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As many of y'all know, we're two-time Kickstarter veterans, and we have a lot of good things to say about them.

We literally wouldn't exist without (something like) Kickstarter. Did they help us make our notebooks? Not exactly—but they helped connect us to you, and that was just as important.

Kickstarter invented a platform for inventions — somewhere that creators and consumers both want to be. They deserve a ton of credit for that—because it's not just Code&Quill they've helped. It's thousands of other businesses. 

Kickstarter recently posted on their blog about their economic impact, sharing the findings of an independent UPenn/Wharton School study

It's pretty astounding stuff. 

The 5 findings that surprise and impress us most:

1. Kickstarter creates jobs without employing people. In other words: Kickstarter is the reason lots of people can make their own jobs. And because people are on Kickstarter to make something original, the platform opens up profitable work that would not have existed otherwise.

2. Kickstarter activity is all over America. As you'd expect, there are concentrations of Kickstarter campaigns in major cities—but they're out in the boonies, too. If you can connect to the Internet, you can make it happen. And people do! 

3. About one in five people who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign was still employed full-time by their project when surveyed later.

4. Code&Quill is one of the companies included in that 18.7% figure — and it fully employs not only its 1 original member, but its additional team members as well. 

 

5. A lot of really cool things were Kickstarter things. In the beginning, there was just Kickstarter. But then Pebble was a Kickstarter thing. Oculus was a Kickstarter thing. Exploding Kittens was a Kickstarter thing. In short: there are many cool Kickstarter things, and more still coming.

 

Our comments on Kickstarter:

From Ronak, founder and El Capitán of Code&Quill:
"Kickstarter is such a fantastic idea for people who want to start turning their products into business. Code&Quill was once an untested idea, nothing more—but because of places like Kickstarter, I could find out if people were interested in buying my notebooks before sinking tons of time and money into creating them. Even better, I could gather my start-up resources directly from those backers. I sank $500 of my own cash—not $50,000—because Kickstarter created this lean and low-risk option for raising money.

"I love that crowdfunding spaces like Kickstarter have blown up. It means so many fresh talents get a chance to open up shop and really innovate wherever they are. And what's awesome, too, is that your first crowdfunding supporters can become your best evangelists and repeat customers. They're passionate people, and there's nothing better than having a passionate and excited fan base. Our fans and customers are what make any of this effort worthwhile." 

 
From Kevin, main thing-doer at Code&Quill:
"We could not have started with better 'first customers' than our Kickstarter backers. I think they appreciate detail like we do, they enjoy exercising creative muscles, and they are willing to invest. That's so helpful for making Code&Quill the friendly, inclusive, intelligent brand that we want it to be. And everywhere I turn, there's someone in the Code&Quill family who's enthusiastic about what they do, which is motivating. 

"I want to thank anyone who's bought their first Code&Quill notebook because I know paying $15-25 for a notebook requires you to invest a little trust. To pay that back, we ship damn good products and back 'em with VIP-level customer service, always. But Kickstarter folks? They invested trust and faith. We can't pay their faith back—but we can say it's made one corner of the world a little happier, and that should say a lot about Kickstarter." 

 

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Next week, we'll be talking about time and money — the two essential resources for creatives in business — and the "algorithm" you need to start thinking at your most productive. 

If you're in the market for a notebook, head on over to our store!
If you want more than one, check out our discounted notebook bundles!
If you just wanna say hi or look at pictures, come see us on Facebook or Instagram.

 

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Dearest Code&Quill Family,

This may not be entirely romantic, but we've realized something that we need to share with you. 

We're really, really lucky to have you.

Sure, we're a business—so we like taking your money when you buy stuff. (Like we said, not entirely romantic.)

BUT we do really care about the stuff we sell—and, in a phrase, we want our stuff to make people happy. Otherwise, what's the point?

We've been thrilled to hear (and see!) the signs that Code&Quill is making the world a happier, more thoughtful, and more productive place. We've also been glad to hear candid feedback (positive and negative) so that we can improve our products for everyone. 

We keep track of all feedback/reviews/comments/emails. But now and again, we get a true gem—the kind of customer message that brings us smiles (or laughs) for months.

On the occasion of Valentine's Day — when we have an excuse to dote on you — we want to thank you for "sending in the love" by sharing the best that's been sent to us.

If you don't believe us when we say you're awesome, just check out the ACTUAL messages and reviews below:

 

1. This Amazon reviewer who wanted to see who was still reading by the last paragraph —

 

2. All things pizza as drawn and photographed on Instagram by the one and only @mbeero —

 

3. The guy nicknamed "Ammo" who—at our request—actually put that nickname on his shipping address just so we could say we'd "shipped 'Ammo' through the mail."

 

We're selling a special Valentine's Day bundle—14% off!
Click above or right here to get it—only until midnight Thursday!

 

4. Ammo coming back to show us that his Code&Quills were given as prizes in a youth tech competition (hooray!) —

5. Seeing the Monolith as the main accessory of a matching outfit — love the look, @briightkk!

6. One of our biggest fans, CodeGirlCode, who has put her Code&Quills to work on Instagram for all to see —

 

7. A reviewer who named his Code&Quill "Gideon" (anyone get the joke? is there a joke?) —

8. Instagrammers like @babydollxo33 who fill their C&Q pages with color, meticulous detail, and purpose all at once

 

Like we mentioned above, take advantage of our Valentine's-only Jack & Rose Bundle — it's 14% off and available only until midnight on Thursday, February 16. One last chance... check it out here to share the love. 

We'll be back to share more next week. Until then, thanks again for writing in, and thanks again for using Code&Quill as your notebook—we're happy to have you as part of the family.

Cheers and love,
The Code&Quill Team 

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Thanks to you, we've been growing fast for the past couple of months! The holidays are a great time for many businesses — but for us, the streak didn't stop at the end of December. (Still hasn't, fortunately.) 

That means a LOT of new names and faces recently. So for anyone new to the Code&Quill family, hello and welcome! 

If you've been around our blog before, you know updates like this are rarer. But given our growth, we're re-thinking what's possible in 2017 and adjusting our plans

We're writing today's company update because we want you to be in the loop about the work we do and products we make for you. Aside from updates like this one, we'll make sure to ask for feedback at certain points (and you're always welcome to email us!).

Here's what worth asking us now, and our answers in response...   

 

What's out of stock—or close? 

The Origin — our most popular notebook — is already sold out in white, and we only have about 40 of our gray Origin left in-house. 

The Traveler is also sold out in white. 

The Monolith has two layout styles. The mixed layout style (dot-grid and indentation-rule) is more popular; we're out of gray and have under 100 white ones left. BUT if you'd like the indentation rule on both pages, we've got a bunch in both white and gray

Click a link to grab one of the last ones!
We won't be back in stock for a couple of months. =[

 

What's the best value in Code&Quill's store right now?

We're glad you asked. Let's talk a little about our notebook bundles. 

Some time ago, we noticed that lots of people order multiple notebooks. Some people stock up on their favorite — but some mixed combinations are popular. We started with our holiday bundles, which did quite well.

We've decided to keep the bundles, and we'll switch 'em up every 3 months. No matter the combos, they'll always be 10% off (if not more on special occasions). Lastly, our bundles will always have someone in mind — so keep an eye out for the set that'll tingle your fancy. 

 

What is Code&Quill building next? 

Ha. Nice try. Can't share company secrets on the blog. 

But we can share six confirmed rumors:

  1. Right now, Code&Quill has multiple new products in R&D, at different stages. 
  2. Code&Quill will release multiple new products in 2017.
  3. Some of our 2017 releases are items y'all specifically told us you want. But we're also brewing a couple of products you didn't ask for — including one or two original inventions. 
  4. Some products in development are relatively simple; others are fairly complex.  
  5. We will have new notebooks in 2017 — but most likely, our next big release won't be a notebook at all.  
  6. We'll probably make a return to Kickstarter (and we can explain why in an upcoming post), but only to launch certain products. We're likely to open direct pre-orders on our store for some of this year's other releases.

Feel free to come visit us on Facebook or Instagram — and don't forget to check our curated notebook bundles to see if there's a set that suits you. 

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Creative work is a labor of love.

But it can be frustrating when clients (or boss) don't understand what you do — then ask you for impossible changes. Overnight.

Or tell you it "needs more polish," whatever that means. 

Thanks to our friends over at CreativeBloq, we found this infographic from Print-Print10 of the habits and questions sure to annoy graphic designers.  

Some of these really capture our struggle. Which ones get under your skin?

Looking for the best notebooks for designers?
Check out our full collection—designed by creatives, for creatives.
How about a tailored set for your specialty needs?
Take 10% off a freshly-curated notebook bundle! 

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Most people think the world is moving away from handwriting, but it isn't. 

Sure—handwriting is slower and messier.  
True—you can't really format by hand, and you certainly can't edit.
And yes—it's nice to imagine your life's notes perfectly manicured in the cloud. 

But on National Handwriting Day, we're making a stand for pen and paper. There's merit to handwriting that no app, word processor, or program can touch.

So today, here are five ways we all write by hand, and why they're all useful and irreplaceable . . . even if you don't have pretty handwriting.    

 

Careful Handwriting

In short, this is how you write for important people. This is the way you write a note asking (for instance) for money or favors.

This is what you use when you're writing a letter to the King of England like "bye George, we got it." If your handwriting is starting a war, please print neatly. 

And if you win the war, continue printing neatly for your Constitution; people are going to be looking at it for a long, long time.  

Thus, the first special value of handwriting: historically speaking, handwritten documents are much more interesting than their printed counterparts. That seems true whether you're examining world history or your own history.  

Normal Handwriting

This is how you write under normal conditions — neither rushed nor deliberate. This is how you might take notes in class or write in a journal.

You know what's satisfying about normal handwriting? Normal handwriting fills pages. That's how you get to the end of an idea: just writing it out and NOT stopping to edit.

No matter how you write, full pages ALWAYS look better than empty ones. =] 

Especially when full, you see that a page full of your writing can only look like you. A thousand other people could write out an identical passage and you could pick out your own in no time.

More to the point: give a thousand people a complex problem and tell them to work it out in a notebook. The solutions will vary endlessly—showing that how you write says a lot about how you think. 

How do you "think on paper"? See whether you'd like our classic dot-and-line layout—or whether the Monolith's new dual-line layout might suit you better.

 

Click here and here to see how other Code&Quill users think on paper.
Click here (or below) to pick out the best Code&Quill notebook for your own thinking.

 

Chicken Scratch

Quick! Grab a pen! Write down this phone number before it's lost!

You know that feeling? That's what comes before chicken scratch. 

Or whenever you're jotting down a three-item list.
Or working out some quick mental math.
Or giving yourself a reminder for later. 

The cruel irony of chicken scratch is that the most urgent information is likely to be written this way, yet it's the handwriting that's most difficult to read.

It's possible, for example, that many people with messy handwriting are left-handed people in a right-handed world. Either way, a person's chicken scratch is the purest stream-of-consciousness you'll see — sometimes it reads like nonsense later, but that shorthand is someone's brain hurrying to make a point as efficiently as it can.

 

Cursive

Cursive is class — in part because it's a dying skill. Not many lament its passing anymore—for one thing, it's not easier to read. For another, it's rarely as pretty in practice as it is in theory. 

Cursive is like the Isla de Muerta of handwriting: you only know how to get there if you've already been. You have to practice (and care) a lot. But how sweet it is when someone knows their way around a calligraphy nib, right?
 


We just like using fountain pens, really. Can't hold a candle to that!  

Special & Doodling 

Some people doodle. Some write bubble letters. Some draw arrows or diagrams.

Whatever your talent, it's the cherry on top of your handwriting—so let it be there with your notes, or presiding over them. 

Don't forget, too, that some notes are worth sharing. Maybe the ones you write and draw and doodle in your notebook are just for you—but send one to someone else now and again.

If it's a personal touch with your pen, it's a personal touch with your words, too.

(One final note... the better the tools, the better the creative. Arm yourself with the best tools to bring your ideas into the world. Check out the Code&Quill notebooks now.)

 

code&quill

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Code&Quill caters to A LOT of creatives.

That's the easy part to say. But what do we mean by that? Who do we mean by that? 

Well, some of our best customers are...

  • Designers (web & graphic)
  • Developers
  • Artists
  • Writers
  • Travelers
  • Photographers
  • Nomads

And so many more. 

Today, we're featuring 7 NEW ways the creatives in our family are using their Code&Quill in day-to-day life.

We've kept the original set of pics behind them—so if you want to think about how you might use your Code&Quill, take a scroll until something strikes your fancy.

 

At work with @kateanddesigns

A photo posted by Joan Born (@thejoanborn) on

 

Hey designers—step that game up. @thejoanborn is bringing the PANTONE color swatches to the table.

What are your favorites—and what are you "coloring in" so far this year? 

  

 

Code, colors, and Code&Quill. And Codeland, apparently. =]

Big shout-out to @techgirlgo for repping a couple things we love: all things tech AND sharing the love of what you do with others. Keep it compiling!

 

#codeandquill #fountainpenday #fountainpenday2016 #vanishingpoint #twsbieco #monteverde

A photo posted by hotcupofloving (@hotcupofloving) on

 

Hey @hotcupofloving, you stole our pen! Yeah, we recognize that TWSBI at the bottom! =P  

If y'all like writing with ink, fear not — you might be impressed at how well our paper handles fountain pens. It's all dat 100GSM acid-free paper.

Draw and write to your heart's content!

 

My favorite tools ❤️🍎🖍

A photo posted by Chrystel Paulson (@chrystelpaulson) on

 

And @chrystelpaulson, thanks for the 'gram and good word. We like the clean Mac setup — and we see you doing that UX work. Love it!  

 

 

We shipped this notebook across the pond to @ariannedonoghue. Arianne, we're pumped to see you outfitting it for the field (love the yellow Lamy!) and excited to get cracking.

Best of luck — and don't get addicted collecting Safaris in different colors! 

 

Some people are best in small doses💊 . . . #sorrynotsorry #handwriting #doodle

A photo posted by Mel (@alostnightowl) on

 

A little comic relief from @alostnightowl — and a true statement about anyone's co-workers from time to time.

Need to step away? Limit your people dose. Take a chill pill instead, close the door, and draw something that you're thinking about.  

 

Big notebook, little notebook. ❤📦 📕 #codeandquill

A photo posted by flokat (@flokat) on

 

Filling up one notebook with boxes, diagrams, arrows, and text? Go ahead and re-up! If you haven't bought one in a while, don't forget that you can size up for a Monolith now.

Or, you know, you could buy more than one like @flokat here. That'd be pretty sweet. And at that point, you might consider one of our (discounted) bundles! 

Hey! We're sharing even more sweet features from our community below, and think you should join them! Tag us in your photos on social and let us know how you're using your Code&Quill! Don't have a Code&Quill yet? Check out the perfect tools to feed your creative appetite—made for creatives by creatives.

 

November 2016 

What are you doing today?

Why not crack open your Code&Quill and start a sketch like @anna.rastorgueva?

We bet you’ve heard of #NoShaveNovember, but did you partake in #Inktober?

@Jessicaseacrest busted out her colored pencils and used her notebook for some sweet drawing.

fuzzy heart, coffee filled, and goal crushing wednesday! 👊🤖☕️ •• i'm not going to lie, insta + social média has been a great part of this journey. i have met SO many of you, and have been so happy to help + get shit done together! 💓 •• today, i am being featured on Stay Curious Darling Site (@staycuriousdarling) #WCW edition 😻 • i have been inspired by Brittany for years, and i can't wait to travel + work with this #girlboss 👯🤓💻 - i am humbled, and happy today! hugs to you all! 🤗🤗💕 •• keep kicking ass, and owning it! Ps. Brittany is the most badass, remote worker, digital nomad, and programmer! 🌏 if you have any questions regarding that lifestyle, i'm sure she's the one to ask! 🤓✨ link in bio! PSS. pizza hunting is my hobbie! 🍕😉 •• #happy #staycuriousdarling #blogger #girlboss #feature #happy #humble #workhardstayhumble #entrepreneur #womenintech #programmer #heygirlfriend #youcandoit #codethangz #code #webdeveloper #startuplife #codeandquill #devstickers #motivation #femaleentrepreneur #digitalnomad #travel #freelance #remotework #workhardanywhere

A photo posted by @codegirlcode on

We’ll be honest—@codegirlcode has a special place in our heart. She’s always been supportive of the C&Q brand and team, and loves showing off her notebooks!

However, this post is great because it’s all about goal crushing and growth, which are two of our favorite things.

Keep it up!

We’re not entirely sure what’s happening here, but it involves pizza, so it’s a-ok in our (note)book. See what we did there?

IG user @mbeero uses his creative genius to get the people to vote… on pizza preference, that is!

Ah… organization. Not going to lie, this warmed our hearts a little.

We’ve been tossing around the idea of coming up with a guide for using your Code&Quill for journaling and organization (think Bullet journaling and agendas).

What do you think? Something you all would want to hear about? Shout out to @hickorysoul for the sweet inspiration! 

If you need to pack for survival, we’ll agree with @campingguyinny and say your Code&Quill is a must.

Need another use idea for your C&Q? Head out into the great outdoors and sketch what you see. 

Everything about this video and caption is great.

1. Fresh starts, who needs them? Only everyone.

2. A clean slate to spill ink on? Not much better than that.

Cheers to @sofabedsophia for her positive moves in the right direction and using Code&Quill on her journey.

Want to see your Code&Quill photos featured on our site? Tag your photos with #codeandquill and we’ll be sure to share the love!

Happy creating!

Looking for the perfect tools to feed your creative appetite? Check out our collection of notebooks—made for creatives by creative.

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At Code&Quill, we only do two things. We develop new stuff and we improve what we already have.

You already know about our latest new stuff—the large-format Monolith notebook, which launched on Kickstarter this fall—and once again, we can’t thank our customers enough (especially our Kickstarter backers!) for making that possible. =]

But with the Monolith's launch behind us and 2016 almost over, now we’re focused on improving what we’ve already got. That’s where you come in—whether you’re already a customer or not. 

For the last two months, we’ve been learning more about y'all through our Customer Awesomeness Survey. (By the way, we’ve still giving the $5 credit for submitting your response, so share your two cents if you haven’t already!)

This week, we’re sharing some of what you've told us so far.
Want to hear what y'all think? 

 

Where has your Code&Quill notebook been with you? Any adventures?

For the most part, Code&Quill notebooks stick with their owners. Wherever you go, the notebooks go. 

That means some wild-and-crazy adventure locales—like Iceland or the Serengheti—for our better-traveled family members. But don't feel bad if your Code&Quill only bounces from backpack to desk . . . that's what happens to most of the notebooks we sell. =]

Some of the more interesting "adventures" in the Code&Quill collective:

  • Writing jokes in a Traveler and taking it to comedy shows
  • Hackathons and all-night "crunchtime" sessions
  • Around town for local sketches, drawings, and people-watching notes
  • Boatloads of job interviews (on both sides of the table)
  • Chemotherapy to jot down notes and journal entries while waiting

 

How does your Code&Quill help you find ideas or solve problems?

As we showed you a couple weeks ago, Code&Quill tends to be popular among designers and developers—in large part because of the dot-grid-indentation-rule combo, which allows notetaking in tandem with drawing and diagramming. As it turns out, plenty of y'all—not just the code monkeys—like this feature, for both technical and creative reasons. Numerous people said they use their C&Q for bullet journaling, for example.

Like any notebook, a Code&Quill can be great for ideation—for dumping your brain onto the page and seeing what sticks. But unlike most other notebooks, a Code&Quill is designed for purposeful use—and we daresay it's easier to get motivated about writing in a book you love and can call your own.  

 

 

What's your dream Code&Quill product? 

Unsurprisingly, many of you suggested variations on our existing notebooks. Some of the more popular suggestions for notebook evolutions:

  • More color options, including fresh limited-editions
  • Additional page layouts/layout combos
  • Removing/altering the branding on the front cover
  • Short-run custom notebooks
  • Small features like strap closure, pen loop, rear pocket, etc.

Here's what we can tell you in response (without promising deadlines or official details yet):

We do plan to introduce other colors, even if we keep the variety small. And we've been wanting to bring back limited editions for a while. =] (Remember these?)

We know the dot-grid/indentation-rule combo is unique; very few other notebooks have anything similar. We're open to new layout options—we recently added the indentation-rule-only option, for instance—but we'd need to make sure there's demand for a new option before we create it. 

As we've mentioned on the blog, we've recently rebranded our Scribe notebooks. We think that, by removing the patch and debossing our red ampersand in its place, we've improved the notebooks both functionally and aesthetically. If the re-branded Scribes do well, we'll re-brand the Travelers next.

We're playing new features by ear. We'll add what seems sensible (that's why we added a ribbon bookmark to the Monolith's design). But it's not our style to add things just to add them; simplicity and even minimalism are part of the appeal for us. So we'll never make the notebook equivalent of a Swiss Army knife.

Folks have also mentioned ideas for separate products—like pens, pencils, desk accessories, additional/external covers, and even some household electronics. We've got some new projects brewing . . . but the details will have to wait until next time. =] 

 

What's next with the survey?

This is just what we've heard so far. Here are your feedback options down the road:

(1) You can always comment below, give your two cents on Facebook, or email hello@codeandquill.com about what's been said already. 

(2) You can submit a survey response if you haven't already. Obviously we love to hear from you, so keep the feedback coming!

(3) We'll be adjusting the questions as we go forward. This is our "1.0 version" of the survey—and we're aware (for example) that none of the questions prompt critique or criticism. So far, we've learned the positives and gotten some ideas, but we'll be asking more about the negatives as well. 

(4) If we create a new survey, we'll create a new reward code—meaning that people who have already submitted will get another $5 reward for submitting new answers.  

We'll always keep an ear to the ground for you, especially as we begin 2017 with new goals and a fresh start. ("Fresh" except for, you know, the hangover.) 

To start the new year with a new notebook, come see our notebooks here. If you wanna be sociable, feel free to check out our Instagram or say hi on Facebook.

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It’s the season for resolutions—but now that the partying is past, we can have that conversation sober.

Here's a sobering thought: the vast, vast majority of New Year's resolutions will fail. For example, last year Forbes reported that only 8% of people who set a New Year’s resolution will actually achieve it during that year.

The odds are against you. But we’re not cynical about New Year’s resolutions. An 8% chance of success still means 12-to-1 odds. To ambitious people (and gambling folk), those are decent odds of winning if you can play smart. 

This week, we're calling out the novice mistakes we see in most resolutions—including yours. To wrap it up, we've got our prime advice for turning those wishy-washy wants into sharp instruments of purpose.

 

Your New Year's Resolutions have problems. 

Most people don't even realize what a resolution is. It's a statement of determination, but it's meant to be specific. In other words, a New Year's resolution isn't just a wish—it's a decision with particular details and context. 

That helps explain the biggest problems with everyone's New Year's resolutions:

  

THEY'RE EXCITING AND NUMEROUS

Wanting isn't specific. Think about it: anyone can genuinely want anything. (That's one of the major bugs in the human code.) 

We're good at picturing things. The fun of wanting is that, if only in your mind, you can have it all—and right now. If you want to be rich, pretty, and famous, you picture it as though you'll wake up tomorrow morning and never struggle through real life again. Fun thought, right?

But here we all are. The cruelty of New Year's resolutions is that, for one week a year, they help us confuse wishing for willpower. That probably helps explain the 8% of people whose resolutions succeed: they realize this and choose wishes they'll be able to follow through later. 

 

THEY'RE UNCOORDINATED

Pretend you have to budget your wanting. What do you want most? Focus your energies on two goals, not twelve—and realize this might mean you save certain goals for next year. 

And however much this question might annoy some of you: how do you quantify when you've gotten what you want? If you're saving money, how much? If you're losing weight (or gaining muscle), what's your target number? If you're improving your relationships or habits, which ones and why?

Get granular. Write down the details and make a plan for fulfilling your resolution(s) in 2017. You might find that the details are helpful for two things: for visualizing those goals, but also, for beginning to motivate yourself with your own concrete successes.

 

THEY FEEL LIKE THEY'RE FREE... BUT THEY'RE NOT 

Thinking in terms of concrete success is important—because sooner or later, everyone realizes that their New Year's resolutions have concrete costs. (Very literally, in the case of people who vow to get back into the gym.)

Whether or not fitness is your goal, the gym's example makes visible the biggest weakness of most self-improvement efforts: that they don't properly account for pain. Most people remember that the gym takes time—but forget that it just plain hurts to go to the gym. (Newcomers have it even harder, since they're more likely to be insecure while there.) 

This is part of the reason you pick your battles. Losing 30 pounds AND saving $5,000 AND getting promoted might all be awesome, hugely-fulfilling goals—that you're totally capable of accomplishing! But each one likely requires lots of effort and lots of time. The effort and time are worth the reward if you can focus down the goal—but if you spread yourself thin, it'll all go to waste.   

 

(Start 2017 off right by setting yourself up with the best tools for success. Check out our collection of notebooks—designed for creatives, by creatives.)

Winning Resolutions — or How to Make the Top 8%

With the likeliest issues visible now, re-examine your resolution. If you think it's still weak in one of those ways, consider the following buffs and tests:

Figure out what you actually want. Test your resolution by pitting it against its competitors, the other things you might want to do. If you were guaranteed that only one thing would go right this year, what would you want it to be?

Write everything down. Write your resolutions down, write the plans down, write your progress down. If you don’t put it in writing, it’s at the mercy of your memory. Even a perfect memory can never show you, with objectivity, what was committed in words and how progress trends over time.

Talk to others about the goal, especially people who know more about it. Partly, setting up “accountability partners” is a good idea, but partly also, you may learn a lot you didn’t know about your goal, and you may find some surprising sources of encouragement along the way.

Give yourself time and space. Even people who are doing everything right feel discouraged sometimes. And, hey, life happens; when things beyond your control get in the way, you don’t deserve to feel like a failure. One specific tip is to allow yourself all year to accomplish the resolution; that way, you’ve got some built-in padding. 

Before you go, plan on your next steps to take action. For us, that involves with documenting our goals, thoughts, and initiatives. We do this with the best gear for creatives—a Code&Quill notebook. Check out our collection of notebooks—designed for creatives, by creatives—now.

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Hello and happy holidays to everyone! =]

Let's get right into it. We always want our products to be top-notch quality — so we're strict about product inspections overseas AND quality control here on our shipping floor.

We want everyone to have the best notebook they've ever used, period.

There aren't a ton of defective notebooks in the first place, and we catch 99% of them before they ever see the light of day. (Let us note, too, that those few customers who email us with photos of their defects get a free replacement 99% of the time.)

But among those defects, we've seen patterns. Most of our defects have something to do with the patch on our notebooks' front covers. Many of those are simple misprints on the patches themselves. But there are sometimes other issues for our Travelers and Scribes, whose leatherette covers prohibit stitching the patches and therefore use adhesive instead. It's strong enough to hold in most cases, but let's just say it's a "weak link" of the design. (The Origin and Monolith allow stitching, meaning their patches come off... never.) 

The patch presents one more potential problem for the Scribe: it causes the book to snag on some pockets. Of course, that's a tiny problem for a pocket notebook.

For these reasons... 

We've updated our Scribes.

Instead of a red patch in the lower-right corner, there is now a debossed ampersand with red fill—which cuts into the cover, rather than sticking out. We anticipate that this updated design will solve the problems above...

... and don't the new ones look pretty sharp besides? =]

 

Here's what this means for you:

(1) Effective immediately, all gray Scribes ordered will have the new design. A handful of you have gotten them already, so let us know what you think!

(2) We'll be updating the photos on the Scribe product pages ASAP, so you can see the new design in fuller glory.   

(3) If feedback is positive for the updated design, there's a good chance we'll update the Traveler in much the same way for our next manufacturing cycle

 

We'll look forward to hearing what you think by email or social (below) — hit us up anytime! Have a happy holiday and we'll be back next week! 

For some sharp new Scribes—or one of their bigger siblings—check out our collection. If you like the look of the new Scribes, share some photos on Instagram or say "hey" on Facebook.

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A computer geek is the last person you might expect to write in a notebook—because they live on the computer, right? But let’s not forget that Code&Quill was founded by a (former) code monkey—and precisely because he wanted a good writing tool away from his digital space.

We sell paper to the paperless generation, and we’re proud of it. Because as it turns out, even the most forward-thinking and tech-savvy among us sometimes need to go “backwards” to pen and paper.

This week, we’re explaining why that is, and how even developers and designers—people who work with technology for a living—can do better, smarter work by turning away from their keyboards and writing in their notebooks.

I personally like working things out such as pseudo-code, sitemaps, and low-fidelity wireframes via pen and paper because it's got the whole instant-gratification thing going on. I mean, pen and paper is just so much more accessible, takes less time, and is far more intimate than if I were to do the same tasks digitally.
Ammo from Baltimore
Recently we’ve gotten some great feedback from Code&Quill users (and we’ll be reviewing more of it with you later). But a lot of that feedback has come from developers and designers like Ammo up there, so we’ve included some of their comments. 

 

1. Writing by hand helps you brainstorm and create new ideas.

There’s an exciting moment we all know. A new idea! The project starts forming in your mind. You’re just beginning to think about how something could work—a new app, a new website, a genius fix to an old problem. But quick! You’ve got to get it down! What do you use?

Computers, for all their power, are not made for brainstorming. Computers still aren't super-intuitive; at their core, they're fancy calculators. They make problem-solving easier, but they don’t necessarily make thinking easier. In our experience: the bigger and more abstract the problem, the quicker we'll give up on a computer and default back to pen and paper.

It’s this kind of “thinking space” that we’ve designed Code&Quill’s notebooks for. Tons of people have commented that the dual layout—grid on left, indentation rule on right—helps them see ideas more clearly. This seems doubly true for devs and designers, who often need to wireframe/diagram and take more detailed notes.

I use my [Code&Quill] to sketch out parts of an app I'm working on. The grid part I use to sketch out pages, and then I use the lined part to write down details. All that culminates in something neat and easy to reference when I need it.
— Kristina from Washington, D.C.
The two sides are different—lets me have two distinct halves to every page. There's something great about that. Keeps me creating in different ways.
— Andrew from North Dakota

Other users (esp. writers, students, and others working with "textual problems") specifically like the indentation rule’s hash marks (which is why we made another version with only that page style throughout). 

 

2. Writing helps you solve problems with greater clarity, speed, and detail.

Especially if you’re a developer, you may find problem-solving is a lot of your job. Not only does your work have to work (i.e. function), but all of it usually has to, you know, solve a problem—or else, why were you working on it in the first place?

Writing notes, rather than typing them, allows you to take down all of the most important points, both quickly and in a manner that's intuitive to you. It helps keeps the information both concise and precise. Most importantly, writing allows you to think about technical problems without being stuck in technical minutiae.

Being a software engineer I am tasked with daily problems I need to solve myself, and being able to process my thoughts in this way has allowed me to solve the toughest of "head-scratchers."
— Samuel from Minnesota
I come up with the best algorithms and bug fixes when I'm away from the computer screen and undistracted by the code itself and just think about the problem "out loud" on paper. 
— Kelly from Kentucky

 

3. Writing works better for in-the-moment collaboration.

Tech people gather around another low-tech device all the time—and that’s a whiteboard. Why? Because a whiteboard—not Google Docs, not a chatroom, not a Slack channel—is the best way for people to think through certain ideas together.

[My Code&Quill] is a space where I can write, sketch and get my ideas in order. Its more personal. (It’s even bumped my Moleskine love down a notch.) I can take it out and jot down a quick note or thought and throw it back in my bag—something that's not easily done with my computer.
— Natalie M. 

When you’re mobile, a big whiteboard isn’t always available—but a notebook can be. Sit down at a table, open it up, and put your heads together. The whole point of collaboration is doing better than a single person could do—and the most insightful collaboration happens when people talk it out and write it out together, not when they look at the same file remotely.

Not to mention, of course, that what's written in a notebook's pages stays there. No copying needed—all your notes stay in the same place. Because even when you use a whiteboard, the important bits need copying to... you get the point. 

 

4. A notebook looks more professional to clients and co-workers.

Even if you keep your files pristine, a laptop will never look as classy as a leatherette or hardcover book. Some things—let’s be honest—are matters of appearance, and there’s something more impressive about a person who bothers to actually write things down in a book.

Think about a meeting with clients. Which is better for meeting them: your laptop or your notebook? Think about the complications of using your laptop. Never mind the clunkiness; by showing them your computer, you’re breaking the wall between your clients and where you do their work. A notebook adds a buffer layer between you and your clients—you can take down all the info they want and even produce some basic sketches and drawings on the spot, BUT they never get to see into your personal machine. It’s a win-win.

It's great to be able to take notes, then sketch out ideas with my clients.
— Miles from North Carolina

Not to mention: depending on how you set up your notebook, it can also house your personal planner/calendar, your to-do lists, and your diary or journal. If you work it, it works for you!

My C&Q is used for everything from holding my daily to-do lists to hobby sketches and cartooning, all the way over to meetings with clients for new design projects where I'll take notes and sketch out simple UI layouts. It's everything for me!
— Rafael from New York

  

5. Writing by hand gives your eyes and brain a break and lets you exercise different creative muscles.

As we’ve written before, eye strain isn’t really a thing (to most people). But anyone gets tired of staring at something all day—especially if it’s something you can’t figure out. Whenever you need to look away from the screen, some old-fashioned paper will give you a reprieve from the pixels.

If you stare too long at your computer screen, you may as well be head-butting the keyboard. But if you switch gears, take a break, and focus your attention on paper instead of a screen, you might find a completely fresh angle. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. 

 

If you want to find the notebook that works best for your dev and design needs, take a look at our collection. If you want to see what our peeps are doing and hear the latest, come look at our photos on Instagram and our news on Facebook.

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