August 26, 2011 - Uncategorized / workbook

I’m always looking for the best way to organise notes and ideas when working on new pieces, or thinking about possible future projects. When I was working on #[unassigned], I had a great B4 format ring binder from MUJI which laid flat when opened. Given my interest in modularity, I found a ring binder very effective. It’s possible to extract, add, or reorder pages very easily, which works very well when developing different projects in parallel. Unfortunately I used the two binders I had, and MUJI seem to have discontinued the range. This led to me considering other ways to work. I started to think about this issue again earlier in the year after watching Tim Parkinson’s interview with Jurg Frey. Jurg talks about his ongoing use of notebooks, and how they are useful from a chronological point of view. This is where I’ve always had a problem with bound notebooks. There’s no going back – once you fill a page it’s fixed, and organising different projects at the same time results in a lot of jumping around. Over the past couple of years I’ve been using loose sheets of A4 paper to solve this, then filing them once a project is complete. My original plan was to make retrospective notebooks by binding old pages into a book – to this end, I did a bookbinding course at UWE a couple of years ago which was very helpful (I’d thoroughly recommend this incidentally). For the moment, I’m using a folder to collate all my current projects, working on A4 paper, or whatever I have to hand. It works fairly well, but portability is an issue.

I’m now looking for some other possibilities, and whilst researching notebooks came across the Notebook Stories blog. This has been very helpful, as not only has it provided some very useful leads, it made me feel a lot better, safe in the knowledge that there are far more committed notebook nerds out there.

Perhaps let me know how you use and organise notebooks if you read this – any recommendations?

› tags: binding / bookbinding / jurg frey / modular / MUJI / notebook / notebook stories / organise / Tim Parkinson /


  1. […] think I’ve finally cracked the notebook situation. Since filling my MUJI B5 ringbinder notebooks a couple of years ago I’ve been struggling to […]

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