Notebook Review: Thinkers Notebook

Review by Laura Cameron

Recently I was contacted by the people behind Thinkers Notebook ($19.95) and asked if I wanted to try their Thinkers Notebook system. I’m always game to try something new so I said yes!

The Thinkers Notebook is a 6″ x 9″ landscape notebook, designed to be used in concert with an app. The notebook encourages you to record ideas, meeting notes, sketches and the like, and then scan them (along with a QR code on each page) into the Thinkers Notebook App (free for Apple and Android Phones), a system that allows you to share out images and also allows commenting/discussion on the images.

Let’s start with the notebook. The notebook itself is discbound, a system I haven’t seen before. The discs allow the notebook to open fully and lay flat, as well as be folded back on itself. The cover is made of thick cardstock, and tiny perforations in the top of the paper near the discs, allow you to remove pages from the book without tearing.

Probably the most important question: is it fountain pen friendly? YES! The paper is 100 gsm and boasts two formats. The front of each page is dot grid (approximately 5 dots per 1″) and the back of each page is college ruled (9/32″). Take notes, sketch, do whatever you want to do in the book! The book has 100 sheets in total.

Once you have written or sketched what you want to, simply open the app in your phone to take a quick scan. Edit the photo how you wish (crop, rotate, turn to black & white, etc.) and add whatever tags you wish. Several tags are included, and you can add your own easily. Then you can share the image with anyone you wish, and they can comment on your photos. They do not have to have the app to be able to comment!

A note on security of your documents directly from the Thinkers Notebook website:

We have developed a Private Cloud Storage system on Google infrastructure to securely store your files. Only you, and those you share the files with can see the pages from the THINKERS Notebook (not even our admins can see them).

You can scan more than just the Thinkers Notebook pages. You can scan any notebook pages, whiteboard images, photos etc. to store for later.

When you buy the Thinkers Notebook, you also get free access to the Thinkers Workshop, a selection of videos, articles and insights that dive deeper into how you can use your notebook.

As a final bonus, the makers of the Thinkers Notebook are so sure you’ll love it they offer a full money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

So, what are my thoughts on the notebook?

The notebook itself is slim (approximately 1/2″ (1 cm)) thick and the disc binding adds a bit of bulk, but not much. Though it’s not true A5 size, meaning it won’t work well in A5 sized leather covers, the size does feel portable to me, for situations when pocket notebooks aren’t enough paper real estate.

And I really enjoyed the paper. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I kind of dig having ruled and dot grid in the same notebook, allowing me to record whatever I want, whenever I want. I’m also interested that the site says refills will be available starting in March of 2020 (that means around now!) so that I could just get more paper, and not have to continually buy whole new notebooks. At $19.95 the notebook is a bit pricey, though I understand that my notebook purchase also supports the app and the other material Thinkers Notebook creates.

Now the app. I’m not entirely sold. I appreciate that the app is pretty clean looking, streamlined and easy to use. I also understand that what Thinkers Notebook has developed is a way to store photos and comments/discussion together in one place (versus just posting a photo into a slack chat or other collaboration tool). I am a very limited test case since I don’t use a lot of collaborative work tools outside of Trello, Slack, Google Docs and Dropbox, but I don’t know that I’d find this useful in my business life unless it was something that caught on and the people I worked with were using it too? I might find it useful in my personal life to capture things like knitting pattern design ideas or the like, but I don’t know that I’d be sending those out to friends for comments either.

So I’m left with sort of a mixed feeling about the notebook. I know that I like the paper enough I’m going to be using this one up, but I’m reserving judgement on whether I’ll find the app useful enough to continue to invest in the product. On the other hand, if it becomes a favorite notebook, I might!

What do you think?


DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided to us free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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10 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It’s not clear to me what this does that isn’t matched by using my notebook of choice and taking pictures of the pages to store in Evernote. I don’t think this is an issue with your writing, but an issue with the product. If there is some extra value-add here that I’m not seeing, what is it?

    1. Hi Trent!

      Thanks for reading and asking, I hope to help share the value of our THINKERS companion app.

      I’d like to highlight the sharing feature through our app as you can share your drawings and ideas with anyone. Whoever you share your notes with can comment directly on the image and you’ll be notified directly in the app. Most tools like Evernote require viewers to have an account on their system but we understand that some people won’t want to create an additional account they might not need.

      We’re also working hard on some exciting updates this summer so we hope you’ll check those out to see if our app can benefit you and your ideas.

      Best,

      Mica
      Your THINKERS Notebook Partner

    2. Hi Trent,

      I forgot to mention that we just released a new version for iPhone that had multi-page capture and multi-page web commenting. We’d love for you to try it out and let us know your thoughts.

      Thanks (again),

      Mica
      Your THINKERS Notebook Partner

  2. I recently bought the Thinkers Notebook and so far I’m really liking the notebook itself, don’t really care that much about the app. It’s a nice idea but not something I need at this point and time. Maybe in the dirties with a different job where I need to share notes with other and get feed back, then this app would be great.

    I love the paper and also the dot grid on one side and the college rule on the other. I made the dot side a weekly calendar for my workouts and calorie counting and the ruled side I write about how the week went. I’m finding having the week with a review on the other side is helping me stay on track and turning healthy ideas into healthy habits. I like being able to take a few of sheets of paper out and write without having the disks or a spiral binding in the way. Also, it’s nice to grab a few sheets of paper, tuck them safely in my journal, grab my pen case and put the door I go. I can sketch out my workouts for the week and plan my meals then add them to the notebook for keeping.

    1. This is so awesome to hear, Michele, thanks for sharing! We hope you continue to have excellent workouts and healthy habits.

      You might need refills soon 🙂 which will be available in the next few weeks.

      Cheers to your health!

      Mica
      Your THINKERS Notebook Partner

  3. I love a good disc bound system and LOVE the combined ruled/dot-grid good paper. Like you say not sure it’s worth the price. The App sounds interesting but I don’t see added value over using Google Drive or Keep to essentially do the same thing. Interesting entry for stationery however! Thanks!

    1. Hi BrooklynBeka!

      Thanks for reading about the THINKERS Notebook and taking the time to comment, we really appreciate it.

      We definitely tried to price our Notebook competitively for the disc-bound notebook market – the discs can be quite expensive and our paper quality is one of the things we’re proudest of as we use 100gsm paper. It works really well with your favorite pen or pencil.

      Warm smiles,

      Mica
      Your THINKERS Notebook Partner

  4. I can’t find any refill paper for this yet.
    I like the notebook and the concept but the app…… well the app isn’t useful to me because none of my associates have it or use it.

    I like the notebook for what I do. It’s useful for my type of work and note-taking.
    STILL WAITING ON THOSE REFILLS…….. otherwise I won’t be buying another one of these.

    1. We’re sooooo close to having the refills available, Delilah! You should receive a notice about the refills to the email address you ordered from in the next few weeks.

      Thank you for using our THINKERS Notebook, we hope it’s helping create a better and more focused world for you.

      Warm regards,

      Mica
      Your THINKERS Notebook Partner

    2. Hello Delilah,

      I hope all is going well for you and your loved ones through this pandemic. I wanted to share that refills are available as of today, 3/24/2020. Please check your email for additional information or you can go here to order them: https://thinkersnotebook.com/products/100-page-refill-pack

      Thanks so much for your patience and we hope it’s a great time for you to fill up more pages in your THINKERS Notebook.

      Best regards,

      Mica
      Your THINKERS Notebook Partner

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