary so I make it a point to send hand written cards and letters.

    • I bought note cards a few years ago to keep with the hand-written cards idea. I still have *all* the cards. sigh. I have favorite writing pens, too, from Levenger. I’d forgotten about my digital journal from my bike-at-the-gym days when I didn’t have paper/pen with me, but I had my phone! Must go get those off the phone. πŸ™‚

    • who else can cure me of the joy of endless stocking of stationery relevant to my computing & manual scribling? Can Ruth do the healing?Who actually love the writing disease? above all i still thank my Creator i m not suffering from agraphia-inability to write

  8. Lisa again! And books I wish you can ship allthiseblank otepads and journal books to my address in Nigeria for friends SHO know I live books,journal pads etc germane to scribbling,I ve just recommended a Rotarian few minutes ago and have been on pc since morning actively 40.30 w10% of work on multimedia android iPad and little work on my laptop needingr repair for back Ul reasons yu actually deuce with me why scribbling notes on blank pads and how different shapes or colour of pads impel me to jot down notes for a novella & bigger works and kindles and surely I must stabilize selected stories of bars that impact on me psychologically so much across 25 years – I must of should I say I ought go write about them even though a few of the. Are mothers and one recently was promoted to a professor! other than Ilana Haley an Israeli poets and literary editor based I. The USA you are the one whose posts attract my responses almost spontaneously contrary to tonight c213am here i merely plan to reply YEs i use or love note pads which add not anything to treasure for any of my friends ,They are less attached as I was . a few might even asked me to pick as much as I need from their chubby tables .Just last week Friday a former chief Statistician now heading a Research & Planning department of a state Ministry of health will not even mind offering you a spreadsheet and he so buoyed and now a changed personality . n summary I hope Lisa can ship her so called note pads waste or journals to me At Ibadan I will appreciate immensely,Sequel to a series of comments I made on change agenda Clive Bevan shipped his book “Listening To The Dolphins ” to me barely a year ago ,I was so glad receiving it askance I should publish & print books not less a quality like that – hardcover and gloss all through,Till date while some writers prefer or use e-reader a larger few still prefer to hold the pri Ted leaves of books or novels than revel I. Kindles or other e – format options did Lisashardd her unread Unused stale journals when she was relocating a few months ago? i m curious because I advise otherwise .. hope you kindly reply How this will be shipped or parceled to me soonest I was checking current cost of table pads with gum. In a Chinese shop in the biggest mall at Ibadan I was surprised to hear the salesman telling me #1000 I implying Sent from my iPad about $3.00! What’s obtainable at 5ce less the cost a few meters out of the mall. However same goes for London or New York or BAngkok shops.., Gbemi Tijani Ibadan Olona Estate Ashi Bodija Ibadan Oyo State Nigeria Mobile 08036711291(whatsapp) SMS (08166663316) iPad email

    Ps impromptu post – apologia for errata GTJMST

  9. No, Because of the writing dis-ease I don’t think any sort of canvass or stationery or cut diary or pad can be enough for a typical or totally evolved writer or poet especially those musing or writing beyond consulting. how much more those writing a poem a day as DAvid Graham had taught or popularized In theUSA..

    Gbemisoyetijani@yahoo com Gbemi Tj @bymst2bymst @Gbemi_gbemi

    Sent from my iPad

      • i thought i ‘m eccentric. i love those empty spaces innocently packaged with diaries and intentionally customized as big as A3 in size for special clientele by richer companies or Non-profit with buxom grants. A times they are robust enough to list my fresh or older snippets.I laugh and laugh inwardly when a doctor told me he doesn’t use diaries and I replied in the affirmative.He was surprised i recieved & regarded a two-year old A4 diary of a Telecom company laden with blank spaces with thanks.It was just enough to sketch a short story or precis a grant proposal to stabilize a short anthology of Hilarious Brains & Beauties partly for fulfillment of libido creativity and also to glorify women as multitaskers, as soul mates in real life and in classics & biographies such as Martha Bernays- Sigmund Freud s fiance in a Novel authored by Irving Stone whose ambition is to have half -a-dozen children.Sigi,her fiancee who later became the Founder of Psychoanalysis said that ‘s not a big deal.In a life time they both achieved their marital and academic goals.
        Genuinely born or called writers other than prize fighters often find it impossible not to be copiously supplied or blessed with plenty of canvass to freely paint their thoughts .Women themselves are a bundle of delight and volumes of encyclopedia will be published or kindled if all men& women were to be writers or poets painters,playwrights. Ladies who are cabarets mongers s who are partly or fully Jews,Afro -Americans, partly Chinese partly of fully French or Irish or Thai or Hungarian or Finnish ladies deserve special chapters in such an anthology which should nt be parsimonious of space for Feminine voice too..Yet not all of them are not top career immigrants who are politically aware of their role in the society beyond pro-creation.They are mostly single moms with a propensity To Live Life to the fullest -not just to Write or profess & Live.
        Could writers have loved writing if they are not bumped or jam into free pads or received them as gifts once in a while?

        I loath to bump or go into malls or Bookseller ‘s without good cash because i will be exposed to cute and inviting stationery plus pens and ballpoint pens with splendid colors. I love anythe premier un iversity in Black Africa ,the University of Ibadan. He was not just erudite his affability is infectious.He actually dispensed inspiration.The like of Mark was just a boy -academic to him.I ,myself is just one of his numerous men-tees .He helped to read through a novella which Prince Nosa Osaigboivo -also of blessed memory encouraged me to enlarge into a short memoir of hilarious past between 1999 & 2005 .Imagine.I always look forward for opportunities that can facilitate me cheaply to help me to write as if i m paid for graviti I rarely go for old calendars because i wasn’t yet an aimworld member who wears a mobile bacterial protector.on Iprotect a health pendant that can repel or disintegrate bacteria & viruses, I go for bank diaries,oil & gas pocket diaries .Only their weight and distance of freighting majorly can justify my shunning them away!
        I m very generous at scribbling & buying when i see cheap yet cute stationery .Maybe i m in a hurry to pen my story ideas down knowing fully i may not be able to write them all in a life time except invite like minds like Mark Ighile,PhD .We co-pen a poem dedicated to a beloved & revered drama teacher,Dapo Adelugba emeritus professor of Theater Arts when Mark was at the Literary Desk of Sketch Press Ltd Ibadan in the 90s
        What else have i most scribbled as a raw material for writing than a list of young adult girls,brilliant ladies in the Lord and medicos that i have encountered as free editors or attracted to me in my school &working days-lady journalists inclusive.A lot more of others will deserve special chapters especially the likes of 50s who are also cabarets lovers or medicos,as writers, as Prime Ministers and these days in Black Africa s biggest nation as engineers & architects….I m rarely unruffled with Bank Diaries for i stance i have always dream of writing not only” So Long a Love Letter but also dare a prose collection recurrently dressed as ’70 Hilarious Lilies’ ,
        7 Un=regrettable encounters,
        3 Missed Medicos …
        either on a kindle or orthodox canvass of hard cover or paperbacks…..that s my own tip of the iceberg story with notepads ….but i also love to click notepad for its rapidity.
        gbemi tijani mst

  10. Journals, journals, journals. Sometimes a great gift in my life. Sometimes if I have forgotten that I saved it for a specific purpose then it becomes a burden. Like Pattisj above I too have at least one in ever room .

  11. I think the very act of picking out a new journal inspires all sorts of new thoughts and written words – I treat it as an almost magical event; can’t just start writing “Dear Diary” in any old notebook, oh no! It has to speak to especially to me at that particular time and place… which means, I suppose, that a person can NEVER have too many!

    • I like how you look at it, Too Mutch… definitely an inspiring activity to picking out (or accepting) new journals. I have a leather one with long tie specifically for travel writing entries – as it reminds me of Indiana Jones – my entries aren’t quite that adventurous, but it was the cover and paper inside that whispered ‘travel entries’. πŸ™‚ I like the NEVER to many comment, too. Perfect!

  12. Yes, perhaps we can have too many…. Less jotting down, more simple jots with deeper writing soon after! Plus, I always tended to use it for personal matters, as well–not good writing, in general. Not so very useful when creatively writing NF or fiction. They add up, that’s for sure, when used in any way, and I would rather be working on a longer piece. I do use lots of Post Its when at home…I usually have a small purse-sized notepad with me but if I do not have it there are always napkins and torn pieces of random paper or memo pads somewhere. It all works out.

  13. I have so many. I collect them when I travel too. I write my books in longhand, so I have many. Assorted sizes for travel and for different projects. But for writing my books, a thick 3 – ringed lined 81/2 x 11 is my go to. πŸ™‚

      • Oh, I sure do Lisa. And that’s funny because, my pen glides along at the speed of thought. I just don’t feel creative on the keyboard, I feel it holds me back because I’m looking at what I’m typing and always tempted to backtrack and/or edit. My first drafts are exactly that – rough writing away. After first draft, first round revisions begin as I enter my story into the computer. πŸ™‚

  14. I am a bit journal-obsessed. I make and sell them on Etsy, so you would think I would just make myself one when I need it. Which I do, of course, BUT that does not stop me from buying one from someone else! When a journal calls to me, I have to have it. I currently have 2 that I’m writing in – for different things – and about 8 blank ones just waiting for words. But I can think of worse obsessions πŸ™‚

  15. I read this and I laughed hysterically. I have notebooks, journals, and papers all over the place. The joy of writing causes one to have numerous notebooks. It’s nothing like cracking open a new notebook πŸ™‚

  16. I thought it was just me! I have a collection of journals that go way back – some for my personal thoughts (mostly when I was needing a place to vent or work through my emotions) but also others to record quotes I love, lists of words I like (top of the list: discombobulated!), dreams I’ve had, books I plan to read, potential workshops I hope to create, coaching exercise I find fascinating, etc. I’ve been in love with stationary and card stores my whole life too! Always thought I was a bit quirky this way…good to know I’m not alone! πŸ˜‰

  17. Oh man, Julie and I at both have crazy amounts of journals. I have 3 in use currently and 4 blank and waiting! I seriously don’t know what I’d do without them and cannot keep myself from buying new ones. I really like the ones from StudioOh! that lay flat when you open them. Vibrant, heavy duty covers, lined pages, and easy to write in. They are perfection.

  18. Pingback: Writing Links Round Up 2/27-3/4 – B. Shaun Smith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s