Worthy uses for a beautiful notebook
April 22, 2015 8:59 AM   Subscribe

I was given an ornate and perfect and outrageously lovely purple and silver Paperblanks notebook for my birthday. I feel as though nothing I could write could possibly do it justice. What are some suitably noble and beautiful uses for such a thing?

I own a few similar notebooks, and have used them for the following:

- writing all my favourite poems in (in my best handwriting, obvs)
- writing all my favourite quotations in (it was a little tiny book, so one quote per page, in different colours)
- a travel journal
- writing a sort of letter to my baby daughter each month, about all the things she's been doing

Lovers of stationery, please tell me you understand!! What would you do?
posted by raspberry-ripple to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I love Paperblanks. I was given one as a gift and am now on #3. The smoothness of the paper makes it a true pleasure to write in.

I use it as a regular diary, because I've always thought that "saving things for special occasions" was silly, but given how you use notebooks it makes sense that you'd want to use it for something special.

Personally I have been meaning to get a second diary to start a dream journal. Somehow purple and silver made me think of that. Yes, your handwriting on waking up will likely be messy, but I think that would add to the charm.

Buy some purple pens if you really want the whole thing to look unified.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:06 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Do you keep a journal for yourself? It would be a lovely celebration of this year (or whatever time fills the journal) to write it in a beautiful book that you love.
posted by witchen at 9:07 AM on April 22, 2015

I watched or read something recently that talked about writing down the things you are grateful for every Sunday as a way to reflect on weekend and prep for the week ahead. That could be fitting for this!
posted by kmr at 9:11 AM on April 22, 2015

I love the letter to your daughter idea; perhaps expand on that, to include updates/milestones in her life as well as things you want to tell her (can you fit family stories, like about her great grandparents and grandparents in there? Things from your own childhood?)
posted by easily confused at 9:13 AM on April 22, 2015

Fill it with jokes and things that made you laugh, people and conversations and thoughts you came across that amused you or made you feel silly. Use sticky corners to attach drawings and photos and clippings of things that remind you of having fun or letting yourself go a little.

Or be like me and fill your Paperblanks with shopping lists and brief descriptions of weird people on the subway. Those shopping lists are fascinating years down the line. I'm not being sarcastic, they really are interesting.
posted by Mizu at 9:26 AM on April 22, 2015

I have a nice notebook I use as my personal grimoire; I write down the uses of various crystals, prayers to La Santisima Muerte, etc. You could adapt this idea to your personal belief system.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:32 AM on April 22, 2015

Travel journal. Other than very short-term reminders (on something like a piece of scrap paper or a Post-It note) I rarely write things down with pen and paper, but some years ago, when I was taking a trip via a means which was going to leave me with a lot of time to write (a 14-day journey on a boat with a top speed of 8 knots) I packed a notebook and started my first travel journal. Since then on major trips I've made it a practice to bring a journal and recap my thoughts about the trip's experiences -- good or bad -- at least once each day. Generally I write about one to two pages before bed unless it's been a particularly inspiring day.

Every once in a while I pull one of these journals off the shelf and re-read the notes I took on a random trip and it's a great enhancement of my memory -- for me, anyway, it adds greatly to the sense of re-living the trip (and interestingly helps me recall not just the events I've described but also the times and places where I wrote them down, e.g. "that entry was written at that odd little hotel" or "I wrote that one on the train while traveling between {place A} and {place B}.")

It may take you years to fill the notebook but you'll have fun doing it and you may later enjoy reliving the memories you capture.
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:51 AM on April 22, 2015

Look for inspiration at your local Barnes & Noble's diary section. They have lots of 'one entry a day/week' journals with the prompts included. The entries can be drawings too, by the way.
posted by Dragonness at 9:56 AM on April 22, 2015

Oh, I understand, all right. I've been where you are at the edge of this cliff. If I were you I'd burn that thing and rub the ashes on a three-ring binder from a thrift store packed full of cheap notebook paper. Or re-gift it. Make a terrible, painful, dreadful, totally unnecessary sacrifice now to harden yourself against fetishization so that you won't ever be chained the idea that you need an expensive, possibly not-always-going-to-be-gettable piece of equipment in order to write or draw. Or don't do that and get over this "only for the specialest specialness" idea and write whatever you like in there and foreverafter remember that you disobeyed wise counsel to sacrifice the beautiful notebook because you knew you were strong enough not to need it because you know you have the power to make the lowliest newsprint look purple and silver by writing and drawing beautiful things upon it. If you go that route, you can fill the notebook with a long, whimsically illustrated list of ways you could fill the notebook.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:07 PM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

I like using my very nice journal as a gratitude journal, where at the end of the day I write down three things I'm grateful for, one thing I'm proud of, and one nice memory for the day.

I find the structure much less overwhelming than openended journalling, it doesn't take up much space so you get lots of use out of your nice notebook, and it's apparently good for your happiness levels.
posted by EmilyFlew at 12:48 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a nice journal that I am using as a kitchen notebook - to write recipes I've invented, or tips as I learn how to cook certain things, meals that go well together, etc. It's taking a long time to fill up, and since it's pretty it's nice to have it hanging around the kitchen.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:21 PM on April 22, 2015

Jump in and write what you want. If you later find that you would prefer more “worthy” entries, go out and buy another one.

Autrement dit - Don’t overthink it. Just do it.
posted by megatherium at 7:23 PM on April 22, 2015

I like the idea of writing letters to your daughter or a gratitude journal.

A daily journal where you write down the best thing that happened that day would be really nice to look back on later.
posted by Lay Off The Books at 8:54 AM on April 23, 2015

This question mentions Susannah Conway's Unravelling the Year Ahead (this year's here) - there are some good questions in this which don't have to be linked to a year-end assessment.
posted by ontheradio at 5:20 PM on April 24, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for all your thoughts on this. I'm still undecided but I do like the gratitude journal idea (though it would certainly make a beautiful grimoire if I had a belief system...). Thanks again!
posted by raspberry-ripple at 12:38 PM on April 26, 2015

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