Help me pick out the perfect journal
June 19, 2008 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Please help me find the perfect journal. I'm looking for something around 5x7 inches in size (smaller is okay, bigger not so much), with lined sheets. At least 150-200 pages, but more is good too. I like things with nice clean designs, hand-made or letterpress covers are terrific, cute things in general are great. I'm just having trouble sifting through all of the things that don't meet my specifications to find something I like. When I don't have something I like to write in, I'm much less likely to carry it around with me and actually write.
posted by booknerd to Shopping (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Hate to be obvious, but...
posted by Menomena at 8:48 AM on June 19, 2008

But Moleskines are not 200 pages. You can search hundreds of these on Amazon. Here is a really nice one from Levenger.
posted by mattbucher at 9:06 AM on June 19, 2008

I'm not sure what kind of retailers you have in the area, but my local Borders store has quite a selection. It's better to go in somewhere to actually handle them, of course.

Regarding Menomena's Moleskine suggestion: It's true that they are not 200 pages. But you might consider this: they are pretty thin, which makes them very handy to carry around. If the convenience of that makes you more apt to carry it, it could be worthwhile to just buy several and store them by date as you fill them up. Free input and worth every penny.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:18 AM on June 19, 2008

I really like a particular model from picadilly, that I asked about in this question. Although they only have ~100 pages (I wish they had more, too) they're good enough for me that I'm working on a pretty good stockpile. They do have other options.

I've gone so far as to start talking to local bookbinders about making me the perfect journal. Unsurprisingly, custom binding would be prohibitively expensive for me. Something to consider if you have super-strong stationary standards.
posted by GPF at 9:20 AM on June 19, 2008

The Moleskine Volants are shorter, but the other ones in their series (like the soft notebooks) are 192 pages. They're light in my purse and sturdy as heck.
posted by Menomena at 9:33 AM on June 19, 2008

Circa via Levenger. A bit more $$, but very customizable and nice quality paper (or use their binding system and your own paper). Your post seems to indicate that you appreciate quality and recognize that it may not be cheap. I find most of Levenger's products to be highly overpriced, but the Circa system is worth the cost IMHO. I use their rings, dividers, and tabs, but I design my own pages for my particular, specific uses. Because the dividers, covers, and tabs are based on standard (U.S.) page sizes (3x5, 1/2-letter, and letter), it's very easy to roll-your-own notebooks.

A good source for inspiration/ideas is the Do-It-Yourself Planner site, which not only covers planners, but also journals, and much more, with a particular emphasis on "analog" (paper) systems.
posted by webhund at 9:34 AM on June 19, 2008

I'd recommend looking around Etsy. When I didn't find the perfect journal for my needs, I asked one of the sellers who had listed something similar to what I wanted, if they would make me a custom journal and they did. Etsy now has a specific section called Alchemy where you can post what you'd like and how much you'd pay and see if anyone will do it for you. Handmade stuff is the best.
posted by eunoia at 9:43 AM on June 19, 2008

have a cardboard bound cover and with rounded corners, a bookmark and an elastic closure.
An expandable inner pocket made of cardboard
and cloth contains the Moleskine history.
The acid free paper pages are thread bound.
Pocket size: 9 x 14 cm (3½ x 5½")
Large size: 13 x 21 cm (5 x 8¼")

The basic notebook
with ruled pages.
Pocket: 192 pages.
Large: 240 pages.

They are 200 pages, and are currently as cool as MACs. ;)
posted by caddis at 11:03 AM on June 19, 2008

Recommending looking at See Jane Work. Offhand, the ones I see there that would fit are the Duet Journal Sets, the Start Here, and the Quad Journals.
posted by artifarce at 11:37 AM on June 19, 2008

My boyfriend bought me a Ciak journal in blue with rainbow-colored pages and I love it.
posted by pinksoftsoap at 12:06 PM on June 19, 2008

Moleskines have already been mentioned, but you said you liked nice covers and such. Modofly makes laser-etched moleskines. They do custom jobs, but for large quantities. Engraveyourbook offers custom laser etching for moleskines. For a large with custom etch would set you back about $37.
posted by Deflagro at 12:40 PM on June 19, 2008

This blog post discusses the process of finding the ideal journal by someone who has very demanding and specific requirements. Be sure to read the comments for additional information.
posted by conrad53 at 2:44 PM on June 19, 2008

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