There is a dangerous obsession with notebooks I’ve encountered recently. Not the digital kind that gets thinner and thinner and thinner (while losing vital functions in both hardware and software), but another kind of notebook. A more paper-based form of the term. The internet tells me it’s been going on for a long time (and who am I to argue?), but it seems that I can remember forms of this even when I was a little kid. Remember those branded folders? The really cool 3D designs and other weirdness that accompanied complex three-ring binders that also held folders and other school items (like pencils). Think of it like the writing version of the lunchbox. No matter if it is a brown paper sack or an industrial steel box with a latch covered in the latest cartoon character: they do the same job. Don’t they?
I’m torn on this issue, actually. There is a very popular brand of tiny (and expensive) minimalist(ish) notebooks on the market (and in various retail outlets) that claim a great following with a certain crowd. At the same time you have to wonder — what’s the difference between those very expensive bindings of paper and, say, something you could pick up for the change in your pocket at a big box store? Well, having used the big box store version (and finding they fall apart in my pocket) I went with a mid-level brand of notebook. Being totally honest: big difference. The paper is smooth to write on (even when using the pens I’ve always used), the form factor (smaller) is convenient to carry, and the quality of the build is leaps and bounds beyond the cardboard that literally fell apart in my pocket last year. Even barring all of these benefits there is the intangible benefit: it makes me write more. I no longer feel the need for a computer to compose — I bring a paper notebook and a pen and I type it up when I return. Your mileage may very, but it’s something to look into (especially if you’ve already been considering such things.