The Dr. Bunsen custom notebook

Seth Brown over at made my morning with an interesting post about his custom designed notebooks. It’s not only that he has coupled a very high quality paper with a smart page design, he has a neat archival system in place which couples each handwritten notebook page to a corresponding text file where metadata and additional digital notes can be stored. After scanning, the archival system presents the handwritten+digital notes side by side. I doubt I will implement exactly the same system, but you have to give it to him that this is a super smart solution to a tough problem.

My current system is a lot more lo-fi than Seth’s, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s working so far. I wrote about it before, but it’s basically a Circa notebook with Behance Dot Grid paper. I use a subject divider for each current project, and at the end of the project that stack gets scanned and stored with the other project materials. I think Seth’s system could be easily extended to work with the Behance/Circa Dot Grid paper, which would partially sidestep the binding issue. This paper is very heavy and takes fountain pen ink wonderfully. I’ve been using the cheap plastic cover that came with mine, but I think I’m ready to commit and upgrade to one of the premium Levenger covers.

If you are not following Seth’s blog, I highly recommend it. He doesn’t post very frequently, but his posts are pure signal and obviously the product of a smart guy who has thought very hard about the problem he is trying to solve.

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