I have no fashion sense. 

I think people assume I’m filming 10 videos a day on my YouTube channel because I’m always wearing the same thing but I’m not. I just wear a black t-shirt and jeans every single day. I have zero style. My wife once said that I dress like a combination of a skater and a mid-market local weatherman. I’m thinking about the guy in Wichita, Kansas. 

I don’t care about clothes so it’s just easier to pick one thing and then rock it until I’m dead. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m on stage at an event, I’m in a suit, but even that’s tricky. One night, I came home from a trip and my wife stopped me in the kitchen.

Usually I change clothes before I fly home, but this time I had to rush to the airport and was still wearing my suit. 

“Is that the shirt you wore with that suit?” She asked. 

“Yes,” I said, “Why?”

“That shirt doesn’t go with that pattern of your suit at all. Is this the first time you’ve worn those together?” She pressed. 

“No, I’ve worn this exact outfit a dozen times at events.”

“Oh no,” she said. 

Oh no indeed. 

I have no style and therefore don’t have a lot of opinions about clothes. But, there is one area of my life where I am highly opinionated. There’s one area I take very seriously.  

I am a notebook snob.

Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I have deep, long seated opinions about notebooks.

I have a visceral reaction when someone gives me a notebook and it feels like something you got for free when you signed up for a new checking account at a bank. I don’t like when they’re flimsy, I get real focused on the paper quality, how they’re bound together, and whether they’re lined or not. I am a notebook dork.

For years, I was a Moleskine guy. I loved them. I wrote in probably 100 different Moleskines to gather ideas for blogs, books and speeches. I had every size. I had every variety. I even had the Hobbit Moleskine and the Evernote Moleskine. 

When I say I used them for years, I mean it. I found one from January 2006 recently, which means 14 years ago I was using notebooks to capture my thoughts. 

But then, I found somebody new. I didn’t mean to. I don’t remember how we first connected. It just happened. I don’t even really know how to say their name. It’s German. It’s spelled “Leuchtturm.” And I am deeply, madly in love with their 1917 series

There are 4 reasons:

  1. The pages have a dot grid.

The dot grid is the goldilocks of notebook pages. The little dots are dark enough that you can see them and use them like a line to write, but light enough that if you want to sketch it almost feels like the page is blank. It’s the best of both worlds. I don’t know if I will ever go back to lined pages.

     2. It comes with 2 ribbon markers.

Moleskines only have one ribbon. I used to think that was enough until I doubled the amount of ribbons I had access to. I’ve tried bullet journaling a few times. You’d be surprised how often you need to bounce around from different parts of your journal. I love having two place markers I can use. 

     3. The pages are numbered.

God bless a numbered page. Could I number them myself? I suppose I could, like an animal. But I would much rather have it printed perfectly in the corner. I love that I can easily find what I’m looking for because of the page numbers.

     4. There’s a table of contents. 

This is where the page numbers really come in handy. Let’s say I want to keep a list of ideas for new speeches on page 40. I can go to my table of contents and write, “Speaking ideas – Page 40” and then instantly find it when I need it. Gone are the days of aimlessly flipping through a billion ideas hoping I find the right one.

Not enough for you? Fine. I will throw in one more reason these are the best notebooks. And it’s the nerdiest reason of all.

One problem with notebooks is that the first page is always glued to the cover awkwardly. You have to decide, “Do I write on this page? Do I only write on part of it? Do I rip it out? Do I just start on the second page?” These are all incredibly painful questions for a notebook perfectionist. With the 1917, I don’t have to worry about that. The first page isn’t jacked up. It’s like any other page. 

These are the best notebooks in the world. I’m not sponsored by them, this is just what I know to be true. I will say that I might be developing my own journal. That’s in the works so I might have a new favorite notebook very soon. 

Until then though, if you’re in the market for a new notebook, the Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook is the best one in my opinion. (Even that name sounds classy!)


P.S. These are all affiliate links because babies need shoes or more accurately, Jon needs more notebooks!