When Notebooks Play Lead Roles in Stories we Love

In the vast landscape of popular culture, the unassuming notebook emerges as an unsung hero; not just as a bystander to key plot twists and turns, but sometimes as a pivotal character in its own right.  These slender volumes of bound notebook paper, whether classic lined paper or innovative dot paper variety, can carry the weight of entire plot narratives within their pages. From favourite films and TV shows, to well-loved novels, notebooks and pens are able to transcend their utilitarian purposes, becoming central figures in stories that captivate us.

It's why we thought we’d have some fun and whisk you through moments where cute notebooks weren’t merely part of the scenery but played a key role in the unfolding drama.

We'll also speculate how the addition of personalised elements, such as a monogram note book that’s A5 size, or a dotted notebook, with accompanying pencils or highlighters, or perhaps posca pens or gel pens, could have transformed these moments from simply striking to utterly unforgettable.

The Charm of a Stationery Set in Cinema

On screen, where every prop has the potential to achieve star status, stationery has often played a surprisingly central role in the storytelling. From humble black pens to a stack of pretty notebooks, these everyday items have been instrumental in some momentous moments on screen. Let’s explore a few iconic films where a notebook is a character in its own right, and imagine how we may have added an extra layer of depth to these scenes, with a few simple tweaks!

"The Notebook"

"The Notebook" is a film where the eponymous jotter pad isn't merely an object but the emotional core of the narrative. This lined journal, acting as the vessel for Noah's letters to Allie, becomes a poignant symbol of their enduring love.  

As centre-stage as this particular journal is, we like to think that had it been a hardcover notebook, definitely an A5 notebook, rather than B5 size, with their initials delicately embossed on the cover, it could have been even more impactful!  

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," a seemingly ordinary diary becomes the key to unlocking a mystery. This diary planner, harbouring (spoiler alert!) a hidden piece of Voldemort’s soul, interacts with Ginny Weasley in a deeply personal way.  

Like all the best custom notebooks, we can picture it in our mind’s eye; Tom Riddle’s magical horcrux scribbling insidious, spellbound responses to Ginny’s questions.  This is definitely one blank notebook that may have benefited from even more personalisation – just imagine if it had been filled with pretty strips of washi tape and colourful stickers!  The whole thing would have been even more creepy! 

"Bridget Jones's Diary"

Bridget Jones’s journey of self-discovery and personal growth begins with her decision to document her life in a diary. Her resultant journalling is filled with the raw honesty of many hilarious, trials and triumphs. Although, in our opinion, we think that Mark Darcy’s gift at the end of the film could have featured a quirky cover more reflective of Bridget's personality.  After all, truly personalised gifts are so much more fun! 

We also like to imagine Bridget equipped with a pencil case, crammed full with her favourite colouring pencils and brush pens.  It would have made her introspections even more vibrant!  We can also imagine her with a dot grid notebook, bullet journaling her way through the year.  After all, who wouldn’t want to take a sneak peak at her habit trackers or maybe her ‘new you plan’ – we bet they’d make entertaining reading!

Stationery's Pivotal Role in Television

Television has the unique ability to really bring alive the everyday, seemingly mundane objects, and this includes the journals and pens that often find their way into key plot points. These moments resonate with viewers, reminding us of the impact of writing and the silent stories waiting to be transcribed into favourite notebook planners. 

"Friends": The One with Ross's Wedding

In "Friends," who can forget THAT moment when Ross says Rachel's name instead of Emily's at the altar.  We always think that a simple journal notebook could have really benefitted him at this point!  Just imagine how different things may have been had Ross properly pre-prepared his wedding vows in a luxury notebook.  If he’d used a daily journal designed specifically for the occasion, then we bet the blunder would not have happened! 

Ok, Ok, so we wouldn’t have had one of the small screen’s most unexpected moments, but we think it’s something brides and grooms, or anyone else for that matter, should think about, especially if they need to say something in public.  We are all less likely to make a hash of things with a trusty notebook to hand!

"Gilmore Girls": A Bibliophile’s Bible

Throughout "Gilmore Girls," Rory Gilmore hardly has her nose out of a book, whether it’s one to read, or a faithful notebook – the perfect accompaniment for the character, who dreams of becoming a journalist.  It’s a talisman, representing her journey and the stories she’s destined to tell. 

We think Rory would have loved a personalised daily journal, A5 of course, and definitely one embossed with her name and a pertinent word on the cover.  It could have served to underscore the significance of her ambitions and the personal growth she experiences along the way.

"Sherlock": Oh, To Have His Brain!

In every "Sherlock" episode we find ourselves in total awe contemplating the power of that man’s brain!  Because….let’s face it – whilst Sherlock stores all the information in his head, we’d have to write down every single clue and thought in a note book; a customisable notebook, obviously, because it’s always got to be stylish, as well as useful! 

We also like to have fun dreaming up the prefect journal for the peerless sleuth.  It would definitely need dot paper, because we think he’d appreciate the freedom the dots would give him to create his own page layouts. He would also need the perfect writing instruments.  Our suggestion would be micron pens for putting down on paper what’s in his head and Zebra pens, to highlight the most relevant clues.  We’d love to see it once it was complete – just imagine pages crammed with evidence, suspects, and deductions, all underlining Sherlock's meticulous nature and the depth of his analytical abilities.

The Written Word in Literature

In literature too, notebooks and pens are more than mere objects; they are catalysts for change, symbols of hope, and keepers of secrets.

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky

In "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," Charlie's letters serve as a deeply personal glimpse into his life, offering both a narrative device and a therapeutic outlet.  We like to think personalised notebooks, with his name, or a special word embossed on the front, would have offered Charlie even more comfort, than an easy to misplace letter drafted on a scrap of paper.  Every notebook would have been at hand, like a safe space designed just for him.  And, each would become a step towards healing, symbolising the unique path of every individual towards understanding themselves and the world around them.

"Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh

For Harriet in "Harriet the Spy," her notebook is her most treasured possession, a place where she records her candid observations about the people around her.  We believe she would have appreciated a personalised journal for her spying activities, but one with premier paper, which she could have written on using invisible ink, without worrying it would bleed through the paper, making it look used – and so give the game away.  She would also need a good pen holder to stash her ever present writing tool safely.  Although, unlike us non-spies, Harriet’s pen would ideally be a miniature spy kit, a la 007, tailored to her clandestine needs!  

"Dracula" by Bram Stoker

In Bram Stoker's "Dracula," the use of journals, diaries, and letters is crucial to the narrative structure, offering diverse perspectives on the unfolding horror.  We would love to have designed a personalised notebook for each character; one’s that reflect their personalities and experiences.  It would have added an intriguing layer to the story.  Mina’s could have been an elegant notebook, symbolising her role as the heart of the group, while Jonathan’s might be sturdy and travel-worn, a testament to his harrowing journey.  And, finally, Dracula…who could and should only have a journal with black paper!

Let’s Close The (Note) Book!

The power of the written word and the notebooks that contain them, whether a B5 notebook or journals with brown paper, hold a quiet power in pop culture.  Whether on screen or on the page, they are more than mere objects; they are extensions of the characters themselves, witnesses to their lives, and participants in their stories. Personalising these items only adds a layer of depth to the storytelling.  With this in mind, we invite you to ponder the role of your own stationery and notebooks, in the narratives of your life.  Just consider, in every stroke of a black pen and every journal page turned, there's a potential for magic, waiting to be unlocked.