Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Dot Journal Books


Recently I was trying to figure out a notebook that I was going to use for my note-taking as well as my brain dump. It was going to be something that wasn’t going to be neat as I would be putting down notes quickly, and it needed to be portable so that I could take it with me on the go. I thought this was going to be a simple grab a notebook and just go, but it didn’t turn out to be that easy.

Here is the process that I ended up going through to figure out which notebook I wanted to use:

Gridded journal book

Process: I figured given that I liked using dot journal books, there wasn’t going to be a huge different between dot and grid. Well for me there is a big difference. I spent a few days trying to use my gridded journal book, but every time I opened it, I had a challenge making notes.

Outcome: After trying the book for a few days, I sat back and looked at the pages and tried to figure out why I couldn’t write in them, and I concluded that the lines that formed the grid were too dark, and it seemed to impact my writing. The blocks were just too much for how I write, and I couldn’t seem to ignore the number of lines that were on the page, so it just overwhelmed me to the point where I couldn’t get the quick notes down. This book will now be used for silly things instead of my notes and brain dump.

Lined journal book

Process: I grew up using lined paper, so I should be able to sit and write in one of those and get the ideas down. I spend some time trying to write in this book and once again I had a challenge making the notes even though, I had a lot of ideas.

Outcome: I tried this book for a while and once again had to figure out just why I couldn’t seem to write in them. The conclusion was the lines on the pages were just too dark, and again it impacted my writing. I am not certain why this happened, but later through this experiment I came to a bit of a conclusion about the lined books.

Dot journal book

Process: After some time of trying all the other books, I decided to pick up one of my dot journal books and see what would happen. I opened the book and grabbed my pen that I was using for all these experiments, and guess what happened. I was able to sit and start writing without any issue.

Outcome: The dot journal book was the book that I could sit and use and get notes made without an issue. After getting the brain dump and notes down that I wanted to do, I decided to look at all the books together and try and figure out why I hadn’t been able to use the other books.


Through all the books and experiments, I was using the standard pen that I like to use, so I knew it wasn’t the pen that was the issue. The pen that I was trying to use was my .38 black pen, so that wasn’t the issue. What I found out was that the thickness of the lines and the number of lines on the page was what impacted me the most. Given that I use a very fine pen and enjoy using it, the heavy or thicker lines make it harder for me to focus on my writing.

I wanted to show you what I went through to discover the notebook that works best for me. The dot journal book isn’t for everyone, nor is the gridded journal or even lined journal books. Everyone is different, and we must find what we enjoy using and accept that other people around you may like one of the other books that you don’t like. Give a journal book a try and if it isn’t working for you, be willing to try something else.

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