I like to work in sketchbooks, rather than loose sheets of paper. I like the sense of continuity that sketchbooks give. I only have to flip through the couple of dozen of sketchbooks I filled over the past couple of years to see my artistic journey. I know that there will come a time when working exclusively in sketchbooks might no longer be an option, but until then I am going to continue to enjoy this.
There are many kinds of sketchbooks available in the market, and goodness knows I have tried many of them, but for working in watercolor, I like to use the paper that I enjoy, and not be restricted by the type of sketchbook available to me in affordable prices. My preferred paper is Arches cold press, but I am also enjoying this beautiful stack of Bockingford paper I got as a present. It is usually the case that there are no sketchbooks available in these papers, or if they are, they are prohibitively expensive. I don't like that feeling of preciousness when it comes to art supplies.
Keeping all of this in mind, the Zutter binder is the best investment I made over a year ago. Since then I made a number of sketchbooks and I enjoyed working in them. It takes a little bit of effort to make the sketchbook, but once it is done it is yours to enjoy for a few weeks before it is time to make another sketchbook.
I have a trip coming up and I wanted to have enough paper on hand for my sketching/painting needs, so I spent an hour last night making two new sketchbooks in 7.5"x11" format.
Don't they look pretty?