My five favorite notebooks crafted by small businesses to help with your daily routine

Daily routine is something that can make or break our productivity and even our own happiness. As a planner maker and mother, routine is extremely important to me. I wanted to take this opportunity to share other tips and products that help me organize my day. One thing that I cannot live without is a good notebook. A notebook is a reliable companion for anyone who loves to write, draw, or take notes. Planners are a fantastic way to organize your schedule and routine, but notebooks are a great tool to further your productivity and/or expression. There are many different ways to incorporate notebooks into your routine. Many of the most successful people in the world swear by daily journaling. You can read more about this on Forbes. Even if productivity isn’t your main concern, writing out lists, notes, thoughts etc… can help relieve stress and anxiety. With so many options available in the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Here, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite notebooks, mostly from smaller brands. These notebooks have served me well over the years and I hope you find this list useful.

 midori notebook MD A5 ©Designphil Inc.

01 — MD Notebook A5 gridded from Midori paper

Japan is respected for its tradition of crafting high-quality paper and thoughtful notebooks. Following in the steps of that tradition, Midori paper is a highly respected Japanese company that creates its own paper for the best possible writing and drawing experience. The MD A5 gridded notebook is one of my favorite notebooks you can find in Europe. It has a smooth texture and a minimalist design, with a 5mm grid that resembles the traditional genko yoshi paper used in Japan. The lines are pale blue, making it easy to write or draw on the pages without distraction. A unique and playful feature is the colorful string bookmarks attached to the binding depending on which notebook you use. For a notebook with a bit more artistic flair, check out their 15th-anniversary special edition  collection. MD Notebook collaborated with 15 artists to create embossed cover designs that are visually stunning. (Price: 15,00)


glacier notebook ©Bienvenue Studios

02 — Notebooks from Bienvenue Studios

This Swiss brand offers a sturdy notebook with a linen cover and beautiful designs inspired by nature. The paper is smooth and clean, perfect for writing or drawing with a pencil. The cover is surprisingly resistant. Even after a year of use, I find that the notebook still looks brand new. The binding remains sturdy, yet flexible, allowing the user to easily flip through the pages. The Glacier Notebooks N°3 is my favorite from their collection. The designers of this brand create other examples of beautiful biophilic stationary, so be sure to check that out too. (Price: 13,00)


kleid notebooks 2mm ©shinnippon calendar Co., Ltd.

03 — Kleid Stationery A5 2 mm Grid Notebook 

This Japanese brand has a simple, subtle classical, yet elegant product. Printed lightly with a 2 mm grid, the paper is smooth and easy to write on, making it a great notebook for daily use. It is suitable with your favorite fountain pen (or any other pen of your choosing). The cover comes in different colors to choose from, making it easy to find one that suits your taste. Like many other brands on the list, you can find it in Germany at Luiban. (Price:  € 7,00)


merci notebook ©merci 

04 — Merci Notebooks A5 

    Merci is a French concept store that is known for donating all profits from their sales to charity, so you get to feel good while you shop. They make their own A5 notebooks which come in a variety of colors. The bold and colorful “Merci,” on the cover brings uniqueness to this design. I really love the smooth texture of the paper which makes it perfect for writing or drawing. (Price: €12,50)


    favorit skizzenbuch

    05 — Favorit Notebook 

    Before I knew about the wide variety of fancy, designer notebooks, the Favorit Notebook was my go-to. This Swiss brand offers a simple yet practical take on the notebook. To this day, I often find myself reaching for it. The paper is plain white, but the binding is excellent: the pages are simply attached to the spine with glue. This creates ease of tearing pages out without damaging the notebook itself. It comes in three sizes: A4, A5, and A6, making it suitable for various needs. I’ve had this one living in my bag for over a year and it has really held up nicely. (Price: Chf 15.00)


    Petit Notebook from White Stores ©whitestore 

    Bonus — Petit Notebook from White Store 

    I stumbled upon the cutest notebook ever while visiting Heipl in Berlin. This tiny notebook is half the size of an avocado and comes in pink or black (45 x 64 mm). It is designed by two Korean designers and is incredibly cute; I used to make similar ones when I was a kid. The notebook is perfect for jotting down small thoughts, big dreams, or mini sketches. It is available with plain pages, gridded pages, or different surprise inserts made with leftover paper that would normally be thrown away during manufacturing. (Price: € 3,90)

    There is great value in supporting small brands because the quality is often better and there is a unique charm to these products. I would love to hear if you have any favorite notebooks on or off this list. Don’t be shy and comment below! Be sure to subscribe for more related content.


    Happy planning, Julie