WILW: The Standard Issue Notebook No. 7

A glimpse into my madness.

A glimpse into my madness.

“This time will be different,” I told myself, not believing a word of it.

Yeah yeah. I thought. That’s what you always say, right before you drop ten dollars on a journal you never fill. I hefted the book and flipped through the pages, surprised to see them not filled with lines but with neat grids of dots. Startled, I showed it to Amanda.

“It’s called a bullet journal,” she told me. “They’re very popular.”

“This time will be different,” I said again, believing it a little more.

One semester and 183 pages later, I can proudly confirm: this time was indeed different.

For the curious: the journal that turned it all around for me is the Standard Issue Notebook No. 07, by Designworks Ink. I got mine from Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon (one of my very favorite places) but they’ve got a pretty great website, as well. When I started to try and figure what I loved about this book, I realized I could say with surprising confidence: I love everything about this journal. No, really. Everything.

I love how witty it is, down to the fact that different “issues” indicate different styles. The Standard Issue No. 07, for instance, is a “bullet journal” (or a bujo, if you’re cool), as compared to the Standard Issue Agenda No. 2019, which is a planner.

I love that it’s got 200 creamy pages of surprising sturdiness. As I mentioned earlier, I’m on page 183/200, and so far I haven’t seen any “leaking” from one side of a page to another, despite the fact that I’ve thrown every kind of ink I could find at it.

I love that it’s got a crisp, minimalist sticker inlaid on the front. (Complete with a From and To date! My heart!)

I love that it comes with a blank table of contents posted on the front inside cover, in the event you want to number your pages (something I do, and have always done).

I love that it comes with not one, but two tassels. Why would I want a second tassel? No reason. I guess it’s my own little way of being ostentatious.

I love that the entire affair feels no-nonsense and humble. The company announces itself on the opening page, and then never again.

I love that Standard Issue Notebook No. 7 made me believe in myself again. It’s been so long since I filled a journal I nearly forgot that I could do it.

I’ll be buying my journals from Designworks Ink from now on. Go check them out if you’re interested; they’ve got nice planners too!

Good hunting -


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