Size Doesn’t Matter with Daily Pages

We’re coming up on four years of Daily Pages Zoom calls. Can you believe it?

I’m Carol Anne Wall, and my Daily Pages style has changed a lot in those four years. But what’s changed the most is the sizes of my Daily Pages books. I started with the Field Notes (3.5×5.5) notebooks and was quite happy with that format. During an epic craft room clean-out in the Fall of 2020, I found a bunch of empty notebooks of various sizes including a composition book I had started decorating in the mid-2000s.

I filled the composition book with Daily Pages (and some glued together pages) in the Winter of 2020-2021. I hopped back to the familiarity of the Field Notes size, then periodically grabbed a notebook from my collection to fill. A habit of size experimentation was born!

There are others in our ALP community that have also used “atypical” (non-Field Notes/Scout Notes size) notebooks. Let’s hear from them and learn about their notebook journey. You can find links to some of their favorite notebook resources at the end of this article. My questions are in bold, and comments in italics.

Please meet Donna, Helen, and Jacqueline!

Tell me about yourself, such as name, location, and favorite scrapbooking format.

I’m Donna, and I create in my studio with my Cocker Spaniel puppy Olive in Shelton, Washington. Besides Daily Pages I really enjoy making themed mini books.

Hi, I’m Helen, I live with my husband in Massachusetts. I use a lot of creative memories 12×12 albums, but I also like the 6×8 or smaller binders.

I am Jacqueline and I live in western Canada (on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan to get more specific.) I have scrapbooked in most sizes: 12×12, 8×8, 8.5×11, 6×8, 4.25×8.25, 3.5×5.5, 6.5×4.25, and probably a few others I’ve forgotten. 12×12 was my first love and I’m returning to it this year, while I still do daily pages in smaller sizes.

When did you first start doing Daily Pages, and why did you start? 

Figure 1: Donna’s collection of Daily Pages notebooks

Donna: I started doing Daily Pages in April 2020 when Kristin had the 30 Days of Showing Up. I had just retired in February 2020 and when I heard about this project on the Crafty Ass Female podcast, I knew it was what I needed to break up the stay-at-home blues caused by COVID.

Helen: I joined Kristen’s 30-day Daily Pages class in 2020. It looked like a fun, low effort class.

Jacqueline: I started attending Kristin’s live sessions in April 2020 when she did her first 30 days of Daily Pages live streams. At the time I didn’t actually do Daily Pages; I worked on my 12×12 scrapbooks or whatever other creative projects I had going on.

What was the size of your first Daily Pages book?

Donna: My first book was 3-1/4×5-1/2; a little smaller than a Field Notes book. I had it in my “collection” of notebooks.

Helen: I started with the traveler’s notebook (TN) from my Cocoa Daisy subscription and that’s what I’ve used ever since. I don’t use a planner and I was running out of ideas for using the notebook. 

Jacqueline: My first true daily pages book was Kristin’s printable Story Journal. It is a traveler’s notebook (4.25×8.25).

Donna and Jacqueline, what book sizes or formats have you used?

Donna: My go-to is a Field Notes book, but over the last four years, I have used a lot of 4×6 books, a 4-1/2×7-1/2 hardback book that had been altered with a spiral binding, a 5-3/4×8-1/4 notebook, a 7×8-1/2 spiral composition book, a few handmade books in various sizes and a series of 2-1/2×3-1/4 Rolodex cards.

Jacqueline: I followed that up with 30 Days of Lists in another travelers notebook (TN). Then I tried my first 3.5×5 notebook in October 2020. It seemed so small to me!

I’ve also tried some 5×8.25 and 6×8 notebooks. My current notebook is a horizontal 6.5×4.25.

Why did you change sizes?

Donna: I just like to work in different sizes sometimes. I also love notebooks and am always on the lookout for a book I think will be interesting to use for Daily Pages.

Jacqueline: I usually change format because I want to include different sized cards or pictures. My horizontal book is perfect for including a nearly full page 4×6 photo or card, but it also works great with a 3×4 card or photo and some journaling. My 6×8 notebook works great for including a vertical 4×6 photo or card or a 5×7 art card. I sometimes change formats because I have a cool notebook that I want to use up.

Figure 2: Helen’s Cocoa Daisy notebooks

Helen, I’d like to know if you’ve ever thought about using a size other than TN, or are you just happy to stay with TNs?

Helen: Since I get the Cocoa Daisy subscription every month, I see no reason to change format. BUT today I decided to cancel. Maybe it’s time to try something new.

I look forward to watching your next Daily Pages evolution, Helen!

Donna and Jacqueline, what is your favorite size book to work in?  

Donna: Even though I use a lot of different size books, my go-to size is the Field Notes book. The pages are a nice size and it’s easy for me to fill up two pages during Daily Pages.

Jacqueline: One of my favourite notebooks is a Clairefontaine 4.25×6.5 Crokbook. I think I found my first one randomly at a bookstore.

When you share your Clairefontaine books people always want to know where to buy them. Thanks for sharing the link (see links at the end of the article). I think that link, and the link to Kristen’s Currently book are the most requested links in the livestream!

Jacqueline: I also love 49 and Market Memory Journals. They are 6×8 with cardstock pages so that you can stamp with no fear of bleed-through and even do mixed media. But I actually got mine at my local scrapbook store.

Figure 3: Carol Anne’s composition notebook

While I loved the end-product of my composition Daily Pages notebook, it was also a huge challenge. Sometimes, I regretted going so large. I’m not sure I would do that size again.

Donna and Jacqueline, have you two ever regretted using a particular size, or found one size more difficult to work in?

Donna: The Rolodex cards were difficult to work on. They were a challenge because of the small size, and I had to choose items that fit but still looked artistic.

Jacqueline: I find the 3.5×5 notebooks on the small side. I am not skilled at including things that go over the crease. Every now and then I do use one, but only once a year or so.

What lessons have you learned about your creative self as you’ve worked with atypical sized books?

Figure 4: Jacqueline’s layout about her 2023 notebooks.

Donna: Just take it one (or two) pages at a time. I enjoy all the sizes and find challenges with each one (too much space – only do one page; too little space – find little embellishments).

Helen: Although the TN is a different size than the field notes, what’s more important is that the notebook is not blank! Each month is a new color scheme and theme. I like the challenge of finding coordinating items from my stash.

Jacqueline: I go in spurts with the type of pages I do and that can be dictated by the notebook I’m using. If I have a 6×8 I tend to use bigger cards and pictures more often. Other times I might go on a tear where I want to try out new stamp sets, and the sets I pick are dictated by whether they will fit the notebook I am using and the paper it has. I like trying the stamp sets right on the notebook paper instead of using them on other paper and then sticking them in the book. If there is bleed through, then the next page will be on patterned paper or a large card.

Any tips for someone thinking about using an atypical book size?

Donna: Just try it. If you really don’t like the size after awhile, switch to a size you do like. I have a few larger books that started out as Daily Page books but turned into books for challenges. I found having a challenge prompt helped me fill up the larger page.

Helen: Use what you have.

Good advice, Helen. It also makes room for more scrapbooking supplies or notebooks…guilty as charged.

Jacqueline: Pick something that seems fun to you. Maybe you see someone’s page online and think, “I’d like to try that.” If something is a struggle, you don’t have to finish the whole book. You are not committed to filling an entire notebook. You can even cut the pages you did finish out and cut them down to fit a smaller book or paste them in the middle of a page in a larger book. Or you can just use the rest of the notebook as an actual notebook and jot down notes and ideas. Or you can just abandon it or even (gasp) throw it out.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience with atypical book sizes, or new Daily Pages creators overwhelmed by book choices?

Donna: Start with a Field Notes book or similar size because there are many ALP members that use this size and so much inspiration can be found at the ALP. Once you get into the Daily Pages habit, try a different size just for the fun of it. You might find a new favorite.

Helen: I would recommend a size that holds a 4×6 photo, if that’s what you have at hand. Not that you have to use photos, but it’s an easy composition if you have lots of photos.

Jacqueline: If you’re paralyzed, just use a notebook you have in the house: one that was a freebie with an order, one that was part of a Christmas gift, an actual ruled school notebook. There are thousands of choices online and it can be too much. Also, most bookstores have a great selection of journals and notebooks if you want to actually see what a book is like in real life before committing.

Thank you, Donna, Helen, and Jacqueline, for sharing your experience with and resources for atypical notebooks for Daily Pages. The resource links below have been provided by Donna, Helen, and Jacqueline. Check them out if you’re interested in trying a new size – or just check your stash!

I’d like you to hear about your experiences with atypical notebooks for Daily Pages, or your Daily Pages evolution in general. Please leave a comment below to continue the conversation.

Links to products/manufacturers mentioned in this article

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