I’ve long loved to write, and I’ve long had a problem with buying too many aesthetically pleasing notebooks. When I was in middle school, it was hard for me to leave Target without a notebook that inevitably would end up half filled with fictional ramblings under my bed.
As I’ve gotten older and gotten into journaling consistently, I’m still tempted by pretty notebooks, but I’m much less likely to leave a notebook half-finished.
During COVID-19 when I was at home in Colorado for 6 months, I also got really into letter writing. I was lucky enough to have my 1950s Smith-Corona portable typewriter to write with. This was the first time since bringing it home in 2015 that I’d really gotten to use my typewriter, and I wrote so many letters on it and had a ton of fun doing so!
Now that I’m back in Boston, I’m still writing letters and I’m journaling as much as ever. I also use some notebooks to take notes during class on things that aren’t class related (basically the analog version of the notes app on your phone). I’ve gotten really into Field Notes memo books this year and that’s what I use those for (as well as for various other purposes like a gratitude journal and to do some sketchy drawing).
Because I love writing, and I cannot pass up beautiful notebooks and stationery, I though it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you!
My preferred notebooks for journaling are Moleskines. I was hooked as soon as I used my first Moleskine in the summer of 2016. I love their silky smooth paper, and they make gorgeous special editions and have their regular lined-paper notebooks available in variety of plain colors as well. I’ve never used the same color/design of notebook twice.
At my fastest, I’ve used an entire notebook in a month. Otherwise, I average anywhere from 2 to 4 months to fill a notebook.
While most of my used Moleskines are in a box in Colorado, I’ve got a few with me in Boston, including my 2020 planner that I just retired.
Field Notes are a memo sized notebook that are produced in the United States. I learned about Field Notes in the New York Times Holiday Gift Guide (in 2018) I believe, and bought my first pack online (of the Coastal East edition).
What makes Field Notes cool is that on top of their regular product line, they do a quarterly special edition and offer a subscription service for those special editions. I became a subscriber in 2019 with the National Parks edition because they’re so beautiful. FN has since released three additional National Parks packs.
I got further into Field Notes when I joined the “Field Nuts” group on Facebook in the summer of 2020. I’ve started delving just a little into collecting and have ended up with some really cool sold-out books.
Now, I have a whole small shelf on my desk full of unused Field Notes, but I’m also using about 6 of these books at a time. Right now I have one that’s a year-long datebook, a monthly planner, a gratitude journal, a little sketchbook, a place to make lists in regards to apartment/housing related things, one that I make plans for my blog in, one that I’m transforming into a chess study book, and one I just use for general notes (basically it’s the physical version of the notes app on my phone). If I ever have a purpose for a little notebook or conceive of a new use for a Field Notes, I have no qualms in using a notebook because that’s what they’re for, to use, no matter how crazy the purpose is or if I may never actually fill the whole notebook (my apologies to the one I’m using as a sketchbook).
When I was stuck at home during COVID quarantine, I ended up pulling out one of my typewriters (which already had a fairly new tape in it) and I put out a call on Facebook for pen pals. I ended up writing 34 letters off of that first Facebook post, and continued typing letters the entire time I was home
Back in Boston, I don’t have my typewriter, but I do have a pretty good assortment of stationery. I have some blank notecards, a bunch of stickers, watercolor writing paper and envelopes, and a variety of colored pens. All in all, it makes for a pretty appealing set up for writing letters. I send probably about 5 letters a month at my current pace.
I finished a roll of 100 stamps in October, and replaced them with State and Country Fair stamps. I’ve just about got through the entire sheet of those, so at some point in February I’ll look at the USPS website for some more stamps. I’ve got my eye on some Fruits and Vegetables stamps, Snowy Day stamps (with illustrations from Ezra Jack Keats’ classic children’s book The Snowy Day, and Frog stamps. I also might preorder some Love stamps and some postcard stamps that have Barns on them.
Perhaps the greatest addition to my stationery collection comes courtesy of my best friend, Kristen, who gave for personalized notecards for Christmas! Cards like this are perfect to jot off a short letter to a friend, for a heartfelt thank you note, or just to send with a cheerful note and a sticker to brighten someone’s day.
When it comes to my writing supplies, I have my preferences and my favorites from notebooks to stationery because I do a lot of writing. I’ve always loved to write and as long as I keep filling notebooks, sending letters, and needing a place to make lists and put down thoughts, I’ll keep buying stationery.
Every time is the right time to add another pen pal, so drop me your address through my contact form and I’ll write you a letter!
Meanwhile, if you’ve got a writing supply you think I should try out, a notebook brand you love, or more ideas for how I should use my slightly overwhelming amount of Field Notes, let me know in the comments!