When brainstorming new ideas or outlining solutions, many people use visual notetaking – you know, mixing words with illustrations to more comprehensively and clearly put their thoughts to paper. And while you can do that in most any type of notebook, the Sketchnote Ideabook offers one built specifically with that type of notetaking in mind.
Designed by Mike Rohde for Airship Notebooks, it’s a sketchbook that looks like the kind an artist will use to draw their sketches when inspiration strikes. Except, everything about it is tailor-made for creative professionals who can use its pages to brainstorm ideas, design products, and create project outlines.
Unlike traditional sketchbooks, the Sketchnote Ideabook comes in standard A5 size (5.8 x 8.3 inches), making it big enough to lay out your ideas while compact enough to fit in most everyday packs. Sure, it’s not as portable as your favorite Moleskine or Field Notes, but those pocket-sized pages are really more suited to standard note items than the visual notes these are made to take. It comes with 128 blank pages just like a regular sketchbook, giving you a wide open canvas where you can let loose all your thoughts and ideas.
It uses ultra-heavyweight 160 GSM brilliant white paper, which is designed to take water-based inks with no bleeding or show-through. That means, you can use both sides of each leaf, regardless of what type of pens or markers you use. According to the outfit, even heavy inking using fountain pens leaves the page behind it perfectly usable to write on. Do note, using alcohol-based markers (such as those from Sharpie) could bleed through the back of the sheets, so make sure to avoid those if you want to get maximum use for your sketchbook.
The Sketchnote Ideabook comes with lay-flat stitched binding, so the darn thing lays perfectly level, regardless of whether you go to a spread in front, in the middle, or out in the end. It comes with a soft polymer-wrapped hardcover that both looks easy on the eyes and feels good in hand, while a secure elastic strap allows you to keep the whole thing closed when not in use. Two built-in ribbon bookmarks allow you to mark off spreads you want to return to at a later time, while an integrated pocket in the rear inside cover lets you store notes and other small items.
For those unfamiliar with visual notetaking (or sketchnoting, as some people prefer to call it), the notebook comes with reference guides on the inside of both front and back covers, although you can always use your own preferred notetaking practices. There are also some popular sketchnoting books out there, in case you want to use visual notetaking to better flesh out your thoughts and ideas (the designer of this notebook, for instance, wrote two of them, if you’re searching for a place to start).
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Sketchnote Ideabook. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $19.