What is an Author/Writing Notebook?

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Hello fellow writers! 

As many of you know, Scrivener is my jam. I use it all the time to organize my stories, develop my characters, add and organize various subplots, and dive deep into world development. However, as time went on, I quickly realized I needed a writing notebook of sorts to organize other aspects of my writing career. A place to write down motivational quotes, pretty names, or conversations I'd overhear. 

I know many of us use note taking apps on our phone or scraps of paper to write down ideas as they come to us throughout the day. However, it's nice to have everything organized and in one place. This is where an Author Notebook or Writing Notebook comes in. The easiest way to start one is to organize a notebook of your choice into sections so things won't be lost in the mix. Some people even use folders so they can add more paper as necessary. Your notebook can be big or small but it needs to be something you can easily slip into a back pocket or throw into your bag or purse so you never leave home without it. Mine is a little bigger than pocket size notebook and has color-coded tabs with ten pages for each section. Today I'm going to explain which sections I include in my Author Notebook and hopefully, you can gain some inspiration for your own. 

Note: You do not have to have a dedicated notebook if this isn't your forte. Utilizing a writing app on your phone such as Word, Pages, or OneNote will work just as good if you prefer something digital. 

Plot Ideas:

Little plot bunnies pop into my head at least once a week. This section in my notebook is full of ideas for potential stories. Therefore, this would be a perfect section for you to include in your notebook as a place for you to write down those ideas along with a brief outline or synopsis of where you want the story to go.


I love weird, unique, and clever names. Most of the time these are names I could never imagine or dream up in a million years so when I hear a cool name mentioned in everyday conversation or see one in a magazine or book, I write it down in this section. Often, these names end up as characters, street signs, towns, or even pets in my novels.

Motivational Quotes:

I read a lot of writing books, follow a lot of inspiring people on social media, and love a good podcast. Often, someone will say something, post something, or I'll read something that speaks to me and gives me the motivation to kick my butt into gear and get writing. This is the space I reserve to write down these quotes so I can refer back to them when I need a little extra inspiration in my life.

Books to Buy:

I'm forever coming across good books I want to read. Either someone will review a book on social media or recommend something on a podcast and I'll know its a book I want to eventually read, but I won't be near a bookstore or have the funds to purchase it at the time. When that happens it gets added to a never-ending Books to Buy section in my notebook. That way, the next time I'm in a bookstore, or there's a good online book sale, I can quickly scan the list and pick books to buy. 


I am always people watching or listening to other people's conversations when I'm out and about. People always say interesting, shocking, or funny things and this allows me to quickly write down the gist of conversations I overhear just in case I can work them into one of my stories one day. 

Body Language:

Certain people carry themselves differently in certain situations depending on their personality traits. I keep a running tab of how people express anger, distress, confidence, or other emotions so I can think of interesting ways to describe these actions in my story without using the same descriptions every single time. 

I hope you find this blog post helpful as your further your writing careers. And remember to leave space for other categories that you might think up in the future. Do you have an author notebook? What sections do you include in yours? I would love to hear from you. Be sure to drop a comment down below.