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Review: The New Word Notebook

I got some notebooks to try from the Word notebook people. They have an interesting idea. To be clear, the books were sent free of charge, but these words are, as always, my own.

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After realizing their notebooks were filled mainly with lists and bullets, they made a special format to facilitate that kind of usage. They added a symbol to the left end of each line (the book has 1/4″ ruling) that is two concentric circles.

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Inside the front cover there’s a legend that explains how the symbol might be used to show the state of entries:

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At first sight I thought it was a little silly, but having given it a try I’m not sure if I’ve changed my mind. I’m trying it out as a sort of master next action list, with each page having it’s own context. I like that it’s got lots of space, and I can invent a new context when needed. Not sure how well having it all in a book is working yet.

The paper is thicker than the stuff they use in Field Notes. It’s pretty smooth, and pleasant enough to write on. I don’t think the book is targeted at fountain pen users, and I found that it took ink ok but resting the pen in one spot or letting ink pool yielded bleeding for me:

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I wouldn’t hesitate to use a fountain pen on this paper, but those who are using nibbed fire hoses might want to steer clear.

The cover is thick stock as well, and has useful information inside. The front has the usual fields for who to contact if lost, date, name, etc. Blessedly they didn’t include the presumptuous reward offer. The back cover has a few interesting quotes on the inside, mainly of the bizarre-fact variety, but it’s a nice touch. Overall the book is maybe 20-25% thicker than a Field Notes, which could be an advantage to durability.

They also didn’t ruin any of the pages with perforations, something all too many notebook companies leap to do these days. The ruling is 1/4″, a bit broad but in keeping with the book’s purpose, and light enough that it doesn’t compete with what you’ve written.

There will be more to follow after I’ve had a chance to fill one and use it for a while, but I think this is a worthwhile idea. If you find that most of what fills the little notebooks in your life, the features of this book should be useful.

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