The Creativity Project: All the Notebooks

Dawn Dalton
2 min readJun 5, 2024

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How I use them in my projects.

Photo by Kiy Turk on Unsplash

I won’t lie and say that I don’t have a ridiculous amount of notebooks and journals. At one of my past jobs, we were able to buy notebooks for super cheap and I loaded up.

That didn’t mean that I stopped buying notebooks at the store. Because it’s a sickness. I’m probably set for the next couple of years on notebooks.

Sort of. I have different notebooks for different parts of my creative process.

  1. Commonplace notebook. This is the one I replace a couple of times a year and have to buy new ones. The type I use is a thick chipboard cover that makes it easier to write in while out and about. All of my to do lists and story ideas end up in here.
  2. Writer binder. This holds all of my projects and ideas that haven’t been fully formed yet. The pages go in and out as needed.
  3. Writer notebook. This is the place for my setting and character descriptions to go once a series or book is completed in case I want to go back to that world later.
  4. Writer mini happy planner. This is my current setting and character descriptions for the books I’m actively working on. Easy to grab and scribble all over on the go, or remove the pages I need if I’m short on space.
  5. Spiral bound notebooks. Once a book gets beyond a couple of pages in my commonplace notebook, I transfer everything into a plain old college ruled spiral notebook. This is where I do most of my writing because I don’t feel bad if I ruin it or have to tear out pages. Each book gets its own notebook (or two depending on how long the book takes) and I’ve taken to labeling the covers so I can see what’s what.

While this seems like a lot of work to keep myself organized, it keeps me from getting completely overwhelmed by my brain spitting out ideas. It also means that I’ve gone through more notebooks over the last couple of years than I have brought in. Back to school season is still a huge temptation for me, but the fact that I can go through almost a dozen or more notebooks a year helps whittle down my ginormous stack of unused or partially used notebooks.

How do you organize your writing?

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Dawn Dalton

Dawn is a freelance writer, gamer girl, aspiring author, and former manager of a game/ comic store. She can be found lurking on Twitter @theDawnDalton.