How to Keep & Love a Notebook

Harriet theSPy

Because, secretly, we all really wanna be as cool as Harriet the Spy!

With a notebook, you have the power to record any idea, thought, new-found philosophy, goal, vision, artistic impulse, etc. that pops into your fabulous, brilliant mind!

1) Keep it Neat!

…Or, at least, attempt to keep it neat. Organic, handwritten notebooks are wonderful. But in the age of keyboards and keypads, the task of writing can seem slow, outdated and arduous- it just takes too long to write everything down. Especially, within those blessed singular moments of creative genius, when your mind is gushing with a million creative, innovative and irreplaceable ideas. If you don’t jot those magical thoughts down immediately, they’re basically doomed to be forgotten- cast away into the darkest, loneliest corners of your imaginative memory. Pen hitting the paper, you can’t help but want to scribble your brilliance down as fast as possible, which, more often than not, results in a really sloppy notebook entry.

That’s okay… but, in my opinion, it’s important to keep your notebook pretty and organized. When you return to your notebook that contains the scribblings of your creative genius, it’s rather disappointing to discover that your excited hand wrote down your ideas in illegible chicken scratch. And this is why I suggest that you keep not one, but TWO notebooks…

2) Keep One Handy & Keep One Secret.

Keep a handy notebook with you at all times. You never know when you’re mind will startle you with the most eternally elegant undiscovered lines of an unwritten poem. It’s up to YOU, the artist, to materialize those lines into gorgeous prose. If your notebook’s not around, those lines will fade and alter with every impersonal passing minute. The zest of the first spark of creativity becomes lackluster by the time you’ve reached a writing utensil. A handy, everyday notebook saves your precious creativity from crumbling. It’s okay to keep this notebook messy, swimming around the darkest crevices of your purse or back pack. This notebook’s existence is dedicated to keeping the best parts of your mind happily documented.

Your secret notebook should be reserved for neatness. When you have the time, take your messy, handy, everyday notebook out and write every sloppy idea worth revising down in your secret notebook in clean, legible handwriting. Remember: you want to return to this notebook 60 years from now and read what your past self was thinking with ease.

3) Don’t Hesitate to Document Your Weirdest, Zaniest Thoughts

Controlling your imagination is just devastating. Don’t do it. Every parcel of weirdness in you is what makes you stand out from everyone else. You might have to sacrifice your external self to blend in with your social, professional, or casual environment, but your notebook should operate as your safe haven, where you don’t have to impress anyone else other than yourself.

4) Scrapbook It!

Have pictures? Ticket stubs from that awesome concert you went to in sixth grade? Any momento worth saving at all? Stick it in your notebook. Notebooks are a great place to store meaningful clutter :)


5) Love it Tenderly.

I know that you might be embarrassed by how premature all of your entries seem from two weeks ago, but don’t toss them away so fast.

Notebooks are fun because they function as little windows to your past. You’ll get a kick out of what mattered so much to the younger version of yourself. With time, a notebook functions as a means for your younger self to communicate with the person you are today.