Although I spend most of my day in front of a computer screen, I still love the feel and speed of pen-on-paper for quick notes, to-dos, wireframes, ideas and doodles. My desk is full of papers and post-it notes, and on the go I usualy fold an A4 paper in 8.
In the past, I’ve tried different pocket size notepads, but they were all too bulky and just didn’t feel right.
I’ve stumbled across Field Notes pocket notebooks, and while they are extremely cool, I have a slight issue with them: At roughly $3 a piece, I wouldn’t feel comfortable enough “wasting” them on day to day doodles. I mean, not everything I write I Da-Vinci level. I guess they’d be great for things I want to store and reference like recipes etc, but I just wnat something cheap and elegant that I can throw into my pocket.
As far as I’ve searched, nothing similar is available here in Israel. All pocket size notebooks/notepads are either stapled top stapled (which makes it hard to keep open) or spiral-bound (making them bulky).
There are side-stapled notebooks in Israel, in fact, the standard school notebook here is a 40 page, side stapled one. But they are A5 sized, way too big to fit in a pocket.
Walking through Office Depot today I came across a 5 pack of super-simple, recycled brown cardboard notebooks for 7 ILS (1.90$). Then the idea hit me: why not cut them down into 2 A7 sized notebooks, A little smaller then field notes, but perfect for my needs.
For anyone unfamiliar with the european Ax peper sizing scheme, every paper size is the larger size cut in two. So cutting an A5 notebook in two will result in 2 vertical-opening A6 notebooks. Cutting those in half will give you a “normal” horizontal notebook and a bunch of unattached scrap paper.
I decided I would try cutting them down with household tools, and here’s how it was done:
1. The tools I used were a ruller, sharp knife, cutting board and pencil.
2. I measured and marked the notebook halfway down verticaly.
3. Holding the ruler down firmly I sliced through with the knife. It took about 5 times to cut through all 40 pages.
4. Now I had 2 long narrow notebooks. I repeated the same measuring and cutting process to get the width right.
5. Now I have a bunch of beautiful little pocket notebooks.