The Weekend of Notebooks

I have an obsession with writing in notebooks.

Anna Burgess Yang
4 min readDec 22, 2019


Sunday morning at my kitchen table

Usually, my weekend errands involve two trips: Target and Trader Joe’s. I bring my toddler and my Amazon Alexa list (thanks to the brilliance of teaching everyone in the house to say “Alexa, add _____ to my shopping list.”)

However, earlier this week I had made an out-of-routine stop at Target, as a result of its location directly across from the post office and needing to mail some Christmas packages. If I had glanced at my shopping list, I would have realized I had only one Target item remaining, and saved myself a trip for later in the week, such as the day after Christmas when I scour for deals on things like holiday decor.

But by that point, I was already in Target, with my Starbucks and my toddler in the shopping cart so there was no point in leading. As I headed to the register with my one item, I paused to look at an aisle display. It had small notebooks, the type that would fit in my tote, with suede covers and lined pages. On sale for $8.99.

I carry a notebook in my purse, with a spiral binding. Anytime I am out somewhere and I want to take notes, that is the notebook I use. Even in church, the Unitarian minister will sometimes say something profound or share a quote, and I will write it down. I consider note taking to be a form of active listening, with my mind always in tune to what is being said, poised to capture something that sparks my attention.

On top of this type of note-taking, I also have a goal of being more observant in 2020 and beyond. I am reading a book right now called The Art of Noticing and it has filled me with ideas about being more aware of my surroundings, whether it be people, something odd, or something completely ordinary.

Along with my desire to jot down everyday observations, I find myself thinking about how to catalog my findings. For me, the medium has always been a part of the process. Hence pausing to look at the suede notebooks in Target, because it was inconceivable that I use my note-taking notebook for the same purpose.

Added to that, I have trouble adapting to something different once I find a medium I like. My note-taking notebook is from a company that has been around for a long time, and I would likely…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •