by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
awesome stuff, notebooks

Awesome Stuff: A Notebook For Your Thoughts

from the write-it-down dept

Sure, sure, we live in a digital age and most of us carry around powerful smartphones and tablets. But there's still just something about being able to write notes or draw that old-fashioned analog way. I've survived for many years with a (growing) pile of notebooks that seem to be given out at random conferences, but for folks who really want perfection out of their notebooks, rather than such a grab-bag approach, there seem to be a never-ending stream of different attempts on Kickstarter to reinvent the notebook. For this week's awesome stuff post, we'll explore three of them.
  • First up, we've got Furrow Books -- which may be the most straightforward of the bunch. The offer is two different sized basic plain notebooks using high quality paper. The main innovation are differently ruled inserts that you can slip into the notebook if you want to make use of lines (without using lined paper). Nothing fancy, but there's something nice about simple and straightforward sometimes.
    There are a bunch of early bird $6 pocket-sized notebooks still available, but if you really like the notebooks, the packages that involve multiple notebooks are probably an even better deal. The overall project is a little over 50% funded with over a month to go, so it's likely to surpass the goal pretty easily.
  • Next up, we've got the somewhat pretentiously named Da Vinci Notebook (even worse, the "n" in "notebook" is a π in the video, so it reads πotebook -- and, ick, in the description they feel the totally unnecessary need to put a ™ after it). The video itself is a little over the top as well, but none of that means the notebook itself isn't pretty nice. The key innovation here is that the paper is a special kind of paper made from stone -- which they claim is nicer to write on. They also claim it's eco-friendly because there are no trees used, though I'm sure someone out there will ask about the poor stones. Because the paper is stone based, it also has the nice feature of being waterproof. For those of you who like to write underwater -- or at least go swimming with your notebooks. The notebook is also designed so users can add or remove pages, easily, allowing them to insert different versions of the paper, including differently ruled paper, different templates or different sizes -- such as a foldout page. The basic notebook apparently weighs about a pound, so this is a pretty hefty notebook.
    This project has already shot well past its $4,000 goal and with three and a half weeks left, it will likely be funded a few multiples of that number. The basic notebook will run you about $12, which may seem steep for a notebook, but remember, it's made of freaking stone.
  • Finally, we've got Writerase, which goes in a slightly different direction, by making a dry erase notebook. There have been a bunch of dry erase notebooks on Kickstarter over the years, but the concept is definitely pretty useful when done well. Rather than needing new notebooks all the time, you can just erase the stuff you no longer need. Writerase also comes with transparent paper that lets you write on top of other pages without messing them up (they use an example of drawing a calendar frame on one page, placing the transparent page above it and being able to mark up the calendar as necessary.
    People seem to really like this particular project, as it's surpassed $25,000, well past its $6,500 target, with a week to go.
That's it for this week. Go doodle in a notebook.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2014 @ 3:28pm

    The Da Vinci notebook is made from polished river pebbles, so how can it be claimed that no water was used in its production? LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tracker1 (profile), 29 Mar 2014 @ 7:57pm

      Also, paper is a renewable resource.

      I really wish that people would get over the paper thing... The vast majority of trees cut down for paper use, are using farming methods.... for trees cut down, more are planted. We can simply grow more.

      I mean, we don't try to stop people eating vegetables because the poor carrot fields are being destroyed by harvesting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    zip, 29 Mar 2014 @ 4:32pm

    I'd like to know how they plan to keep the pages from this dry-erase notebook from rubbing together -- and hence self-erasing -- as the notebook is jostling around in a person's pocket or backpack? That's the reason I switched from using a pencil to a pen when taking notes way back in middle school: eventually all the pages would turn into a giant smudge.

    Another company, Infinity Binder, claims a patent on the 'dry-erase notebook' concept. (not that other Kickstarter projects don't routinely violate at least one patent -- I'm sure they often do)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2014 @ 12:58pm

    DaVinci's drugs

    So, it's a Piotebook?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JD88 (profile), 30 Mar 2014 @ 7:06pm

    Get Stoned with Davinci

    Studying this a bit I see the usual rubbish... Paper, while being a renewable resource uses a ton of toxic chemicals in its production, but even worse, for those folks that tout "we're using recycled paper" - they're using even more toxic chemicals and water in the breakdown of the paper, then the recreation of the paper.

    Write-erase is knocking off the previous "wipebook" so intensely that they even copied their "stretch goals" in concept.

    My vote is for Davinci's stones - trademark and clever use of Pi and all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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