The Perfect Tool for the job


I cannot believe how much difference it makes having your optimal tools for organizing and running games. I’ve tried a bunch of different methods in the last couple years, but it turns out having the right size journal and a handy gel pen is what gets my creative juices going, and makes the process of prep actually fun.

My wife grabbed me a small stack of Moleskine notebooks, ruled and unruled, along with some simple Pilot G2 gel pens, and they are just fantastic for me.

But I want to know more! What are your favorite journals, pens, or other analog tools you like using to document your awesome adventures? I love recommendations.


Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel 0.7. I’m normally a Zebra guy, but this thing blew my mind with how smooth it writes. For paper, I’m actually going back to the origins of the system and using index cards. They obviously couldn’t handle your outstanding artwork, but running a five room dungeon was a breeze. The game was literally in the palm of my hands.


There’s just something about an index card isn’t there? I make use of those quite a bit for little handouts and such, but I think I’d like to explore running a whole session with them! Thanks for the inspiration. :slight_smile:


I live and die by the turquoise one. I’ve rarely ever run a pen out of ink, but I’m on my fourth!


I’m just starting a “Clairfontaine” with dotted A5 pages. The dots are way less distracting than I anticipated and I’m starting to really like them. But whats really special about it, is that it has a few pages in the beginning with a blank table of contents, where you can fill in the pagenumbers and about one line per entry. Combined with numbered pages this makes it super easy to find stuff again when searching for something specific, but I don’t have to worry about actually working to “keep order” (which would kill the notebook experience for me)


Rocketbook Core with a Pilot FriXion pen. I hate using any other pen on any other surface now!

I backed the Rocketbook legal pad on Kickstarter and can’t wait for that campaign to finish!


I like dotted moleskin journal with a paper mate flair felt tip pen.


Looking at your notebook here is inspiring! I’ve been meaning to get working on a game specific sketchbook for some time now. When I was running an ongoing campaign I used a plain lined paper notebook where I would sketch things in with pencil or pen. I also liked to draw on graph paper and write things on post-it notes and just stick or tape them in, a bit rough but effective.

With a sketchbook I would prefer a ringed binding so that I can set it flat on the table when I work. Regular bound books resist opening all the way and I don’t like struggling to keep it open while I am writing. I prefer 2B pencils and Micron pens (size #2, #3, #5, #8).

Here’s a shot at my rather roughly sketched game book:


Before I went digital, i would send my own notebook templates to a printer to be coil bound in my own custom campaign book.Some pages were templates (homebrew or purchased), other pages were graph paper, or lined/blank paper for sketches and notes. Really made it the best of both worlds…

Game on!


Did the felt pen bleed through the Moleskine paper? So far, that’s my only complaint about those journals.


You’re stuff always inspires! Being a guy just making stuff for Homebrew, I love seeing people take the extra step to publish stuff. That’s a big draw to this community. I’d love to pick your brain sometime about page layout, methods, and all that kind of digitizing for a market stuff. :slight_smile:


Anytime… you can DM me anytime, or even better start a topic we can share with the community. … Game On!


I recently started GMing my first regular game, and dealt with this a little bit. Being thrifty, I bought a cheap gridded composition notebook. It worked great… until I got to the table, and due to limited table size I barely had room to keep it open behind my screen.

I was frustrated, but also didn’t want to waste this book. My solution ended up being going to a print shop, cutting out the remaining pages, cutting those in half and having them all coil-bound together.

(Apologies for blank pages, just happened to open up to them :sweat_smile:)

As you all can see, the recycled book really saves on space, and was super handy my first session using it. Though once I’ve filled it, I may look into getting something like a Filofax (it’s like a cross between a notebook and three-ring binder) so I can more easily reorder pages, as I’m finding my writing process kind of scatterbrained.

As for writing utensils, I tend to stick to mechanical pencils or those four-color Bic pens; I like the latter as it makes it easy to switch colors if I want to circle or emphasize something in my notes.


really nice to get a peek at your notebook

@rpgerminator I think I am going to go with some type of coil bound notebook also, as much as I like moleskin for writing, I think I will prefer a notebook that lays flat for drawing etc…


Leuchtturm1917 :closed_book: + Uniball Signo :pen: (with Pentel’s EnerGel 0.5 needle tip which fits in perfectly)

I use a bullet journal, no lines or squares: I much prefer making my own tables and all that, now!


Since I work primarily digital now I sketch in Adobe Fresco, and make most of my notes in the basic notes app.


…and so it begins :smile:

Found a notebook in a drawer that I forgot I even had, actually not bad (Staples, Item #: 24383526 - still had sticker on it - lol)

Of course BEFORE any scribbling or silly drawings, I had to make it my own and no better place to start then the cover - right?



…now to start writing/drawing - think I will take the advice read here and other places "write everyday, take it with you :+1:)


that is strictly Apple iPad currently - right? Have been running Mac since MacPlus days (that dates me some - haha) - when my PowerBook’s Keyboard stopped working, I grabbed a PC/Gaming system (Windows 10). No complaints…but still takes me a minute sometimes to figure out how to do some things that I didn’t give a thought under OSX…but its all good :sunglasses:

But have an iPad Pro (model recommendation? if that is what you are using for Fresco) and Surface Book on my radar/bucket list.


iPad Pro and Goodnotes or Notability… and Procreate… you will never go back!

I use Affinity Photo and Designer in addition to Autodesk Sketchbook.


Yeah, Adobe Fresco is only available on iPad right now, but they say it’s eventually coming to anything with a stylus. (I know how you feel about PC, it gives me trouble every time I have to use one)

I’m using the iPad Pro 11” with a 2nd gen Apple Pencil. I prefer the smaller size because I feel bigger one is a little more bulky and isn’t as easy to take everywhere with me (plus, the larger one is more expensive). If you want to use Fresco, you need to have an iPad that can use an Apple Pencil. The iPad 11” was a major update, the 1st gen Apple Pencil is great, but the 2nd gen Apple Pencil is superb.

Also, I use a matte screen protector. It has a more natural feel apposed to drawing in the unnatural smooth surface of a screen. They sell expensive “paper like” screen protectors, but simple matte protectors do the same for much cheaper.