You’re gonna need a bigger desk.
Last year I had the opportunity to review the THINKERS Notebook, a disk-bound notepad with a companion app designed to make sharing or cataloging your notes simple and efficient. The notebook’s tear-away type binding and unique split format (half-lined, half-dot grid) was an interesting addition to my work space, though ultimately I ended up not sticking with the system. The new version of the THINKERS notebook offers a new format with an update app experience, and the brains behind the brand were kind enough to send me a review kit. So lets jump right in and see what the new notebook has to offer!
The new THINKERS Notebook is a large, soft-cover bound notebook with 256 pages of 120gsm paper. The book measures a hefty 6.5 by 8.67 inches, making it larger than your average off-the-shelf A5-ish notebook. The cover is a matte black recycled leather that has a fairly premium feel, and a subtle orange dot-grid pattern across the front and back. The branding is… quite large, but stylized in a glossy screen printing that contrasts the background rather nicely. Another nice touch is the smooth color gradient along the outer edge.
Inside we have a 5mm dot grid layout, numbered pages, and a single ribbon page marker. What you wont see here are the extra features that most “bujo” style notebooks tend to offer; no extra page markers, no perforated pages, no index. I wouldn’t say these extras are missing, more that they are really just not needed here. More on that in a moment.
In my testing, the paper held up just as well as you’d expect from 120gsm paper. No feathering or bleed-through from gel, rollerball, or fountain, and even felt-tipped pens, but permanent markers will show through. The paper is smooth and uncoated, and falls somewhere between Leuchtturm and Rhodia in terms of feedback or ‘bite’ while writing.
The THINKERS App is an improvement over the original design, particularly if you’re a fan of widgets. The app (iOS only at time of writing) allows for quick and easy capture of your entire note page. That capture is automatically sorted by your handwritten tag, and scanned for searchable terms or words you can search for later. This search and sorting functionality also applies to voice and video notes. Captures can then be shared with a direct link, allowing others to comment and collaborate.
The app is very easy to use, and having a big capture widget on my home screen has definitely encouraged me to use it more often. Unfortunately, as the name of this blog would suggest, I don’t have the neatest handwriting. The text recognition works flawlessly on clear printed text, but gets lost pretty quickly if your handwriting is… Unique. Obviously that isn’t something I would call a shortcoming on the app’s behalf, just something to be aware of when using a system like this.
I mentioned that this book does not include things like an index or multiple page markers. That’s because, in the ideal use-case, you’re using the app to catalog and index any important entry, essentially meaning you’ll never need to go back to a previous analog entry.
I’m very pleased with what the people behind the THINKERS Notebook have developed here. The notebook itself is premium quality, and the app delivers a lot of functionality I’m used to only getting out of project management software. And let me tell you, that costs a heck of a lot more than $30. One concern I did have at the beginning was switching to a bound notebook from the removable pages of the disk-bound version. That concern was pretty quickly abated once I started using it. This format offers a more traditional-feeling format for capturing ideas. At the very least, it’s an incredibly nice notebook to carry around. Since “Office Life” is a thing of the past, I welcome the more traditional and versatile format.
Great job, THINKERS Notebook, and thanks for sending this out!
Check out the THINKERS Notebook and app here.
Side Note: One thing not mentioned in my review was that THINKERS Notebooks are currently only shipping within the United States. Follow @THINKERSWork for news and updates.
Disclaimer: THINKERS Notebook provided this product to The Poor Penman blog free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions stated are those of the author.