Practical Obsession

I am sure I am not alone when I say I love office supplies. Post-Its, pens, Sharpies, folders — I love them all. But my favorite thing of all are notebooks. I cannot get enough of notebooks. I used to buy them willy-nilly, but after over 15 years of buying/collecting notebooks, I’ve figured out what kind I like best.

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The bottom row are Studio Oh! notebooks with canvas covers. They lay flat when opened, and are not so small that I can’t scribble freely and not so large that they intimidate with too much open space. They are my notebooks of choice. The two on the top row are different brands, but will be used lovingly as well. The other thing I love about the Studio Oh! notebooks are the endpapers. Check them out:

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Gorgeous, right? Okay, so yes, pretty things attract my eye. But, what good is an obsession if I can’t use them to fuel my love for writing? Fortunately, I have figured out a system. One notebook per project. Ideas, notes, character names, brainstorming, timelines, everything having to do with that project goes into one notebook.


I date the notebook and any new entry. It ends up being a journal of the journey of my WIP. Anytime I have a new idea, I start a new notebook. Sometimes I fear I get new ideas just so I can use a new notebook!

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These are all the notebooks that are currently in use for different projects. There are A LOT! But I never have to dig through a bunch of notebooks, flip through pages of notepads, or shuffle through loose paper or scraps to find notes for a WIP. If I do scribble something pertinent for a WIP on a scrap paper, it gets transcribed into the proper notebook.

Recently, at my local indie bookstore, I discovered these gorgeous notebooks by Bindewerk, a German company.

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They cost more than I normally spend on notebooks, but I couldn’t resist. I loved the cover art, and the pages are thick and luxurious. I knew I’d save them for something very special. And that something very special happened. The one on the left is for recording all my conversations/communications with my editor. The one on the right is for recording all my conversations with my agent. This way, I have everything in one place should I need to recall when a certain something happened or what was said specifically about a draft, or even more importantly, when I need encouragement and a reminder that my editor and/or agent really do like my work, my writing. It’s easier than having to scroll through a ton of emails. A bonus was getting to use the special bookmarks I bought during my last trip to Paris, for these notebooks.


Ah, but my bookmark obsession/collection is for another blog post. Happy writing!


authorDebbi Michiko Florence writes full time in her cozy studio, The Word Nest. Her favorite writing companions are her dog, Trixie, and her two ducks, Darcy and Lizzy.

The first two books of her debut chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi will be coming out from Farrar Straus Giroux in Spring 2017, with two more books to follow. She is also the author of an early reader chapter book series, Dorothy & Toto (Picture Window Books/Oct. 2016).

You can visit her online on her web site and her reading blog. She’s also onTwitter.




Filed under process, Writing and Life

22 responses to “Practical Obsession

  1. annbedichek

    Ooh…. so gorgeous… and so organized. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Notebooks…you can’t ever have too many!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh! Now I want to go shopping for notebooks… And then there are the notebooks others give us as gifts, which aren’t quite right… I save those to give as prizes, or to take on trips where I’d hate to lose the “real” ones…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was thanks to you that I found those German notebooks I love. 🙂 And yes, those journal gifts are challenging. One of the ones pictured above was a gift but I ended up loving and look forward to using. Otherwise, I end up using journals that are not quite right for my writing for other things – like keeping track of Things to Do.


  4. So pretty and organized! I must confess notebooks and binders are my weakness. But the closer I get to my book launch, a legion of file folders are starting to take over my home😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do tell! I want to know what you’re doing with your file folders! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I have some that are decorated by month so I can plan what needs to be done each month such as when I have to complete interview questions for book blogs, certain award deadlines, and what I need to do as launch approaches, and other side projects related to pub date. I have Paisley ones for presentations, and multicolored ones for marketing issues such as bookmarks, festivals,organizations who might be interested in my book. And a different design for my stuff in my other role as wife and mom. I don’t think the office supply store near me has any left in stock 😊 Then there’s the post it notes………

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh oh….I see file folder shopping in my future! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You absolutely do! The office supply store should be re-stocked and ready for you😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn Rabin Bauer

    “Practical obsession” is the perfect way to describe my own notebook fetish and makes it seem like a necessity, so thank you! (Okay, it IS a necessity, even if it isn’t, say, food or water….) And thanks for including such great photos, makes me want to crack open a notebook right now!


  6. Wow, Debbi, you are astonishingly well-organized. I am left-handed and have horrible handwriting. I learned early to type 100 words a minute so the only thing I hand write is an occasional grocery list. Nevertheless, I admire your beautiful tools and supplies!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Those are beautiful. And I love your thoughts on organization.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elly Swartz

    I love that you journal your journey for each book. The journals are so beautiful and how wonderful and practical to have it all tucked into one spot. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for the great notebook ideas, Debbi! Love them!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kathyduval

    I wish it wasn’t 10:00 pm or I’d go right now and buy some notebooks! Thanks, Debbi!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. mariagianferrari

    They are gorgeous, Debbi! I just use composition books for research, notes and journaling, but I may just have to invest a bit more. And now I want to see the bookmark collection :)!


  12. Please do tell about your bookmark collection, too!!!


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