Study organization- notebooks

I love stationery of all kinds, especially notebooks. And when you’re planning on studying, of course you need notebooks for taking notes and practicing! In this post, I’ll talk a little about my notebooks.

What kind(s) of notebook(s) do you use?

My personal preference is for spiral notebooks. I used to use notebooks that just opened like normal books, but they never liked to stay flat and they took up too much space on my desk. It’s funny because I used to hate spirals back when I was younger and way into drawing because the pages were more free to move against each other which led to more smudging, but I love spirals so much for note taking. They lay flat with no problem, which is the biggest thing for me. The spiral does get in the way of my hand sometimes, but it’s a minor annoyance.

I also consider the quality of the paper when buying my notebooks. It doesn’t have to be super high quality, but I just can’t deal with paper the quality of standard US looseleaf. It’s too thin and, more importantly, the surface is too rough. Paper with too rough a surface has led to the early death of too many of my pens—if you use fine-tip pens, size 0.5 or lower, and find they stop writing before the ink runs out—little bits from poor-quality paper probably got into the tip and ruined it. The paper I like the most feels a little bit weighty and nice and smooth!

Hardcover or softcover is also a choice to make! I use both, types:

Left to right- hardcover lined notebook, softcover lined notebook, softcover 원고지 squared paper notebook

image

 

How many notebooks do you use?

I have three main types of notebooks! I’ll go over each type:

Grammar notebooks
image

My grammar notebooks are all hardcover. I use them to collect grammar explanations and other important notes. I write them as cleanly as possible and even use my many colorful highlighters to make them look a little nicer. If I need to know about a grammar point that I have already learned, I open my grammar notebook for the right language and find it. This way, I don’t have to remember which textbook or source I saw a certain grammar point or explanation in—if it’s important, I write it down in my grammar notebook! So, my grammar notebooks are mashups of multiple texts and sources. These are for reference only; I don’t do any practice or extra writing in them. Nothing but the facts!

Practice notebooks

My practice notebook is where I write down definitions of new words I learned, practice sentences for my vocab flashcard words, breakdowns of articles I’ve studied on my Chinese reader apps… I guess calling it a “practice notebook” makes its purpose pretty self-explanatory. It’s nothing special; I write quickly and messily in it, and when it gets full, I can just throw it in the recycling bin and start a fresh one. My practice notebook is a softcover spiral.

Chinese article notebook

Korean squared paper—or I guess any squared paper—is wonderful for writing Chinese characters. Once I’ve encountered an article in a Chinese reader app and broken it down in my practice notebook, I rewrite it cleanly in my article notebook so I can easily find and read it again later.

I don’t always have all of my notebook types with me. If I plan on studying grammar, I will bring the correct grammar notebook along, and if I plan on studying Chinese articles, I might have my article notebook with me, but not always. However, my practice notebook is always in my bag!

 

How do you organize your notes and all? For those of you who might be struggling to get your notes together, I hope this helped!

Happy studying~