Hanna Yoon's Experience Journal helps you
record your favourite places


New York product designer Hanna Yoon has created a notebook that encourages users to remember significant moments and locations through sketches and jottings rather than with digital devices.

The Experience Journal by Hanna Yoon

The Experience Journal is a notebook that aims to help people think more about the spaces around them, by encouraging its user to collect observations and providing space for written and visual notes.

Each page contains written prompts and guidelines for recording day-to-day experiences, but also encourages readers to develop their own thought processes and methods. Hanna Yoon came up with the concept after a chance dinner with one of her favourite designers, Suyong Joh.

The Experience Journal by Hanna Yoon

"I was amazed by the depth of thinking and the way he sees the world," Yoon told Dezeen. "I wanted to mimic his flow of thinking, way of observing visual elements; I wanted to learn how to digest great experiences into usable insights."

To get the project off the ground Yoon decided to raise money on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, which celebrated its fifth birthday last month. During the past three years the book has gone through numerous iterations based on peer feedback, but it is hoped that the finished product will be available within the next two months.

The Experience Journal by Hanna Yoon

"I started fundraising with a lot of fear, but it was very successful thanks to the encouragement I received from lots of supporters from around the world," she told Dezeen.

Yoon hit her goal after just six days of the Kickstarter campaign when she received a large donation from one generous backer, who sent an accompanying message explaining why he wanted the venture to succeed.

The Experience Journal by Hanna Yoon

"This encouraged me as a designer and I can't forget that moment — it was an amazing few days," she added. "The Experience Journal then became a Kickstarter staff pick and I gained even more supporters."

Many have suggested that Experience Journal should be developed as a mobile application. Although Yoon suggests that may happen in the not-too-distant future, she is adamant that hand-drawing is still the best tool for self-expression and recording details of adventures.

The Experience Journal by Hanna Yoon

"The journal has been an amazing record of my past experiences, more personal and evocative than digital photographs," suggested Yoon. "I hope people don’t forget the power and the joy of writing and drawing with hands, especially young kids."

Yoon went on to say that you don't need to be a talented artist to enjoy the notebook, as the drawings are intended to act as a personal record rather than polished artwork.

"One of my favourite pages from Experience Journal use case is a rough sketch from my friend who is not the best illustrator but which captures the essentials of the moment," she added.

"I hope this journal will help people to overcome fear of blank pages and encourage you to enjoy observing and expressing freely."

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  • vee

    I don’t see how anyone that enjoys design would like to be told what to look at when visiting a building. Just the idea makes me cringe. Experiences are not made by ‘ticking boxes’. If you don’t have the curiosity to look and feel when you are in a building, you don’t have it. A notebook won’t provide that for you. All that said, maybe for students.

    • Lori

      I agree. It feels so structured and I don’t believe I think like that way while I travel in other countries. However, good try though.

    • Phil

      It can be used to LEARN to enjoy design. One always has to practice before ditching the helpers and becoming fluent.

  • ROta

    I think it would be more powerful in apps. It’s so limited in a journal like this. If it’s available on app, i’ll definitely purchase it!

  • Joel

    It seems like previous comments are totally missing the the point. The point is to get you out of your phone and away from apps! Also, the structure is meant to be fun and even if you are the most creative in the world a little structure can be good. It may sound boring to compare the ceilings in buildings but once you start doing it you notice things that you wouldn’t have before. I think this notebook is brilliant!

  • Tim

    There’s another notebook on Kickstarter now, SketchyNotebook. It’s worth a look: http://kck.st/POllv1

  • Terry Kearns

    If you draw something, you don’t forget it. There are plenty of blank pages in the back.