There’s something comforting about taking notes on paper. There’s no fear that a computer will crash and lose your files or that your typing speed won’t be fast enough to keep up with your thoughts. Notebooks don’t run out of batteries and you don’t have to worry about emailing your doodle to your boss accidentally.
Studies have shown that writing things down commits them to memory at a much higher rate than typing them. That means that if you want to remember what was discussed in your morning lecture, your afternoon meeting, or what you jotted down on your grocery list, you’re more likely to remember it if you physically write it down instead of typing it.
College ruled notebooks are our preferred medium for doing everything from taking important notes, to making packing lists and doodling during downtime. Inexpensive and available in a variety of sizes with various features, these notebooks are great to keep on hand in your bag, car, desk, bedroom, and even bathroom. We often remember that we need to pick up toothpaste while brushing our teeth.
Check out seven of our favorite college ruled notebooks below.
1. Mead Spiral Notebook
Easily keep track of your different projects with the Mead Spiral Notebook, which comes in a six-pack featuring beautiful pastel colors including yellow, pink, blue, purple, green and orange. Each notebook includes 70 lined pages that are perforated and have a three-hole punch, making them easy to add to binders. The Mead notebooks are the only notebooks that come in a 10.5” x 7.5” size.
Pros: Mead has partnered with Amazon to offer pastel colors that are only available through the online retailer.
Cons: The Mead Notebooks are one of the most expensive sets of notebooks on our list. Their light pastel colors may not be appropriate for more formal offices.
2. Five Star Advance Spiral Notebook
Easily keep track of five subjects or projects at once with the Five Star Advance Spiral Notebook. Each of the set of five notebooks has five subject dividers with a total of 200 pages, making it easy to organize projects and classes. We like that the plastic subject dividers are movable, allowing users to customize the size of each section. The sheets measure a standard 8.5” x 11” and have perforated edges that can easily tear out.
Pros: The Five Star comes with several convenient additives including durable plastic front and back covers, a pen loop, large pockets for loose paper and a Fabric Spiral Guard to protect the book’s spiral spine from catching.
Cons: The Five Star notebooks come with several unique features, but that also means they have the highest price tag on our list.
3. TOPS Oxford 1-Subject Notebooks
Gel pen users, take note. The TOPS Oxford 1-Subject Notebooks come in a pack of six with 70 smooth pages each, perfect for writing with regular or gel pens without any bleeding. Each 8″ x 10.5″ notebook includes red margin lines, micro-perforation and three-hole punches.
Pros: The TOPS comes in a variety of six colors that make it easy to distinguish between different projects and classes.
Cons: TOPS notes that the color selection may vary and customers may not receive the six notebooks shown below.
4. AmazonBasics College Ruled Wirebound Spiral Notebook
For a set with the most sheets in single-subject notebooks on our list, we recommend the AmazonBasics College Ruled Wirebound Spiral Notebook. The set of five books come with 100 pages each, giving users a total of 500 pages. The notebooks are comprised of 56 gsm weight paper stock at 92% brightness and measure 8” x 10.5”. Each sheet is perforated and three-hole punched.
Pros: Each notebook includes an identification spot on the front where users can write their name, class and project to make their notebook easily identifiable.
Cons: Unlike other notebooks, the AmazonBasics doesn’t include dividers or pockets for loose sheets.
5. Oxford 1-Subject Poly Notebooks
Get a notebook that is protected from rips, tears, and moisture damage with the Oxford 1-Subject Poly Notebooks. The three pack of notebooks each include 100 pages that are smooth and strong, perfect for pencils, pens, highlighters and gel pens. Featuring a red margin and 9/32” spacing, each page is perforated and three-hole punched.
Pros: Each book comes with a poly-divider pocket that includes storage for loose papers.
Cons: The Oxford notebooks come in a pack of three but are similarly priced to other five and six-pack notebook sets.
6. Mead Composition Book
If you’re looking for a college-ruled notebook without the spiral binding, we recommend the Mead Composition Book. The notebook has a sewn binding that acts as an alternative to traditional coil binding, which makes it ideal for travel (no spiral coiling snagging on clothing or backpacks). One notebook contains 100 double-sided pages measuring 9.75” x 7.5”.
Pros: The inside of the Mead Composition Book includes room for a class schedule, as well as multiplication tables, conversion tables and grammar rules.
Cons: Because the Mead has a sewn binding, it does not lay as flat when open as the spiral-bound notebooks. The pages also aren’t perforated for easy removal.
7. Mintra Office Spiral Notebooks
Have fun with colors using the Mintra Office Spiral Notebooks. Like the Mead Spiral Notebooks, the Mintra notebooks come in a set of six with fun and vibrant pastel colors, which are great for party planning, note-taking, and more. Each notebook contains 70 56 gsm white paper sheets with 92% brightness. The sheets are perforated and have three-hole punches along one edge.
Pros: The Mintra notebooks feature a durable chipboard cover.
Cons: Like the Mead, the Mintra may not be appropriate for a formal office. They also don’t include pockets for loose paper.