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National Notebook Day – May 18, 2023

National Notebook Day, is celebrated on the third Thursday of May, and this year, it falls on May 18. It’s a holiday that encourages people to record their thoughts, events, and information in a notebook. It is especially important to have a notebook or journal if you are the type of person whose mind goes so many places at once. One of the reasons why keeping track of your ideas is beneficial is that it helps to focus the mind. People will often revisit their journal entries when they need inspiration or ideas.

History of National Notebook Day

What do you like about notebooks? Maybe it’s the feel of a pen on paper or the freedom to express your thoughts in writing. Taking notes helps you remember important lessons, and using notebooks is a great way to organize your thoughts.

The first legal pad was invented in 1888 by an American named Thomas William Holley. At that time, he worked for a small paper mill. He used to make inexpensive notebooks out of scrap paper and sell them from his home. One day, a judge from Jersey City wanted to buy a few notebooks from him and suggested that he stitch the paper together with a cardboard backing to be more durable and easy to write on.

In 1924, the spiral notebook was said to have made its debut. Edward Podosek, an English inventor with many patents, is often credited for the invention. Although he may not have been the inventor of the spiral notebook, he was the first person known to have used them to record information.

National Notebook Day was started by a stationery company called May Design in 2016. The company encourages people all over the world to post pictures on social media with their notebooks.

National Notebook Day timeline

14th and 15th Centuries
Handmade Notebooks

Notebooks are made by hand by drawing on them into gatherings that are bound at a later time.

1888
The First Legal Pad is Invented

It is created by an American named Thomas William Holley, who works for a small paper mill.

1924
The Spiral Notebook Makes its Debut

Edward Podosek, an English inventor with many patents, is given credit for the invention.

2016
The First National Notebook Day

National Notebook Day is started by a stationery company called May Design in 2016.

National Notebook Day FAQs

What are junk journals?

A junk journal is a handmade book of recycled materials. The pages can be used to write, draw, paint or record memories, thoughts, ideas, and inspiration. The finished junk journal can become anything you want.

How are notebooks made?

Trees are cut down and ground into a pulp. The pulp is cleaned, drained of water, and colored with dye or bleach. The next step is beating the pulp, which involves squeezing and pounding until all the pulp adheres together.

What is a bullet journal?

Instead of blank, lined pages, a bullet journal contains sections to log daily to-dos, keep a monthly or weekly calendar, jot down notes, track both physiological and mental health issues, and record both short and long-term goals.

National Notebook Day Activities

  1. Make your own notebook

    You can use a variety of materials to make your own notebook. For a basic version though, you need only two things: paper, and something to hold the paper together. These can be staples, thread, or even an elastic band. You could also punch holes in the paper and tie it together with ribbon or string. You might want to decorate your cover so it's easier to identify later.

  2. Take your notebook everywhere

    Take your notebook with you and make notes throughout the day. You never know when the need will arise to write something down. Use your notebook for whatever inspires you.

  3. Read your old notebook

    Recall moments from the past as you go through what you wrote in your old notebook. Take an extract from it, and post it on social media.

5 Facts About Paper You Didn't Know

  1. Not all paper is made from wood

    The first Chinese paper was made from cloth scraps and pieces of hemp material.

  2. Paper money is not paper at all

    Our paper money is not made from paper — instead, the U.S. paper currency is composed of 75% cotton and 25% linen for durability.

  3. It's nearly 2,000 years old

    Paper is a Chinese invention — it was first created in Lei-Yan by Ts’ai Lun, a court official.

  4. The word ‘paper’ comes from ‘papyrus’

    We derived the English word ‘paper’ from the Egyptian word ‘papyrus.’

  5. 90 million tons every year

    Americans use more than 90 million tons of paper and paperboard every year.

Why We Love National Notebook Day

  1. It promotes creativity

    National Notebook Day is dedicated to preserving the art of handwriting and notebook making while promoting creativity and self-expression through writing by hand. National Notebook Day is a day to celebrate everyone's writing style.

  2. It makes our children more creative

    National Notebook Day is a chance to encourage children to use notebooks creatively. Children can draw pictures of what they do during the day, play games like tic-tac-toe, or design their own notebook covers.

  3. It creates appreciation

    On National Notebook Day, people get the chance to show their appreciation for notebooks by taking the time to reflect on how they help us achieve our goals in life. While this day was created with a focus on writing and doodling, notebooks can also be used to document many other things like sketches, lists, recipes, and more.

National Notebook Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 19Thursday
2023May 18Thursday
2024May 16Thursday
2025May 15Thursday
2026May 21Thursday

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