Why make refillable notebooks?
I carry around a notebook everywhere. I rarely have good ideas at my desk. I also rarely remember ideas I have by the time I get back to my desk. Because of this, I have a notebook on me all the time. I go through a lot of them. The last time I organized my shop, I found this huge box of notebooks I had already filled. It wasn't like I was going to use them again. Any ideas I wrote in them had long since been transfered to other places. (Say nothing of the number of pages taken up by lists of things I needed to do or get.) It occurred to me that notebooks that I use once and then never use again are kind of a waste. That got me thinking: What if there were a notebook that you could use over and over again? What if we looked at the notebook like a piece of well-made furniture? I wanted to make something that was durable and beautiful while still being useful.
What’s special about these notebooks
First off, these notebooks look pretty neat. Whenever I take mine out to use it people always ask me where I got it and where they can get one. They’re really comfortable to hold, as well. They're lightweight but still substantial. Because they’re finished with a combination of beeswax and citrus oil the color and texture of the bamboo really comes through nicely. Designs can also be laser etched into the cover, so there's a lot of room for customization and personalization.
As far as writing in it goes, the cover is designed so that it will either lay flat on a table, or you can just flip the top over and it’s a stable writing surface by itself.
Because it’s refillable, you can use it over and over again and all you have to do is put more paper in it. Another nice side benefit of the fact that the pages come out is that they’re easy to put on a scanner. That, and once you fill a notebook, you can take an extra ring and clip the pages together for easy archiving. (Demonstrated in the video.)
They’re really durable, too. They’re designed to last a really long time.
The dimensions of the notebook are 4.25" x 6.5" x 1.25". It weighs 10.75 oz. with paper in it.
Why use bamboo?
Why use bamboo? Well, I originally tried making notebooks out of oak. They looked really nice but they were kind of heavy. Also, oak actually isn’t that strong in the thickness I needed to use. Bamboo is lighter, stronger and even better looking than just about any other wood I could make them from.
Equally important is that the bamboo used to make these notebooks is produced sustainably by a local company. Additionally, the power used in the shop is solar/wind and I purchase carbon offsets for shipping and the like. We use minimal packaging and recycle everything we can right down to the sawdust.
Why do you do this?
I do what I’m doing because I love making things. I want to make things that are beautiful and useful. I want to make things that last. I want to make objects that people can look at and feel good about. I want to make things that I feel good about. I figure if I do that, there are people will probably like what I’m doing.
So what's the money for?
I want to be able to produce these notebooks in meaningful numbers. That means I need to purchase enough raw materials to be cost-effective. I also need to upgrade some of my tools, rent some additional space and hire a shop assistant or two.
I'd also like to be able to complete the design work on a few other models, including a notebook where the hinge is at the top as well as some smaller and larger ones.
You can look at all the current available designs here.
- (30 days)