The Best Notebook


I bought a notebook at a large bookstore while I was browsing for children’s books written in German.

Two things have impressed me

Only two, but that’s enough. The first: the book is made in Germany – and it’s nice. It’s a Leitz brand.

Leitz A5 Notebook – Available from Amazon.

I’m not sure if you can even get them in the US. I put in the respective European Amazon and Leitz (pronounced “lights”) links, but I’m sitting in Berlin at the moment. If you can find them across the pond, post up a link in the comments.

The thing is well thought out. I thought it would be a cool little notebook to jot down ideas and a way for me to keep a change log of what I’m doing as I work on things. It’s nice to be able to look back and know why you did this or that, or even how you did it, by reading a few short notes.  Turns out, it’s more than a cool little notebook. It has not one, but two ribbon placeholders. The inside front cover has a flap to slide in notes or receipts and the back – the back has at least 20 little sticky tabs you can put anywhere to make important stuff. It also has a larger pocket for more 1am-bar-napkin-ideas and a metric ruler (for those of us still in black and white it’s 2.54 cm per inch). The paper is thick and heavy and doesn’t bleed through, even with my Pilot Precise V5 gel pen. The pages have a handy grid for sketching on the front and back of every page in equal contrast. No cheap graph line bleed through here – it’s actual printed lines and it looks nice. There’s even an elastic pen holder that I use to keep a little 0.35mm Faber-Castell pencil in. As if that wasn’t enough… they even included an elastic band to keep the notebook closed while you bike to your favorite morning coffee shop.

I said it has two impressive qualities. Just merge all of the previous ones into a lumped category called “Cool Features” that you get for about 10 bucks. The second thing I like?

notebook, Leitz

I sketch. I write. I remember.

It’s made and sold in Germany

I’m no notebook fanatic, nor do I collect them nor do I even really notice them, but, I would really find it hard to believe anyone if they said they could get a really well made, quality and feature packed notebook that was made in America for under ten dollars. I don’t know what happened, but we seemed to have lost that sort of manufacturing power. That’s partly why I’m interested in doing what I’m doing now. Create, build, develop, design, market, sell and ship products that people are impressed with that are made where they live. Believe it or not, I also want to do that and make a living. My furniture won’t be the cheapest things but I’ve developed some competitive pricing models that should allow me to keep the doors open, buy health insurance and maybe go on vacation every once in a while.

A well-made notebook produced and sold for a living wage in the same country.

That’s something to be proud of.

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