It sometimes feels like a curse-being left-handed. Write with the wrong pen, and it looks like your toddler had an accident over the page. And the side of your hand looks like it fell into a paint can. Let’s not even get started on notebooks and how downright impossible it is trying to journal or make a list! Thank your lucky stars because there are notebooks designed in such a way that even left-handers will like writing in them, and this makes life so much easier.
What are the best notebooks for lefties? How do you know after experiencing only disappointment before? We’ve got you covered with this guide, as it covers all kinds of bindings and paper quality.
Table of Contents
- 1 In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks for Best Notebooks for Lefties…
- 2 How do Left Handed Notebooks Work?
- 3 Best Writing Notebooks for Lefties
- 4 Left Handed Calligraphy Book
- 5 Ambidextrous and Left Handed Spiral Notebooks
- 6 Why do Left Handed People Complain About Spiral Notebooks?
- 7 How to Write in a Spiral Notebook Left Handed
- 8 FAQs
In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks for Best Notebooks for Lefties…
BEST STITCH-BOUND LAY FLAT
Moleskine Classic Hard Cover Notebook
- Thread-bound at the top
- 70 gsm ivory paper good for fountain, ballpoint pen or pencil
- Pocket-sized or large with plain or ruled pages
BEST TOP SPIRAL BOUND
Rhodia Wirebound Pad 8.25 x 11.75
- Top double-wired spiral bound
- 80 gsm paper good for any fountain, ballpoint pen or pencil
- A4, A5, A6, A7 sizes with ruled, square, and dot pages
BEST VALUE NOTEBOOK
LEUCHTTURM1917 – Medium A5 Hardcover Notebook
- Thread-bound on the left
- 80 gsm paper good for fountain, ballpoint pen or pencil
- A5 size with plain, ruled, graph or dotted pages
How do Left Handed Notebooks Work?
There are a variety of notebooks that are ideal for lefties. A lot depends on the type of paper and the style of binding. This is how binding style affects writing for left-handers:
The binding for these is on the left like it is for “normal” notebooks. When you open the stitch-bound notebook, it is flat and there’s nothing obstructing your hand as you reach over the binding to write on the right page of the notebook.
Like the stitch bound but usually cheaper, these side staple notebooks also open flat, so both left and right-handed people can use these with ease. However, these don’t tend to come with many pages. If you’re looking for several inexpensive notebooks just for taking notes in college but you want to ensure that pages don’t come loose over time, then this is a good option.
Top staple or wire
These notebooks are either stapled at the top or “stitched” with a wire that runs along the top of the book. These work well for lefties, with the only possible obstruction occurring when you write near the top of the page where the staples are, as you have a growing number of filled pages that you have to flip to the back.
This style doesn’t make it easy to write at the back of the page whether you’re left- or right-handed unless you lay them flat after turning the notebook 180 degrees.
The binding here is also on the left. There are no obstacles to get in the way of your hand when writing with glue-bound notebooks. However, the covers sometimes snap shut or pages become unglued and fall out when they shouldn’t. Left-handed and right-handed writers both encounter these problems.
These notebooks can be spiral bound on the right, left, or top of the notebook. Right-bound and top-bound spiral notebooks are better for left-handed people unless you use the tricks we share a little later for left-bound spiral books.
Instead of sticking to the back of the book, the hard cover is attached to the last page of the book. There may be several book blocks that are also bound to each other by attaching the last page of one block to the first page of the next block. Various techniques can be used to bind a book block, such as adhesive binding and thread stitching.
This method allows for the perfect layflat binding where books open completely flat across the centre fold, which means there’s absolutely no discomfort when writing.
Best Writing Notebooks for Lefties
MOO Lined Hardcover Notebook
The MOO Lined Hardcover Notebook comes in 6 colors. With the Swiss binding on the left side, every page lays flat so you can write comfortably. The 160 bright white but glare-free and acid-free pages that won’t yellow have 6 mm of lined spacing (narrow ruled) and there are 16 unlined, color pages in the center for creativity.
At 100 GSM, the pages are thick, and you don’t need to worry about your pen ink bleeding through. There’s a small circle in every page corner so that you can number them if you want.
The hard cover is made of durable cloth and hides a convenient pocket inside that you can use for carrying receipts or business cards.
Every page lays flat.
160 pages with lines; 16 unlined pages.
Pen ink won’t bleed through to the reverse side.
After lots of use, Swiss binding may start weakening with the pages sticking out and needing to be pushed back in.
Paper may be too bright if you write in bright light.
Moleskine Classic Notebook, Hard Cover
The Moleskine Classic Hard Cover Notebook comes in pocket and large sizes, as well as ruled and plain options. The thick, textured pages in ivory are ideal for fountain, gel, or ballpoint pens and pencils.
The book has a leather-like cover, opens at 180 degrees and lies flat. The book is thread-bound at the top and can be used vertically or horizontally, which is great for left-handers. There are 192 pages, the last 24 of which are detachable.
The classic design features an elastic band to keep the book closed when not in use and a ribbon bookmark so you can stay organized at all times. With the expandable back pocket, you can keep notes, cards, and mementos you’ve collected along your travels.
Great for ballpoint and fountain pens and pencils.
Climate pledge friendly.
Has an inner storage folder.
Only available with a black cover.
Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook with Pocket
Available in 5 colors, the Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook is stitch bound on the left side and when open, it lays flat at 180 degrees, making it great for lefties and righties. You get 180 pages that are thicker than normal paper, so your pen ink won’t bleed through. The 120 GSM wide-ruled paper is suited for most pens except the wettest of fountain and gel pens but there is absolutely no chance of bleedthrough.
This notebook has a sturdy hardcover of faux leather and an elastic loop on the outside of the spine to hold a pen. There’s also a strong elastic band to keep it secure and an expandable inner back pocket for storing notes and receipts. In addition to a ribbon bookmark, there are multi-colored page divider tabs to help you access specific sections of the book quickly.
Thick paper suited for most pens with no bleed through.
Has a pen loop and page dividers.
Vintage look with the ivory pages.
Pen loop can stretch out easily.
Wet ink can smudge.
Rhodia Staplebound Orange Lined Notebook
The Rhodia Staplebound Orange Lined Notebook comes in orange, black, and white. The 48 sheets of 80 GSM paper are extra white, acid-free, and college-ruled but you do have options with unlined, graph, or dotted paper. The notebook is staple bound on the side and covered with card stock that’s coated with a waterproof layer to protect the pages inside.
This is a really good option if you just need a thin, no frills but a high-quality notepad. The paper is not the smoothest from the Rhodia paper stable but smooth enough to be ideal for fountain pens or pencils.
Left-handers may find one feature particularly useful. While you may not be able to get the book to lay flat completely, the top and bottom margins are symmetrical. Therefore, you could write on the left-hand side of the whole pad, then flip it over and start again at what was originally the back.
Great for fountain and brush pens, Sharpies, etc.
Pen ink dries well and there’s no bleed-through or shadowing.
College ruled smooth white paper.
The sturdy card cover is waterproof.
Some reviewers complain it is hard to get the book to lay flat completely but it is still left-hand friendly.
LEUCHTTURM1917 – Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook
Available in 24 colors, the LEUCHTTURM1917 – Medium A5 Hardcover Notebook is available in dotted, plain, ruled, and squared. There are 251 pages of 80 gsm acid-free paper, 8 of which are perforated and detachable, and all are numbered. There’s even a blank table of contents, two bookmarks, an elastic band for keeping the book securely closed, an expandable pocket in the back, and stickers that are great for labeling.
Thread bound, these journals for left handed writers stay flat when you open them and as you write. The 80 GSM paper means you don’t need to worry about ink bleeding through, whether you use gel pens, fountain pens, or watercolor pencils.
Thread bound; opens flat.
Ink-proof and acid-free paper.
Dotted ruling with 31-32 “lines”.
Includes a gusseted pocket, numbered pages, table of contents page, stickers, and page marker.
Climate pledge friendly.
Can see pen ink indentions on the reverse side, but there’s no ink bleed.
Some pens smears and smudges.
Field Notes 3-Pack Graph Paper Memo Books
You get 3 books in this incredible value pack that’s designed and made in the USA! The Field Notes Memo Book set has bright white graph 90 GSM paper of 48 pages in each book. The paper is a pleasure to write on, as it’s smooth and there’s a printed rule on the inside back cover.
The cover is 150 gsm cardstock and it is all bound together by saddle stitch and three staples for a flat lay experience. It’s the perfect pocket-sized pad for on-the-field note-taking or just quick journal scribbling. These cute left handed notebooks currently come in two cover designs as an ode to Chicago and Portland with a few quick city facts on the back cover.
3-Staple, saddle-stitched bound; lays flat when open.
Set of 3 books for excellent value.
48 bright white, acid-free pages.
Great for fountain pens, ballpoints and pencils.
Only available in Chicago and Portland designs.
Left Handed Calligraphy Book
Rhodia Ice Pad Staplebound 8.25 X 11.75 Grid
The Rhodia Ice Pad Staplebound 8.25X11.75 notepads come in black, white, and orange. These pads feature 80 x 80 GSM opaque Clairefontaine Superfine Vellum paper pages that are acid-free and pH neutral. You can choose from grid or dot silver grey print. Beyond normal writing, this paper is great for left handers using fountain pen ink for artistic applications like calligraphy or graphic drawings.
The staple binding on the top is basic but strong and the pages have micro-perforations for easy tearing off just below. It has a coated card cover for strength and is a good pocket-sized notepad to fit into a purse or back pocket without worrying about it falling apart.
Top staple binding.
Even very wet ink won’t feather or bleed through.
Ideal for all kinds of pens, from fountain to ballpoint pens, that write in slightly finer lines.
Huge stock stickers are difficult to remove, leaving behind lots of adhesive.
Clairefontaine Tablets “Triomphe” Stationery
The Clairefontaine Tablets “Triomphe” Stationery features 90 GSM paper. It is ideal for those who love fountain pens. The paper is extra white with a smooth finish so you can be sure of very crisp lettering, which is essential for calligraphy. These notebooks come with 50 ruled or plain pages and a lined guide sheet to place underneath each page to help you write straight. This is an adhesive-bound notepad at the top with the ability to tear the page off easily.
Lefties should note that because of such smooth paper, the drying time for very wet inks will be a bit longer than average.
Top adhesive binding; papers tear away easily.
Blank or medium ruled at 8 mm.
Silky smooth paper, ideal for fountain pens.
No ink bleed or feathering.
Lefties complain that ink smudges; the paper isn’t very porous, so ink takes a few seconds longer to dry.
Ambidextrous and Left Handed Spiral Notebooks
Rhodia Wirebound Pad 8.25×11.75
The Rhodia Wirebound Pad has an orange or black cover and is available in 4 sizes – A4, A5, A6, and A7. You can get one ruled, dotted, or square. They’re top spiral and double wire bound with a hard back cover and sturdy binding so there will be minimal damage when shoving them into your college backpack.
These pads are good for everything from sketching to college notes to journaling to calligraphy. The 80 acid-free sheets of paper are made from superfine Vellum paper that weighs in at 80 GSM and is perfect for fountain, gel, or rollerball pen writing. The pages can easily be detached, as they are micro-perforated.
Double wire spiral bound at the top (or bottom if you turn the notebook upside down).
Wide ruled at 8 mm.
No ink bleeding or feathering; paper absorbs ink well.
Handles all kinds of pens well.
With the micro-perforations, the paper may tear too easily when you turn the notebook over.
ROARING SPRING Lefty 1 Subject College Ruled Left Handed Spiral Notebook
The ROARING SPRING Lefty 1 Subject Spiral Notebook is college ruled and spiral bound on the right, so it’s very left-hander friendly. The 100 sheets are also micro-perforated near the right hand margin. There is also a double pocket under the front cover to keep notes and extra pages.
The spiral binding is coil locked to prevent it from snagging anywhere. The cover is made of a type of cardstock and the color may vary.
Spiral bound on the right; coils are locked for snag-proof performance.
100 sheets of paper.
College ruling with margin.
Easy tear out; paper is perforated.
Won’t know what color cover you get when you order (can be black, gray, purple, green, red, or navy).
Some gel and fountain pens bleed through.
Mead Cambridge Notebook, Top Wirebound Spiral Notebook
The Mead Cambridge Notebook is spiral wirebound at the top and features white, perforated paper that has legal ruling. There are 70 sheets of paper. The notebook has a black heavy-duty cover and a cardboard back.
The paper is good for taking college notes and is best for ballpoint and rollerball pens. Fountain pen ink would probably bleed through.
Top spiral bound.
Thick, white, perforated paper.
Fountain and gel pen ink feathers onto the page.
Can see ink imprints on the reserve page.
Left-Handed Only from Lefty’s Wide Ruled Notebook
The Left-Handed Only from Lefty’s Wide Ruled Notebook has 100 sheets of paper that are perforated so that you can easily tear the sheets out. With the spiral binding that is located on the right, the notebook is ideal for lefties. There are binder holes punched into the left side of the pages so that you can save them in a normal ring binder.
The 3 notebook covers are available in two colors, teal blue and a coral red, but what’s delivered to you depends on what the company has in stock.
Right spiral bound.
100 sheets of perforated paper.
Set of 3 notebooks.
Paper has 3 punched holes.
Cover isn’t punched so you can’t add the whole notebook to a 3-ring binder.
Why do Left Handed People Complain About Spiral Notebooks?
Lefties despise normal spiral-bound notebooks because the hard coil is on their left and they have to reach across the spiral to write with their left hand. Awkwardly, their left hand always rests against the coil. This is both annoying and painful, as the spiral digs into the hand and leaves marks on the skin.
Moreover, they write toward the words as their hand is behind the words they write, while right-handed people write away from the words where their hand is ahead of the words. So they sometimes turn the notebook perpendicular as they push with their pen to form the letters (righties glide with their pen) and employ an overwrite or hook method to try to lessen the impact of the binding.
It’s hard enough to write this way with a ballpoint, rollerball, or gel pen, but even the best fountain pens for left handers will be a total no go in this situation. As long as you’re not battling left side spiral bindings, here are some tips on how to write with a fountain pen as a left-hander, including the ideal types of paper to use.
How to Write in a Spiral Notebook Left Handed
When you’re buying notebooks we encourage you to get ones that are lefty-friendly. However, if you don’t have a choice and are supplied by regular left-bound spiral notebooks, you wouldn’t want to waste them, right? To write in a regular spiral notebook (that’s bound on the left), there are a few hacks you can try so the spiral doesn’t continuously dig into your hand:
- Write only on the back of each page (so each left page), skipping all the pages on the right in the open notebook. This lets you use your favorite fountain pen without worrying about bleed through. If you don’t like wasting paper, simply flip your notebook over and start writing from the back after you’ve finished writing on all the left side pages. (Maybe write in a different color to remind you not to read your notes in the normal way?)
- First write on the back of the first page (the left page), then spin the book upside down and write on the opposite page while it is still to the left of the spiral. When you finish the upside down page, you spin the book again and turn the page. This way the spiral is always to the right of the page you’re writing on. Of course, this means that you not only have to keep turning the book as you write, but also as you read. It will probably make you look quite crazy when you’re in public!
- Write sideways with the spiral either at the top or at the bottom (the latter makes life easier). This is best if the paper is unruled or you’ll just have to get used to writing across vertical lines. You may notice that you’ll have a bit of wasted space or you’ll go through a notebook quite fast if you’re the kind that uses short paragraphs or you use short sentence notes of bulleted points. That’s because unless the notebook is horizontally rectangular or square when it’s held correctly with the spiral bind on the left, you’ll have quite a broad page to write across and may not reach the end of the line most times.
- Try to write from more below the line with the notebook slanting downwards. This helps keep your hand away from the spine of the book. You can learn more learning to write left-handed with our handy guide.
Are there left handed spiral notebooks?
Yes, left-handed spiral notebooks are available. For right-handed people, the spiral is located on the left, and for left-handed people, the spiral on the notebook is either located at the top or on the right-hand ride, thus making it easy for lefties to write in it.
Why are left handed notebooks so expensive?
Left-handed notebooks are more expensive because the majority of people are right-handed, so notebooks for lefties are produced in lower quantities, thus driving up the price.
Do they make notebooks for left handed people?
Notebooks aren’t specifically made for left-handers but certain designs are lefty-friendly and are marketed as such. These include notebooks bound on the top or right instead of the left and having a lay-flat design.