I too loved these little books, but in the last few years I’ve changed some parameter of my journal every time I needed a new one. I changed the brand, the size, I used soft and hard covers, plain, square or ruled (although, they were always black).
It was a fun experiment, but now I’ve come to a conclusion of what suits my needs best: Leuchtturm 1917
either dotted or plain.
The Master is large enough for keeping full A4 pages. I use it for plannings, sketches, technical stuff etc. Most of the time it sits on my desk and waits to be filled - usually one to two pages per day.
The Medium is just the right size for a journal. It fits easily in almost every bag, is large enough for notes, quotes, thoughts and so on. The smallest format, A6, is also quite nice. But for me, the Medium is simply the best choice.
The following sounds like an advertisement, but the tagline of the Leuchtturm 1917 company is “Details machen den Unterschied” (“Details make all the difference”), I have to include some of their noteworthy details:
- Ink proof paper - earlier editions of the notebooks used a thinner paper (much like the paper used in Moleskine notebooks), but recent editions use a 80g/qm paper - perfectly suited for a fountain pen.
- The “Dotted” variant is a nice compromise between plain and square, it’s unobtrusive and still provides enough guidance.
- Numbers and Index - the pages are numbered and a small index is printed on the first few pages.
- Detachable sheets - some companies offer notebooks with detachable sheets, sometimes you can rip out half of the notebook. Leuchtturm only has 8 sheets which is more than I ever ripped out of a notebook, so I consider this a plus.
- Labelling stickers - quite nice for organisation-fanatics, during usage we have the slick plain look of the black notebook we all love, but for archiving purposes there are a few labelling stickers in each notebook package.
Even though we’ve access to email, note-taking applications, the Web etc. almost all the time, I still love the old classy feeling of a notebook and (in my case) a fountain pen.
So often is the virgin sheet of paper more real than what one has to say, and so often one regrets having marred it.
— Harold Acton