Even if you use your phone for everything, occasionally it’s refreshing to take notes with a simple pen and paper. Whether you keep a journal, are going back to school this fall, or find writing things down helps you remember them, a well-made notebook can help keep your thoughts and ideas organized. You might even find it an inspiring break from the notes app on your phone. Plus, you never have to worry about a notebook running out of batteries. Here are some we think are simple, easy to use, durable and thoughtfully-designed.

Muji Recycle Paper Double-ring Dot Grid Notebook

Adaptable for drawing, writing, and sketching charts. Amazon

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This Muji notebook is a good option if you’re looking for a versatile pad that you can use for writing, sketching, creating lists, and even drawing out a planner. The dot grid is unique: it’s not quite a grid notebook, and not a line one either, nor completely blank. The dots on a grid make it feel like the pages are not structured, while still containing a pattern that will ensure your handwriting is straight.

Rocketbook Everlast Fusion

Use the handwriting recognition feature to transcribe your writing. Amazon

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If you’ve struggled with integrating your handwritten notes with your digital ones, you’ll benefit from the features on the Rocketbook Everlast Fusion. There are pages to plan, sketch and write, and you can download an app that will easily scan these pages and store them on cloud services like Dropbox. It comes with an erasable pen, so you can use these pages over and over again.

Moleskine Classic Notebook

It’s durable yet portable. Amazon

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One of the best features of this classic notebook is that it lays flat when it’s open. This one is ideal for keeping journal entries or taking extensive notes. The “leather-like” cover and elastic strap to keep it closed, making it ideal for transporting on a day-to-day basis. There’s also a small folder in the back for storing a few important papers and a ribbon bookmark to easily find which page you’re on.


Mishmash easy breezy sky blue

The minimalist notebook option.

Mishmash’s easy breezy sky blue notebook is for people who love stationery with a minimalist design. The plastic coil binding and the colored bright green lines add a playful touch. The pad is bound with a hardback cover and contains 180 pages (more than the other notebooks on this list) so it’s a little heavier, making it a good option if you plan to take extensive notes, want a multi-use notebook, or a journal that will last for a long time.

Maruman B5 Hardcover Spiral Notebook

Superslick pages. Amazon

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The best thing about this memo pad is the super slick pages, which are easy to write on. The cardboard cover is simple and lightweight. These spiral notepads come in a pack of 5, with 80 pages each, so they’re suitable if you’re looking for a bunch of different notebooks to keep for separate topics or subjects, or you just tend to go through them fast. The perforated pages are easy to rip out without creating a mess.

Fabriano EcoQua Lined Notebooks

An Italian linen cover. Amazon

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You’ll often find Fabriano notebooks in art stores. The company is based in Italy, and makes simple, durable notebooks that are lightweight, affordable, yet elegantly designed. The cover is made from Italian linen, which is still bendable but won’t easily rip. The pages are chlorine-free, acid-free, and 100 percent recyclable.