Best Laid Plans

BLP Ep #83: Notebook Deep Dive

February 28, 2022


Papier (affiliate – gets you $15 off)


Wonderland 222

Hobonichi Plain Notebook (2 A5 versions on amazon, A6 at Jetpens)

Field Notes

Becky Higgins

Erin Condren (affiliate – no current bonus, but you can get 15% off if you are a new customer and sign up for their emails)

Leuchtturm 1917

Amanda Rach Lee

Archer & Olive

Nuuna (also available at Jenni Bick)

Moleskine (here’s my 2009 review of the to now-defunct but awesome Colour-A-Month system! Beware – bad photography and uncapitalized letters galore . . .)

PS: Amanda’s Favorites just did her own notebooks video – I actually saw this right after recording this ep! I guess great planner-obsessed minds think alike!

Weekend Report

I got done everything on my list + we went to a birthday party with all 3 kids. I do not feel ready to start the work week in any way, shape or form . . . but it’s here so I guess I will just have to deal!

not our house


  • Reply KIRSTEN PIERCE February 28, 2022 at 9:47 am

    You mentioned wanted a better place for meal plans. I’ve recently started using a meal planner by Simple Purposeful Living and love it. It’s 52 weeks so you can definitely go back and look at prior weeks. She also has favorites listed in the back and you can get accessories to go with it to keep lists of what’s worked best.

  • Reply Elisabeth February 28, 2022 at 10:54 am

    That picture of G is ADORABLE. It really looks like she is living her best life.
    It’s -20 Celcius here with the windchill and I’m very much wishing I was living a life that looked a bit more like hers!

  • Reply Courtney February 28, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    I learned from the Lazy Genius/Kendra Adachi to keep a notebook (mine is a thin, softcover moleskine) with my meal planning pad (Rifle Paper). The notebook keeps various meal planning lists—including brainless crowdpleasers, someday/maybes, and holidays—that I refer to while planning meals. This system has worked very well for me and reminds me of my mother. She passed away, but I’ve held on to some of her spiral bound Mead notebooks where she kept her lists, including traditional holiday meal planning.

    One more notebook to add to your list is the Kokuyu Campus notebook. It comes in various sizes and colors and has incredibly smooth paper. It has a very functional design and I love it for taking notes during work meetings and my morning pages writing practice.

  • Reply Shanna February 28, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    Hi, have you seen a pretty notebook with a table of contents page?


  • Reply Kate March 1, 2022 at 10:16 am

    If you have a link to the guy who logged his life in Field Notes notebooks, I would be really interested in reading that story!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 1, 2022 at 2:24 pm

      Gahhhh I just searched and haven’t found it! It was a random Reddit link I clicked on. I will keep trying 🙂

  • Reply Y March 2, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Really enjoyed hearing about the different notebooks. Here are two of my favourite notebooks:

    Rhodia Classic Stapled notebooks – dotted paper, A5 size, black cover

    Clairefontaine Europa Notemaker wirebound notebook A4, blue cover.

    Both available from

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 2, 2022 at 11:34 am

      I ALMOST included Rhodia! And I used to love Clairefontaine’s multi colored graph notebooks. Such lovely smooth paper!

  • Reply Dena Moskowitz March 2, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    Great episode! Goodwill auctions sometimes has groups of notebooks for auction! I have even seen leuchtturm1917 there. If someone is low on funds they can try there.

  • Reply Carolyn Cohen March 5, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    I think I’ve finally cured myself of my sticky note/small note paper habit where I’d take notes on a phone call or jot down a quick small piece of info on a large array of tiny bits of paper. I have a thin notebook (that was a gift from a while back with no real branding) that I’m taking with me, along with my planner that doesn’t have a lot of note-taking space (notebook is thin and 8×11; planner is classic Passion Planner). I’m putting everything in there — all the random bits — and already, I’ve cleared the clutter significantly from my work space and I’ve saved a lot of time looking for those little tidbits of info. I haven’t gotten around to indexing it yet, and I’m not sure I will, but it’s okay — looking through one notebook is a lot easier than an unwieldly stack of scraps of paper!

  • Reply Anupama March 9, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    1) Really love that I’m not the only one not impressed by Moleskine paper. Thank you for saying it out loud.
    2) I LOVE the MIO paper in the KOKUYO jibun techo. Especially with my juice up pen. Planning to order the KOKUYO pen with my next JetPens order. Love the KOKUYO Mark + highlighters as well on the Mio. Love the thin lightweight yet strong nature of MIO paper.
    3) I am happy with paper quality for executive functioning success planner, which I use as a “Franken planner” with the circa page punch, page holders, and covers and aluminum 3/4 inch disc, so I can move papers around while using, then archive in 3 ring binder that is landscape. Per Marydee this page planner is something to discard at the end of the day. I use mine often for brain dumps when not journaling and to track notes, phone calls, tasks “in progress” and can’t imagine discarding. I recall you mentioning this concept of discarding a day page at a time as a concept.
    4) Just got my first Midori MD notebook, (dotted, based on what is in stock at JetPens) A5 pages easier for 3 morning pages than “US notebook paper that I share with my kids” in my A4 size Franken planner!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 9, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      Oh so intrigued by your executive function success planner! And yes, Mio paper is so nice.

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