Big Ideas Notebook: a new favorite and our first GIVEAWAY

January 24, 2010

Yah! Our very first giveaway. Read to the bottom for details on how to win one of these great notebooks.

I have to admit that I just love anything from Chewing the Cud. I even like their rather unique name. So, when Viola and company came out with their new Big Ideas Journal, I knew I had to try it out.

Big Ideas Journal Big Ideas Journal

This little notebook is excellent in a few ways:

  1. it’s size (6  3/4″ x 5″) makes it the perfect fit for my purse. So often when I’m out and about, I need to capture a fleeting thought. This gives me a place to store those flighty ideas.
  2. it’s recycled/vintage cover is both sturdy and chic
  3. it’s filled with 80 pages of… wait for it…grid paper! (cue mass applause and wild cheering)

I’ve taken to using it to plan my blog content, so it’s quickly becoming my go-to notebook. If I had another, I’d use it as a book journal. The size of each page would lend itself perfectly to that purpose, too.

Viola at Chewing the Cud has kindly given me a notebook to giveaway to one of my readers.

So, write in the comments your answer to the following question and we’ll let Viola decide who should win. Winner will be chosen from the commenters after noon on Wednesday, Jan 27th:

Describe your perfect notebook. How does it look? What features are important to you?


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oli January 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

My perfect notebook is that Big Ideas Notebook from Chewing the Cud. The features that are important to me are the versatility in the size. If the book is too big then it can’t come with me everywhere. If it’s too small, it’ll be hard to write on. Thank you for the giveaway.

Juliette January 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Once I find that perfect notebook, I want it to be available in multiple sizes so I can be consistent in what I use. I’m going to want it to come in a variety of colors and cover designs because I just love that sort of thing! =) I also need a sturdy cover where the corners won’t get raggedy too quickly. I really like when smaller sizes have a band to keep them shut. I repeatedly have the problem that I’ll shove one in my purse, then something else will go in later and get stuck in the pages of the book and bend the paper. I also love perforation in a small notebook. Sometimes I need to rip a page out, and how nice is that torn edge? not very. Especially when you have to give it to somebody.

However, this “big ideas” journal would be perfect for me right now. My husband and I are looking at some big changes and I come up with about 4 different ideas every day!

Erin January 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

My perfect notebook… Yellow (plain or a design), sturdy cover, elastic that goes around it to keep it closed, easy to fold back the cover (like a ring bound) but preferably not spiral. Lined or grid. It would also be nice if it kindly said, “Erin, don’t forget about me…” after the honeymoon period wears off. I’d want it to be a bit bigger than a small note card. I’d collect all of the thoughts that are jumbling in my mind and it would make me feel relaxed. It would have free shipping :)
Congrats on your first contest!

Jesse January 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I always carry a notebook with me. My perfect notebook would have a pretty print on the outside or maybe a monogram. Have fun with your first giveaway!

alison January 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm

i love that name, too! Okay perfect notebook would feature unlined pages, spiral notebook, with pockets on the insides. Small enough for my purse with artwork classy enough for myself, and come with a pen attached….because I will lose it; it’s inevitable. Fun giveaway!

Ann January 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

My perfect notebook is small, can fit in my pocketbook or between the seats in my car. It has good quality paper — some lined, some grid — so my favorite rollerball pen won’t bleed through. The cover is tough, but bendable. And it has a band around it so it won’t get messed up in my pocketbook.

Kimberly January 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Oh my — how I love a giveaway. What better than this super cute notebook with grid paper. My perfect notebook would need to help me with my OCD where it would include grid paper, so my penmanship stays neat and tidy. It would have a cover that would allow the notebook to remain flat while I am writing my thoughts, new ideas, or an idea I just had to borrow. I would like dividers and a pocket in the front and back. It would have to be sturdy, so it doesn’t get easily ruined in my handbag. As with some things, it would just have to be something that I would want to use. It is not always easy to articulate — you just know it when you see it; when you feel it.

Diane January 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

My ideal thinking-in-action writing book would be a slightly over-sized wirebound notebook with a variety of pastel color (8.5” X 11.25”) pages having college lines on one side and a grid on the back as well as some solid blank front and back pages.
There would be perforated lines, for neat and tidy detachment) near the wire and holes strategically located across the top edge and down the sides of the pages, which would allow for later storage size versatility (in either a regular size or 5”X8” 3-ring note book) when transferring thoughts from this thinking-in-action notebook to a more permanent location.
The cover of the wirebound would have a sheet protector type expandable pocket with a flap at the top where I could place a front sheet inside to indicate the use/purpose of this wirebound and could store other important papers.
This front cover and sturdy back cover would be slightly bigger than the notebook so that a Velcro dot in the top and bottom front and back right comers would keep the notebook closed unless I were to intentionally open it.
Triangular shaped colored pens, provided and stored above the top edge end of the pages, would let me annotate and identify important information as necessary when writing.

Marsha LL January 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Oh I LOVE all sorts of notebooks! BUT, my favorites do not have spiral bindings, fit in my purse and have enough pages to feel substantial, but not so many that I get tired of it & want a new one before it’s filled up! OH, my fantasy is a non-spiral binding that, when opened, can lie FLAT. Haven’t found one of those yet!

Carrie January 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Great Giveaway Meredith! I love small notebooks to have around in my purse with me. I like to doodle a lot so the graphic paper would be amazing. Lately it’s all wedding doodles and notes but hey I haven’t made a specific wedding notebook for my purse yet, maybe this could be it for all of my “Big Ideas”!

Amanda @ Serenity Now January 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm

My favorite notebook would have to be sturdy enough to withstand the abuse it would take riding around in my purse!!! :) Great giveaway!!

carolyn k January 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

my fave would have gorgeous but faint artwork , different on each page, so that wherever i might put my pen, would be art. also a place for the date, with a perf edge. the cover must be hard- and i do prefere spiral so i can bend it backwards. durable paper- even if i write in sharpie i don’t want the bleed through. and yes, a variety of sizes for the book journal, the purse journal, the dream journal… on and on.
thanks for the giveaway!

Emily January 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm

What a fun question! My favorite notebook is:

spiral or d-ring bound so that it’s 1) easy to open and 2) stays open without me having to contort my other hand just so while the other hand writes away.

yellow damask cover

sturdy backing

lines pages


refillable – expandable – remove pages-able

Thanks for the contest! Love the question, love the giveaway, and love your blog!

DianaWR January 24, 2010 at 8:30 pm

* can take a lot of wear and tear b/c I tend to be rough on things
* is lined on one side of the page and blank on the other — functioning as both a sketch book and note pad
* able to lie flat when open, but i also want it to be hard back
* any lines, I’d prefer then to be in a color that is not black b/c I like to write in black and this would be helpful for distinguishing my writing/sketching from the book

Priya January 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm

My idea of a favorite notebook would be one which has a hardcover , lies flat when opened, no spiral binding , has a design of flowers in a very light color as a background, unruled – in case I want to write something in a bigger font, a satin ribbon to use as a page marker and not too heavy to carry around . Thank you for the giveaway …

Marcia Francois, Organising Queen January 25, 2010 at 3:55 am

Oh what a great question.

Since I am the notebook queen :) I love all sorts but generally what works best for me is:

something that feels gorgeous to touch (am very tactile)
beautiful colour
lined paper (canNOT write in a straight line)
the lines must accommodate my medium to large handwriting
pocket on inside to keep bits of paper (or I make my own pocket)
satin bookmark
elastic to close )this is not a biggie but I do like things all neat and in place

BTW, is this open to people outside the US?

Marcia Francois, Organising Queen January 25, 2010 at 3:57 am

P.S. thanks for asking, it felt really good to talk about one of my favourite subjects :)

P.P.S. Yes, I have issues!

Haidee January 25, 2010 at 6:21 am

My perfect notebook would come with a magic double-sided tape dispenser so I could attach items on the fly. It would also have a page of sticky tabs so I could put them wherever I want to create sections. It would also have a page of perforated paper so I could easily tear out a note. Hmmmm….maybe I could make this! In the meantime the Big Ideas notebook would be wonderful!

Sharon January 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

I like lines or gridlines.. .not that I feel obligated to be boxed in! I like it to lay flat or fold back, so a spiral binding is usually good. The cover should be heavy enough to protect the notebook from wear and tear in my purse or carryall–plastic works well. The cover should be plain or pretty, and the paper should be sturdy and white or natural.

Megan Sneary January 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm

What a cool idea! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s entries! My perfect notebook would be lightweight, have sturdy edges so nothing frays, have something to keep it closed that doesn’t catch on everything in my purse, has a pocket in front and back for 3×5 cards, has thick enough paper that things don’t bleed through. I think it would be cool to have perfs along the outside edge so you could put a tab on whatever page you needed to mark. It has to be classy looking outside so I can use it at work meetings but I’m not old so it should fun colors or fabric or something. Not too many pages – both for lightweight and for the above-mentioned boredom factor. Those of us that like to buy notebooks love novelty so a range of covers would be good. I like the size just smaller than a standard piece of paper. And a pen loop is a must. An included cute pen is even better!

Shannon January 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I keep a small notebook in my purse and it always falls apart. I want one that is small, durable, open up fully, has paper thick enough to not bleed through and has a band to keep it all closed. That would be perfect. Inside I think blank paper, hadn’t considered grid!

carlee January 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm

It has to be light, easy to open/close, the cover must be aesthetically pleasing and lastly it must be reasonably priced. I have several notebooks and tend to over purchase them! I can’t get enough. This one is new to me and would be nice to try.

Meredith January 26, 2010 at 7:49 am

Hope you don’t mind, you will be mentioned in my blog that will post this Thursday!

Meredith January 26, 2010 at 8:28 am

I’m loving your feedback here! And yes, Marcia, this giveaway is open to international readers. I want everyone to be able to be involved!

Pam January 26, 2010 at 9:23 am

My perfect notebook is hardcover with an elastic band to keep it closed. It should be small enough to fit in my bag but big enough to actually hold a bit of information. If it is pretty, too, that is an added bonus. Tear out pages are helpful. Thanks for this giveaway!

Sara January 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

Just discovered your blog and am loving it!

My ideal notebook:
- 6×9 size – large enough to write in, but small enough to tote
- bright, solid color – want it to be easy to find and in a color that screams “happy” (i.e. pink, yellow or green)
- lined or graph paper – to keep my handwriting neat and easy-to-read later on
- dividers with pockets – helps to keep my projects/life in orderly sections
- satin bookmark – so my to-do list is easy to find
- elastic closure – to keep the notebook neat and tidy; I like to carry mine everywhere
- durable – my notebook acts as my 2nd brain so I tend to take it everywhere. :) Which means it needs to stand up to the abuse of being tossed into my bag, on my desk, in my car, etc.

What a great giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity!

Megan Sneary January 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I thought of another thing that would be helpful – perhaps a waterproof cover over the pretty one – for durability and to keep it from ruin when my toddler grabs it!

Emily January 27, 2010 at 9:45 am

What an awesome giveaway!!!

My perfect noteboook would have a hard cover but perferated pages so I could take them out without messing up the notebook. It would have some kind of vintagey look to it. Also I would love for it to have tabbed sections so I can organize my thoughts into different areas. Would also love it if it had different colore papper in the different sections. I think it would be spiral bound, but have pockets on the both the back and front covers for the things I find and tear out to keep. Also I would have some kind of divider that could be moved from section to section easily. I think this should be about 5×7 and the pages should have fun images on them or good sayings so everytime I start something new or return to a page I have something good to think about. Wow that just about does it that would defintiely be my IDEAL notebook.

Claire January 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

My ideal notebook would be pretty much like me: simplistic cover, filled with a few fantastic thoughts from others on the inside, but with plenty of (lined!) space for my own personal thoughts and aspirations. Oh, and spilling with pictures of all my great friends and beautiful family!

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