Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The ultimate information tool: National Brand wirebound subject notebooks

I have not one, but two Palm PDAs. (This is a bug, not a feature, but it is true and I use both my CLIE and my Samsung i580 phone.) I have a home XP workstation, a personal iBook, and a corporate laptop.

Years ago I abandoned the Franklin Planner for the Palm. It has been a tortured relationship; Palm was a beauty once but she turned into a (very) high maintenance partner. My wife gave up on hers; I've come close. And yet, despite the tragic disappointment of the Palm PDA, still I cannot return to my Franklin Planner. Flawed, vile, troublesome -- the PDA still worked better for me than the paper planner (I think for most people the paper planner is now sadly better).

Except for the right side of the planner -- the place to put notes and scribbles, filed simply by date. I tried many substitutes. Legal pad. Faux-leather portfolios that always disintegrated. Loose pages that I tried to scan in a Fujitsu 10C -- until I sagged under the weight of scanning metadata and unspported SCSI drivers.

Then, by chance, my employer started stocking National Brand Single Subject Wirebound notebooks, 50 pages (33-986) and 80 pages (33-709). These are to conventional notebooks as a Mercedes is to a Yugo. They could inspire poetry in a nobler soul than mine.

Check out the specs on this beauty:
National Brand 33-709 (usually search as 33709)
Single-Subject Wirebound Notebook
Assorted Color Front Covers
White paper
11 x 8-1/2 Notebook—College/margin ruling
80 sheets per notebook.
$2.56 (officeworld.com)
I keep a 50 pager for personal use, an 80 pager for business. All notes, scribles, phone numbers, etc are entered chronologically. I try to date the top of a page every so often. The business notebook lasts about 2 weeks, the home notebook about 4 weeks.

They were a bit pricey for my workplace, and I needed to buy my own for personal use, so I'm happy to announce a quality supplier. Buy more than $50 or so (why not?) and shipping is free. UPS shipping is reasonable in any event.

My supplier for these beauties is officeworld.com. Search on the part numbers of 33709 (80 pages) and 33986 (50 pages), yes the site is slow.

Update 3/8/2010: See also an earlier article of mine that references the even higher cost legal rule 80 sheet Mead-Cambridge notebook. As of 2010 I can't find a place to buy a discounted bulk supply. I'd like to buy 50 of each size and get a price break.

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