6 notebooks designed to jump-start your productivity

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/08/6-notebooks-designed-to-jump-s.html

That’s not a rhombus.


The Rocketbook is super clever and a smartly designed piece of gear; I was really surprised by how well it captures your notes to the app. I haven’t tried the Wave version that erases itself in the microwave, but the wet-wipe Everlast version is a great notebook. You can get one for about $30 on Amazon if you don’t want to invest in a two-pack.

Came here to say the same.

For the elucidation of @boingboingshop: a rhombus is an equilateral quadilateral, a polygon with four sides of equal length; in common parlance, a diamond. A square is a special case of a rhombus.

The SideKick notebook, when closed, is a right-angled trapezium (or right-angled trapezoid, in North America):

Frustratingly, I can find no term for its shape when open other than “L-shaped”.


Could probably get something about the intersection of two overlapping rectangles with at least two edges parallel (and one not wholly contained in the other).

Or, a non-convex right hexagon?



I started journaling regularly again last year after a 3 year hiatus. The couple of days I followed Lynda Barry’s technique were really interesting when I reread them but in the moment were sort of painfully difficult to do.

Actually I’m going to be real here: ANY constraints of ANY kind are painful for me and I realized I needed only four things:

  1. A good felt tip pen
  2. A large-ish unlined sketchbook whose pages didn’t warp or wrinkle in the event I wanted to go crazy with ink or watercolor or whatever one day
  3. A small pad of some kind to jot thoughts onto in the event I didn’t have the sketchbook on me
  4. About 20 minutes every morning to go to town writing about the previous day

That’s it. Any attempts to further hack this process have all ended in utter failure and resulted in a book with 4 pages filled before getting abandoned. I’ve considered getting stamps to make more structured options (i.e. moods, to do lists, etc) but for now this is working pretty well.


Great. Now before getting productive I’ll have to agonize over which of the six will make me most productive.


How does the app work? I’ve seen similar things but the “app” was essentially you just taking a snapshot with your cell phone, which defeats the purpose as far as I’m concerned.

This is essentially a snapshot, but it just sees whatever you’ve written/drawn on the page and automatically straightens it out. So you can take a picture at any kind of angle and it’ll look just like what you wrote. It has OCR to transcribe what you wrote, and there’s also a series of small icons at the bottom of every page – you can assign each icon a ‘destination’ in the app, so when you check it off on the page, the app automatically sends your notes to whatever email address or app you specified.

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i like it. creative!

i would go with ‘square-truncated square.’ (though that sort of implies a + shape, because symmetry.)


To be fair, I don’t think there’s any way for a right hexagon to be convex (in the plane).

There’s got to be a proper mathy name for an L-shape, though, but I’m failing to summon anything.

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These sure are some specialized notebooks.

I just use assorted ones from Paperblanks. I keep a lined “slim” one next to the bed for a dream journal, and use an unlined “midi” sized one for my to-do/journal. No stamps, no templates, no apps, just me, a nice shiny hardcover journal, and a pen clipped onto its binding.

Well, it is an orthogonal polygon (aka rectilinear polygon), but to the best of my knowledge it doesn’t have a special name.

Too bad it’s not an L-Unit.


Absolutely! If you have an idea and something to note it in you’re fine, it really doesn’t matter how flashy the book/pens whatever are.
New toys don’t make anyone more productive or creative.
Deleting Candy Crush Saga from my phone, THAT made me more productive.


Holy crap, I found it: a right gnomon.

In geometry, a gnomon is a plane figure formed by removing a similar parallelogram from a corner of a larger parallelogram; or, more generally, a figure that, added to a given figure, makes a larger figure of the same shape.

Course, this only counts for ones where the missing chunk is similar to the whole.


Close, but no right angles.

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Yeah, that’s why I specified a right gnomon.


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