graph paper for notetaking?

I've seen on this site and a couple other sites having to do with organization, productivity, and GTD some people seem to love using graph paper for notetaking. I feel like I'm missing something. I've always used lined or just plain blank paper. How is graph paper used for better note taking?


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Narrower lines, I suppose.

If you like to write really small that could be a good thing. Also, it would depend on what you are taking notes on, i.e. columns of numbers, or if you are really anal about things lining up nice and pretty down the sheet of paper...

Mostly personal preference, I imagine.


i use grid index cards


I use grid based index cards when I take notes. Mostly because it allows me to turn the card from portrait to landscape and back again. But I also use the grids to add symbols that give insight into what information my mind collects at any given time. (see Pile of Indexcards for more info on what I use).

However, I think it's also a matter of personal taste. I keep storyboard cards in my hipster as well as blank index cards for when I'm in a sketching mood. So yeah, let the purpose fit the card or paper? :)

If you really want to know... then might I suggest you get a cheep grid ruled composition notebook after you fill up your blank one and see what uses it inspires?



I can't find grid paged notebooks to save my life... Been looking for just over a month and all I can find is loose leaf grid paper. I'm starting to think my only hope is circa... so I can make my own -OR- caving in and buyin moleskine squared journals.
my artwork

graph paper templates and notebooks

I remember seeing something about graph/grid paper notebooks recently. Check out for free downloadable/printable templates. I'd be really surprised if there wasn't something like that on here. Levenger has graph paper too ;-)

I also remember reading (I think on that Miquelrius carries graph paper. I'd never heard of them, but a quick google search turned this up:


And another...

Here's another link. Only this time, it's a compromise, it has both lines and the grid. Pretty cool, but I think the lines are too far apart for my taste, which is why I probably forgot about it until now.
Doane Paper


I used to own a Miquelrius

I used to own a Miquelrius grid ruled notebook for taking all sorts of project notes. The paper is of high quality and can take all sorts of colors of ink. However, the size I got was big and heavy and that's when I switched to note card sized things.

Oxford makes the US standard graph/grid-ruled index cards. My biggest beef with them is that they're not 100% identical all the time. I love Levenger's cards but... they don't put the graph all the way to the edges, which is a new requirement of mine in using Hawk's Pile of Indexcards capture methods.

The only perfect-cut index card manufacture seems to be soley in japan. Unless my dreams of a perfect-cut Levenger quad comes true soonish :) (ryan, did i mention i lurves ya!)


Miquelrius graph

Miquelrius graphed notebooks are my FAVOURITE. I'm currently in a huge search for more books (A4 Eco graph....) but being in Canada it's a little bit of a difficult trail.

Right now Jennifer at is going to let me know when they get more in stock (I'm going to get at least four...) but she also said that months ago.

*crosses fingers*

Good for Numbers

I switched to graph style notecards about a month ago. I can be pretty anal, so having boxes that line up exactly works great for adding up columns of numbers.

I also like to trace around one of the boxes when jotting down "to do" lists. The traced box is my check-off box when the item is completed (I told you I am anal).

They also work great for sketching little pictures that I give to my kids. The graph lines somehow add a depth of field that I like.

But it really just comes down to personal preference.


Cultural thing maybe?

When I first moved to Poland about 10 yrs ago, and started learning Polish, I looked and looked and _looked_ for simple lined note paper. Couldn't find it! It was _all_ graph paper (as I called it). Of course, my curiosity was aroused, but I was never able to get a good, solid reason for why, despite my many questions. It seems to be European-wide, this preference. One of my biggest gripes with the cross-hatch is that my slanted letters "clash" with the vertical lines. However, while pondering on this one day, I noticed that my European counterparts wrote vertically, instead of slanted. Now, I know that Polish penmanship is straight up and down, not slanted at all. I don't know if students in other European countries are taught this way, but I know that Polish students are. I wonder, therefore, if the small grid is supposed to help with penmanship, as well as providing a nice gridwork for math formulas, etc. I don't know, but it is a suspicion I've had for almost a decade now...


European convention

I grew up in (W)Germany, and used grid paper a lot. Back in my days (I started school when 'She loves you, yeah, yeah' came out), we learnt to write on paper with two lines for every writing line (or was it three?) to help with keeping your lower case even, but if I remember rightly, we were tought to slant a little. Graph paper was for maths, but I liked it for doodeling, which is how I spent much of my school days.

I remember those writing

I remember those writing exercise books! I think they were 4 lines - the top and bottom ones were one colour and the two between them another colour. I think the third line was where to start writing, with upper case letters written to the height of the top line, lower case letters to the second line, and letters with "tails" (the y's and the g's) could not go below the lowest line.