Tools

My Favorite Notebooks for Songwriters

My favorite notebooks for songwriters, and how to use them. These make great Christmas gifts for the musicians and songwriters in your life! | SongFancy.com

The way you write can affect what you write. What do I mean?

For example, the way you write on a ukelele is going to be a lot different than the way you write on a guitar or piano. And depending on your familiarity with that instrument, it’s going to affect what songs you write on it! This is one of the most fun things about creativity – trying something new, and seeing what you come up with.

The same works for notebooks, I find. Every notebook is different, and pulls something unique out of you. That’s why I love to try a new notebook every opportunity I can. Below is a list of some of my favorite notebooks, and I I love them so much:

You’ll need a notebook. Ok, many notebooks.

Moleskin Notebooks – A Classic

My favorite notebooks of all time are Moleskin notebooks. They have a storied history – they’ve been used by legendary authors and artists like Hemingway, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Bruce Chatwin. These things are meant to last – I still have tons of Moleskins from college that are in great shape and still protecting all my old (terrible) ideas. They come in a variety of different sizes, styles, colors, and paper types (dotted, anyone?). Try out a large, lined classic hardcover version for a traditional feel. Or, maybe a small set of flexible cashiers might be more your style. I’ve loved many a Moleskin in the past, and it always excites me to get my hands on a “brand new/old faithful” notebook!

Leuchtturm – An Alternative

We’ve seen the rise of the Leuchttrum notebooks amongst bullet journaling junkies in recent years. And for good reason; they’re fantastic little notebooks. In fact, they can be compared to in quality and fandom to Moleskins. Leuchttrums are different from Moleskins in that they soak up ink a bit better (for my pen writers), they feature a handy index page, numbered pagers, and a few more organizational features than the typical Moleskin. The Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook is a great choice for my type A songwriters who need more structure than a notebook full of blank pages.

Google Drive – The Digital Solution

Nothing really beats Google Drive when it comes to an efficient, inspiring, and sharable place to store your writing. You can save lyric sheets and worktapes in your drive, and it all attaches to your free Google Gmail account. I use Drive regularly when sharing lyric sheets with cowriters during a cowrite. It makes the write so much more efficient when you have 3 people in a room all looking at the exact same lyric sheet! Other benefits of a Google Drive account: You can back up your work without a headache, and you can access it on any computer or smart phone. In fact, I highly recommend having Google Drive as a backup solution even if you’re strictly a pen and paper songwriter. It will save your butt in the long run, and make your life so much easier when you want to organize your work. If you don’t have a Google Gmail account yet, you can set one up here.

A Logbook – Your Catalog Keeper

If you’re like me, then organization is a struggle. I’m definitely that right brained type of creative person who’s not the best at keeping all my songs super organized. That’s why I use a logbook, like this one, to keep my catalog in shape. If you’ve been writing for years, then filling out one of these bad boys on a rainy Sunday afternoon is a great way to get insight on the size of your catalog, your output, and your growth. If you have commercial aspirations, then keeping all of this information handy will serve you when it comes time to demonstrate your back catalog to an industry pro. If you’re a new writer, than I highly suggest you start keeping track of your writing in this manner! You don’t have to use the exact notebook linked above, either. You can use your own system in a different notebook or digital application. Whatever works for you, do that!

Rifle Paper Notebooks – Your Pretty Notebook

I. Freaking. Love. Rifle Paper. To me, they’re the most inspiring little notebooks – great design, hand painted illustrations, and quality binding and materials make these notebooks totally inspiring. I grab them up whenever I can, granted, they are mostly a splurge item for me. But I fill them up quickly and they keep my ideas safe for years. They make cashiers that are more affordable and just as cute. Or, go all out and treat yourself to a 6.25×8.5″ Jardin de Paris Notebook. Be still, my beating heart!

Do you have a favorite notebook? Share it in the comments below!

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  • Wayne Taylor

    I love writing on paper, but for me, for songwriting, it’s Evernote (and RecUp, a little) all the way. Evernote lets me jot down lyrics, categorise them, and add audio clips and recordings inline with the lyrics as the song progresses on my phone or on my computer or even on my tablet. And it all magically keeps synced on all my devices so I can use them from anywhere.

    And for the ideas I like less, but still want captured, I just use RecUp which dumps the audio file into my dropbox. Again, sharing magically with my music computer.
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/recup-was-dropvox-record-voice-memos-to-dropbox/id416288287?mt=8

    • Sarah Spencer

      This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing! I have friends who swear by Evernote, but only really use it for work. It’s cool to see how it can be used by songwriters, too :)