I often hear writers talk about how many notebooks they go through, and I feel like a fraud because I personally don’t find them very effective. I do have a nice spiral-bound notebook with BB8 on the front because why not, and I do plot in there sometimes. It’s very useful when I do chapter outlining and write out a synopsis for a current novel. The thing is, it only takes me a couple pages per novel, so I haven’t exactly filled it up (and I’ve had this one for a good while now)
I differentiate my writing notebook from my writing journal. My journal is more of a, well, journal, and it’s filled with all sorts of different notes and such. I jot down writing updates, notes from articles/lectures/books, potential plot ideas, goals per month/season/year…it’s all over the place. It’s nice to go back and look at. But again, I’ve had this journal for a good few years. It has a decent amount of pages (plus it’s Hobbit themed so I’m reluctant to get rid of it). Maybe I just write small. Who knows.
One thing I do utilize, though, is notebook apps like Evernote. I think I just like the freedom to be able to delete words without getting pencil shavings all over the place. I have a few novels that I’ve plotted in Evernote, and it’s super handy to be able to go back and edit whenever anything changes.
I do love my notebooks and journals, and I do hope that I get better at utilizing them. Maybe it would be good for me to write things down more instead of hoping they stay up in my head because, let’s be real, that doesn’t work out very often.