These notebooks are noteworthy: the best journal for the job


Photo by Madeline McInnis

I’m one of those students who, if I’m on my laptop, I’m bound to be on Facebook instead of taking notes. For that reason, as well as to help with memory, I made the switch to handwriting.

Between my bullet journal, my creative pocket notebook, my publications notebook and my class notes, I almost always have my backpack jammed with paper – and, boy, am I picky!

These are my recommendations for the best notebooks for whatever the purpose.



Moleskine is a classic and reliable choice; it’s what I use for all my class notes.

They also have limited edition prints too, if you’re into that kind of thing. Some I’ve seen in the past include Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and Batman.

They also do themed journals, like the traveller’s or the wellness, for a cute do-it-yourself-without-all-the-work vibe.

The only personal downside I see in Moleskine is that I prefer dotted or grid-lined paper and I had to go all the way to the brand’s home in Italy to find a grid journal in a colour that wasn’t black.

If you like lined paper, they’re readily available. Around here, you can find them at Words Worth Books and Chapters, and they come in almost every size and shape that you would need.


Essentials Notebooks

Like all notebooks made by Peter Pauper Press, these were designed with cost and efficiency in mind.

I’d really recommend anything by Peter Pauper – for the price, the quality is fantastic – but these notebooks are great for tossing in your backpack without worry of ruining them.

From what I’ve seen, they come in two sizes, large and pocket, and three paper types, blank, ruled and grid.

However, they only come in black, which might be a downfall for anyone who likes a little pop in their cover.

I got mine at Indigo, but I know you can also get them on Amazon. Last time I checked, they had Prime shipping too, so you can use that sweet Student Amazon deal to get this one even faster and cheaper to boot.



These are probably one of my favourites on the list. They come in all the same sizes as the Moleskine journals, but typically include more pages.

I also prefer dotted paper to ruled, and Leuchtturm’s primary type is dotted, though you can find ruled, grid and plain pages as well.

Chapters Indigo typically has decent sales on them – usually around 30 per cent off – every month or so, but they only carry the pocket sizes and the large hardcover journals. They also have a very limited selection of paper that’s not dotted.

Phidon Pens in Cambridge has almost every variety of this brand in virtually every colour – even the hundredth anniversary editions that I haven’t been able to find anywhere in Canada other than here!


Chapters Embossed Journals

Most of the notebooks I’ve listed so far have only come in solid colours, but Chapters embossed journals come in tonnes of designs to match their styles of the season.

They come in two sizes and only have lined paper, but I’m willing to make an exception for these ones.

The covers feel awesome. It’s not quite a hard cover, but it’s not quite a soft cover either. It’s a mix of the two with the biggest benefits of both – easy to hold and durable to boot.

Understandably, these are only available at Chapters Indigo. However, it’s worth noting that these notebooks are almost always going on sale.

There’s no point in buying them for the price of a Moleskine if you can just wait a few weeks to get it for half the listed price. Keep checking on your favourite designs online and I promise that you won’t regret it.


So, whether you’re writing the next great novel or doodling over your class notes, keep these brands in mind while you’re making your next notebook purchase.

They’re all a conducive of writing experience that I would highly recommend!

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