The Sketchnote Ideabook — the sketchbook designed for sketchnoters.
The Sketchnote Ideabook is designed to be the ideal sketchbook for capturing your ideas.
I’m Mike Rohde, author of two bestselling books on sketchnoting: The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook.
After years of sketchnoting, none of the sketchbooks, notepads, or journals I've used had all of the elements I wanted in one book. So, I've partnered with Airship Notebooks to create the sketchbook of my dreams… And it has everything I imagined.
Here's a video explaining why I created The Sketchnote Ideabook:
Say hello to The Sketchnote Ideabook, a sketchbook designed to be the absolute best place to put your ideas. At its core, The Sketchnote Ideabook is bright white, ultra-heavyweight paper that won't bleed or show through. Your water-based pens and markers have never experienced the smooth, buttery feel of jotting on this luxurious paper.
Of course, a notebook is more than just the paper. You know we had to add special touches that make The Sketchnote Ideabook more than the best sketchnoting experience you can have. We wanted to make a sketchbook that sketchnoters couldn’t live without. We’ve sweated the details of this sketchbook, all aimed at making your sketchnotes, and your sketchnote experiences the best they can be.
Help us bring The Sketchnote Ideabook to you. Back this project!
Note Regarding Shipping Costs
Our reward tier pricing doesn't include shipping costs. We've chosen to handle shipping separately so we could keep the cost as low as possible for you. See the "Shipping Costs" section at the bottom of this page for more details.
Here’s a sketch from comics artist and Professor, Nick Sousanis, who used his Ideabook prototype to explore ideas for his new graphic novel, Unflattening 2:
“I took The Sketchnote Ideabook for a quick spin, laying out a chapter of Unflattening 2 and it felt great! Cover handles well and it has a clean surface to draw on. I don’t try many sketchbooks — this is pretty sharp all around. I’ll be carrying it with me.”
— Nick Sousanis PhD - author of Unflattening, comics artist, educator, and a professor of Humanities & Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University
Details make The Sketchnote Ideabook truly unique.
The Sketchnote Ideabook is designed with a sketchnoter like you in mind. It’s a medium sized, A5 (5.8" x 8.3") sketchbook that gives you plenty of space to work while remaining ultra portable and durable.
A tough cover with heart
The Sketchnote Ideabook is made to last. Its soft-touch polymer-wrapped cover feels fantastic in your hands. Inside that touchable gray wrapper is a hardcover, sewn sketchbook. It can take a beating while aging gracefully.
We like to say it’s baby soft and travel tough.
Did we mention the paper?
The heart of The Sketchnote Ideabook is high-performance, bright white paper designed to capture your sketchnotes and ideas without fail. The paper is an ultra-heavyweight 160 GSM (110lb), brilliant white paper with slight tooth, designed to take pens and markers with water-based inks beautifully, with no bleed or show-through.
You’ll adore this paper.
“I really like the paper quality because few water-based markers bleed through the paper and nearly none result in ghosting.”
— Rob Dimeo, physicist and sketchnoter
I've tested an array of water-based pens and markers with no bleeding or show-through on the Sketchnote Ideabook's paper. Alcohol-based markers are a little different as the nature of alcohol is to penetrate through paper fibers.
I was surprised that light use of alcohol-based of markers (e.g. Sharpie and Copic markers) only showed through the back of the sheet, while heavy application of these markers bled through (like on any uncoated paper not designed for alcohol markers).
I've created a sample sheet of our paper with a multitude of ink samples, front and back below so you can see the different markers I've tested:
Here’s a sample page from sketchnoter Professor Michael Clayton, who also battled-tested his prototype book with various inks:
“The Sketchnote Ideabook is awesomesuace. It’s so good, I’m going to need more than one.”
— Prof Michael Clayton, Professor and sketchnoter
Fountain Pen Testing
We wanted to really push our paper by testing it with fountain pen nibs and ink. To do that, we sent Catharine Mi-Sook a prototype book to test the paper with a juicy flex-nib. and she was impressed.
“I tested it with a fountain pen freshly inked with a juicy flex nib, which is my real test for any paper. If it can stand up to a wet writing flex nib without feathering or bleeding through, then the paper is already above par and outstanding. I experienced no feathering, bleed through or even shadow. My experience with the paper was so delightful that I’m starting to get actual butterflies in my stomach about the final product!”
— Catharine Mi-Sook, calligrapher and sketchnoter
Then I had my fountain-pen fanatic friend Jim Eichholz test 13 different pens and 13 different inks on the Sketchnote Ideabook paper in the video below:
Even after heavy inking, the paper held up to all the fountain pen tests we threw at it. On the top right side of the test page above, I had Jim pour ink on the page until he was getting paper fibers in his nib! Only then did blue ink start showing through.
Lay-flat stitched binding
The Sketchnote Ideabook’s cover and lay-flat stitched binding give your pen or pencil full access to every last bit of the delicious, heavyweight paper inside. It’s great for lefties too.
Sketchnoting reference guides
The interior front and back covers feature sketchnoting reference guides for those moments when you need inspiration, lettering tips or ideas for sketchnote layouts.
The inside front cover of The Sketchnote Ideabook features sketchnoting reference guides and a place to make the book your own.
Two bookmarks to track your book's marks
To help you keep track of your work, we’ve included dual bookmark ribbons, one orange and one aqua. Use these to mark your current work and another reference point anywhere else in the book.
Built-in, expandable pocket
We’ve included a built-in, expandable pocket in the back of The Sketchnote Ideabook. There, you can store key scraps of ideas or bits of reference material from your creative journeys, knowing they’ll stay put.
Secure elastic strap
To keep your work secure, the cover is held firmly closed with a strong elastic strap. What you put in your Sketchnote Ideabook stays in your Sketchnote Ideabook.
Bringing the details home
All of these details come together in The Sketchnote Ideabook, the sketchnoter’s sketchbook. Get in on the ground floor and start using a notebook that loves you back.
Details at a glance:
160 GSM — Ultra-thick, smooth, brilliant white paper that won’t bleed through or show through. Thats equivalent to 110 lb paper in the US.
128 Pages — A solid book of heavy-duty paper with a lay-flat binding that lets you use every bit of every page.
A5 Paper — A medium sized book that’s easy to carry anywhere and has the space you need for your ideas.
The Sketchnote Ideabook is a sketchnoter’s sketchbook. That’s the whole point.
We’ve been developing The Sketchnote Ideabook over two years.
Since 2017, I’ve been working with my project partner Mike Schiano at Airship Notebooks, getting the details just right. I sketched ideas, iterating with Mike until we arrived at a great balance between form and function.
We created a few hand-made prototypes to battle-test the paper, the cover, bookmarks, pocket and elastic straps… everything. I threw the kitchen sink at my prototype, using it daily, filling it with sketchnotes, and testing every marker I could find on that gorgeous paper. The Sketchnote Ideabook delivered in every way.
To verify what I was seeing, we also shared prototypes with a few testers. Each tester came back with the same verdict—they loved the paper and all of the details we baked into The Sketchnote Ideabook.
"The beauty of sketchnoting is that you can do it in any notebook. The beauty of the Sketchnote Ideabook is that it is purpose built for the practice. In my opinion, it’s going to be the best sketchbook available.”
— Patrick Rhone, author and sketchnoter
Why Airship Notebooks?
Mike Schiano, the Founder of Airship Notebooks, reached out to me after hearing me talk on the Sketchnote Army Podcast about how I wished I could create a purpose-built, sketchnoting sketchbook.
When he designed and created Airship's flagship product, The AlphaSketch Notebook, Mike Schiano had collected, researched and tested hundreds of paper samples. He’s established a process and a supply chain that lets him pay incredible attention to detail when bringing a quality notebook to market. Airship helped me to refine my thoughts and initial designs into the amazing concept product it is right now: The Sketchnote Ideabook.
Thanks to Airship’s expert handling of the manufacturing, shipping, logistics, and countless other behind-the-scenes operations, we’re able to make my dream sketchbook a reality. Now, all we need is you.
What if you’re not a sketchnoter yet?
By now, if you’re anything like us, you’re probably deeply in love this sketchbook, but what if you don’t consider yourself a sketchnoter? Ultimately, we think the quality of The Sketchnote Ideabook will pay off of everyone who draws, writes, journals or diaries. This book has solid fundamentals: incredible paper, extensive durability, and thoughtful extras. You can use it any way you want, really.
Are you ready to learn to sketchnote?
I’m here to help! I’ve written The Sketchnote Handbook which teaches you how to sketchnote. My second book, The Sketchnote Workbook shows you the many ways you can use sketchnotes in your everyday life.
I’ve founded The Sketchnote Army to showcase the work of sketchnoters, including 6 seasons of The Sketchnote Army Podcast to understand and share what how sketchnoters and visual thinkers approach their craft.
There is no better place to practice sketchnoting than in The Sketchnote Ideabook. It’s purpose-built to support and enhance the sketchnoting experience for everyone who puts pen or pencil to paper.
We’re confident in the quality and details and we want to make this happen for you and for us too.
What happens after The Sketchnote Ideabook Kickstarter project has funded and ends?
As we understand Kickstarter Campaign funds, it will take approximately 2 weeks from the End Date of the Campaign for Kickstarter (the company) to release the money to us from the Backers.
This makes sense as they need time to track down people with expired credit cards and other payment related issues.
We will need those funds to put down the first payment towards the manufacturing of the books. Once the order is placed with the Chinese manufacturer that Airship Notebooks has worked with for several years, it will take approximately 1 month for the Ideabooks to be manufactured and ready for shipping.
When the Ideabooks are completed, they will be shipped via ocean freight. Ocean freight will take approximately 1 month.
We will send a survey to the email associated with your Kickstarter account using the BackerKit pledge management system. You will be able to choose add-ons and provide your shipping information at that time. We will provide more information about add-one as the campaign progresses.
From Freight to Your Door:
Based on our current mailing list (which, of course, is no indication of who will back the project... but we have to use some metric to plan ahead, don't we?) we plan to ship directly to the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
This means that rewards shipping to addresses within the US, EU, UK, and Canada, will be shipped from within the US, EU, UK and Canada. This also means that people inside those countries will not need to worry about customs duties.
WE ARE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Just want to make that clear.
However, per Customs law, we cannot label the sketchbook as a gift for shipping. International shipments will be subject to customs charges depending on the country to which you are shipping (if you are shipping to an address in the US, EU, UK, Canada you will not have a customs charge).
It is POSSIBLE that we could add Australia to the list... but it really does depend on how many people in Australia back the project. So... tell your friends!
NOTE: If packages are lost due to international shipping issues outside of our control, we will not be able to replace it. We will refund the cost of the Ideabook and the shipping, but any customs charges you had to pay along the way will be your own responsibility.
Shipping Rate Table
Below is a table of the shipping rates for each region. The rates are based on:
- The regions we are able to ship to based on the number of backers in each region.
- The weight and volume of each shipment, which is why we provide separate shipping estimates for the 1-pack, 3-pack, 6-pack and 12-pack.
All prices are provided in United States Dollars. If you end up adding more items after the campaign via Backerkit, that will adjust these shipping estimates. These are only estimates and are subject to change, though we are hoping that they will be as close to the actual rates as possible.
US Rates are only for the contiguous lower 48 states. If you are located in Alaska, Hawaii, or Military/APO territories, please feel free to contact us and we’ll get those shipping rates calculated for you ASAP.
EU & UK Includes: United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden
Rest of Asia Includes: Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Rest of the World Includes: Any country not listed above.
We will have Customs Friendly Shipping to US, Canada, EU/UK, Australia, and China backers. If you are not part of these regions, there may be customs fees associated with shipping to your country that you will need to pay. This is described more in the campaign description (scroll to the bottom) and in the FAQs.
Other Notes: Please know that we have absorbed as much of the shipping costs as we possibly can while still offering the Sketchnote Ideabooks to you at such Backer-discounted rates through Kickstarter.
Does that mean we are paying for a little part of your shipping costs because we love our Backers?
Yes. Yes it does.
What About Quality Control?
Airship Notebooks has worked with this same manufacturer for several years. They have a defect rate less than 1%. The manufacturer cares about quality just as much as we do, so if there is something wrong with the books we order, they do not send those out.
In the unlikely event there are any defects or damage to the Ideabooks, we will order more Ideabooks than necessary to fulfill the Backer rewards.
In addition, the surplus Ideabooks will be available so that if you receive a notebook that is damaged or defective in some way, we will do our best to replace it or refund your money.
Also, our fulfillment company will be handling the books individually to package them up. If the books were damaged from the manufacturer to the fulfillment centers, they will not be sent to you.
The team behind the dream.
We’re a passionate team of sketchnoters, storytellers, and idea-makers that are working hard together to bring The Sketchnote Ideabook to life.
Each of us would have been happy just making these sketchbooks as custom prototypes for ourselves, but we know we’re not the only ones who nerd out over paper samples and love sweating the small details.
We’re making a sketchbook that we think is really special, and we think you’ll agree.
Product Designer, Author, and Project Partner
Mike is a designer, author, illustrator, and sketchnoter. He believes the world is a better place when we share our thoughts, ideas and processes. He’s the author of two bestselling books, The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook, illustrator of REWORK and REMOTE, and a sought after speaker. He loves a fresh espresso, a juicy pen, and a blank sketchbook.
Product Development and Operations, Project Partner
Mike is the founder of Airship Notebooks. He creates tools that inspire and enable artists and writers to be more creative and productive. More recently, he has grown to enjoy working with people to make their dream products a reality (Oh... Hi, Mr. Rohde). He loves the outdoors, a good pint of beer, and capturing details both big & small through landscape & macro photography.
Brian of Size43 helps tell the stories that connect to every one of us on a human level. He has a knack for finding the face behind the story. As the director and video storyteller behind all of Mike Rohde’s sketchnote videos, Brian keeps his cameras steady and rolling as the sketchnote revolution swells. He loves the Milwaukee Brewers and won’t turn down a good breakfast taco or a locally roasted mocha latté.
Gabe is a storyteller, idea person, and is someone’s daddy. Having been a part of the development of The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook, he’s thrilled to continue to help build the sketchnote canon. When he’s not laboring in his studio basement over semantic differences of minor words, he’s a full-time high-school special education teacher. He loves a well-timed joke, video games, and The Muppets.
Brand and Marketing Advisor
Erik is the founder of Upright Brand a brand marketing consultancy that helps entrepreneurs stand above the hustle in an age of off-the-shelf ventures. Erik formerly led brand teams at Moleskine America and Greenhouse Software. He has been called a “brand therapist” for his work helping organizations develop their strategy, story, and plan. He is based in Brooklyn, NY and works internationally.
Join us and back The Sketchnote Ideabook on Kickstarter!
Risks and challenges
Designing and manufacturing a product like the Sketchnote Ideabook is a huge challenge. There is a significant amount of planning, testing and attention to detail that goes into a project like this one.
The biggest challenge for my team and me will be aligning all of the elements we need for successful mass production, quality control, and delivery to you. Things could go wrong with any step along the way, which are the risks of any project like this.
This is, of course, why Airship, an experienced sketchbook-maker and distributer, is a partner in this production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)