I keep a diary and also a programming journal. Because I want to keep all of my ideas down for future reference, I prefer to use nice journals for them (no spiral notebooks or ones with perforated pages). For these purposes, I turn to the Moleskine brand of journals — more specifically, their Folio line of A4-sized notebooks.
Yes, the Moleskine line of journals are quite overpriced. Yes, they are not made in Europe as the name implies (they are made in China). However, Moleskine is quite possibly the only company in the world that makes journals that fit the following criteria:
- Sewn binding (pages can lie flat for sane writing)
- A4 or larger size
- Blank/lined/graph pages
- Regular paper (not sketch paper)
I think some of Clairefontaine’s journals come close, but all of their A4-sized journals are lined, I believe. And plus, as great as their paper quality is (it really is fantastic to write on), it is way too bright for my taste.
By the way, if you are a programmer I strongly recommend that you keep your notes in a physical notebook. If you are learning a new programming language or starting to sketch the design goals of a new programming project, keeping a notebook for it is quite possibly one of the best decisions you will make.
Oh, by the way, you should purchase a good pen to go along with your journal(s). Don’t write with horrible, cheap pens that are difficult to write with.