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When Code&Quill started, it was a paper company founded by a computer geek — a notebook brand created by someone who usually tries to avoid writing.

Who’d have thunk it, right?

But there’s a time when, even to someone like Ronak, the computer doesn’t cut it. Like many of our customers, Ronak is a techie—and like many of them, he eventually realized he could think and problem-solve more effectively when he wrote things out by hand.

Taking notes and drawing pictures made him a better programmer—so he needed a notebook.

The features Ronak wanted in his notebook—like a wider trim size, thicker pages, and a sturdy lay-flat binding—existed elsewhere, but never all together. Pursuing the “ideal design” for notebooks was reason enough to start Code&Quill, and sure enough, we get consistent praise for our product design and build quality.

But the “People’s Choice Award for Best Code&Quill Feature" goes to our page layouts. It’s our dot grid and indentation rule — and the unique combination of them together, left side and right side — that elevates a Code&Quill notebook from “well-built” to “purpose-built."

Since our page layouts have been a major selling point for our notebooks, we’re using this article to tell you how we designed our classic dot-grid and indentation-rule layouts. We’ll also answer some “layout FAQs” for anyone curious—and anyone wondering what notebooks are still around the corner.

 

The Dot Grid, Explained

For our original notebooks, the left-hand page was always meant for drawing and diagramming. So for left-hand pages, the question became: what’s the best layout for doing drawings and diagrams?

The dot grid seemed like the best compromise. A blank page seemed to have too little structure, while a lined grid seemed to force too much structure. With the dots, you get the benefits of a blank page OR a lined grid—depending upon how much you choose to notice the dots.

By itself, there’s nothing super-original about our dot grid. The dots are about 1/2 millimeter in diameter and they’re centered 5mm apart from one another, both vertically and horizontally. Super simple stuff.

 

The Indentation Rule, Explained

Quite literally on the other hand: the right-hand pages were always intended for notes. So in their case, the question became: what’s the best page layout for notes?

A lined page makes obvious sense here. For line height, a standard narrow ruling (1/4 inch, or 6.4mm, between lines) felt “just right” — not too tall, not too small — so we stuck with that measurement.

But our narrow-ruled lines needed one more thing to guide users. What makes the indentation rule unique is the series of faint vertical hash marks running along the bottom of each line to help you find your spot. This visual cue is vital for anyone trying to properly draft code or tiered lists—and surprisingly helpful for tidying any other notes, too.

 

 

Some Layout FAQs

Is there any way you could align the rows of dots on the left with lines on the right? Nice as that might be, it's not currently possible. The dot grid and indentation rule won't "vertically sync" because their spacing is different — 5mm for the dot grid, 6.4mm for the indentation rule. 

Theoretically, it'd be possible if we spaced the dot grid at 6.4mm instead of 5mm, but you lose a surprising amount of grid that way. Not worth the trade!

 

Is there any way the page layouts could be printed darker on the paper? We are considering that possibility. For the original design, lightly-shaded printing was important because we really didn't want the page layouts getting in the way. But lots of people have asked us to print them darker (and virtually no one has asked us to print them lighter).

If we make a change here, it'll be slight. Our design goal is to make the printing as dark as it needs to be — but not a shade darker.

 

What layout options will be available in the future? Originally, we offered ONLY the split layout: dot grid on left, indentation rule on right. Then we offered the Monolith in indentation-rule-only. 

The trend continues: we want to offer dot-grid-only in the future. Plenty of you have asked for it, and we totally get why. Besides, we may as well fill out the triad, right? 

Lastly, we eventually want to offer these expanded layout options in our Origin and Traveler notebooks. They won't be Monolith-exclusive forever! 

 

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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Some of you are probably wondering: what in the hell is a scrum, and why are some of my friends frothy about it? 

Yeah, it can be a little confusing when someone busts that word out—

—and you still think it's the stuff they scrape off the bottom of ships.

But this funny little word is behind a huge pedigree of success—and there are reasons that some people get so passionate about it. 

What do tech giants, winning start-ups, and the biggest corporate turnarounds in history share? Say hi to Scrum. In this post, we'll catch you up on the basics. 

 

The Book

We don't make many book recommendations.

Partly, we don't read tons. Partly, we expect you're busy and picky like we are. 

Having said that, just consider that this entire post is basically a book recommendation.

Entitled Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, it's written by Jeff and J.J. Sutherland (father and son, respectively). It's a quick read, it's got great case studies, and it does find ways to both illustrate the point and make it applicable. 

Scrum is one of those easy-to-learn but hard-to-neatly-explain concepts. If we're boiling Scrum down to three quick pieces of advice, they are streamline, stand up, and check in. Let's talk just a little about each.

 

Streamline

One big problem for lots of projects is that they're just... big. They're complicated, they have lots of parts and contingencies, and through no one's fault, it can be easy for any one person to get confused. 

But even if that's no one's fault, complication costs time—and to big companies, lots of money.

Now, the solution is NOT to make a plan so detailed you need an atomic microscope to read it. As discussed in the book, that's the mistake many companies make—to the point that some people, their ENTIRE job is just keeping the flow charts and plans tidy.

Remember what happens to best-laid plans? 

Now, you might be saying to us: but guys, we build software. (As one example.) This stuff can't be dumbed down and we need to plan it out.

Yes, of course, you should have the big picture handy. But it's asinine to believe you can work long periods in isolation without missing something. That's how you waste huge amounts of your own time. 

Keep it simple. Plan 3 steps ahead, not 30. And remember that a working prototype is always better than a perfect concept.

 

Stand Up

One of the practices that helps Scrum work is the stand-up meeting — so named because you traditionally stand up on your turn to report. They're brief, usually no more than 15 minutes, and that's by design: a stand-up is supposed to be quick and simple so you can get back to what you're doing. 

A few vital things happen at stand-up meetings. The first is that team members inform one another what's going on. Specifically, each member is supposed to share two things: (1) what they've done since the last meeting and (2) what they're going to do before the next one. 

The second is that team members hold one another accountable, even if no one gets "called out" per se. Think about it: it can get real awkward if the only thing to share is that YOU didn't do what YOU said you would last week (and it's therefore still on your plate this week). 

The third is that team members can help one another with problems. Scrum is NOT designed so teams can micromanage each other. Quite the opposite: it takes into account that being stuck is a waste of time — and that five heads are way better than one for solving most problems (or coming up with ideas). 

 

Check In

There's one more foundation of Scrum that makes teams and meetings way more useful: they can make sure their work is actually working.

Part of the problem with big, long plans is that, if something takes a long time to build, there's more possibility that someone will be off doing work.

So if you're a manager and you only check in once per quarter, you might be disappointed at what your reports have done. But check in every week, much more briefly, and there aren't surprises for anyone.

One of Scrum's "rules" is that, each time you check in, you should have something working that wasn't before. Focusing on small units of usefulness—features here, modules there—can eventually add up to most of your product, assuming those little units are smartly conceived. Little things can be built fast and tested fast; big things can sometimes meander for months before they shit the bed anyway.

One last note: Scrum is not simply for internal use, for getting more done in the office. Some of Scrum is reflected in good customer service: staying in touch, getting feedback, and taking swift action are examples of the magic in action, especially when they're done all at once.

 

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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Most things can be distilled WAY down if you try.

Take entrepreneurship.

It seems complicated and difficult by its nature (and that's part of the glamour).

But boil it down and it's not so scary.

For instance, the word entrepreneur (which is already more pretentious-sounding for being French) translates, more or less, to one who undertakes projects. Since "entrepreneur" is considered an occupation, it's implied that you make your living from your enterprises, whatever they may be.

But therefore, in simplified terms...

Entrepreneur = person who makes their income by doing projects

See? Not so complicated.

But still useful—a definition like this highlights the key difference for entrepreneurs. They make an income because of their work, not because of their job.

Having said what an entrepreneur is, let's get to the real meat of this article: how entrepreneurship boils down to a single, simple equation.

Once you understand the equation better, you might find completely new ways to...

  • Get more done every day
  • Increase your earnings
  • Decrease your daily stress

... whether you're in business for yourself OR employed in more traditional fashion.

So here's the equation:

Time = Money

 

That's right. Time is money. You've heard it before. Written out as a sentence, it's practically a cliché. But turn it into an equation and you can manipulate it in useful ways.

Think back to algebra class. Most of algebra revolves around one simple rule: whatever you do to one side of the equation, you must also do to the other.

So, for example:

2(Time) = 2(Money)

That would be a mathematical way of explaining that (for example) if you work twice as many shifts, you should expect double your usual income. Seems logical, right?

Just to keep you thinking this way: notice that most typical wages can be expressed in these sorts of algebraic terms. Like...

1 hour = $10.25
1 year = $60,000

If you have a job and know what to expect on each paycheck (or shift), you don't need to think about much else if you don't want to.

But entrepreneurs' income is variable—for the most part, they eat what they kill. They don't have perfectly predictable paychecks. So equations like Time = Money (and thinking algebraically) become all the more essential.

For the rest of this article, we'll walk you through 4 ways that Time = Money can be applied in your life and can help you earn BOTH things back.

 

1. Fast Around the House

Laundry, cleaning, cooking, and other household tasks don't take tons of time—but they take more time than most people expect.

Plus, most people prefer the "lazy Sunday" pace. But they could all be done much faster, and that's where you can earn back hours from single changes.

Take, for example, grocery shopping. Might take an hour a week, right? But when you count making a list, driving there, walking around the store, checking out, driving home, and putting everything away, it's probably double that, if not triple.

But I can't just not go to the grocery store, you think.

Ah — you must not have (discovered) Instacart. If it's available in your area, you should try it. You pay a bit of a premium—maybe 15% extra, give or take.

So instead of paying $100 to go get your groceries, you'd pay $115 to have them delivered. Might strike a nerve to you. But remember:

Time = Money
2-3 hours per week (grocery store) = $15 per week (Instacart)
Cost to buy back your own time = $5 to $7.50 per hour

Pretty cheap—considering what you could do (and/or earn back) with 2 or 3 hours of sudden free time.

 

2. Maximize (Truly) Valuable Time

Here's another nuance of the Time = Money equation: not all time is created equal. Some hours spent are more productive than others. The productive times might yield actual cash, but they can also be valuable without yielding a single dime right then.

Let's say, for example, you run a small store where you sell handmade goods. When you're not at store, you're keeping records, ordering supplies, and of course, making the products themselves.

Get as granular as you want—the point is that a business like this only makes money during their "selling hours." Yes, you have to make your goods before you sell them—so workshop time matters. But no one pays you directly for your hours in the workshop, and the distinction matters. 

If a business like this wants to make more money, they should consider optimizing (and/or maximizing) their storefront hours — and of course, doing what they can online, where goods can be sold 24/7.

  

3. Eliminate Needless Motion

In ANY business, whether it's manufacturing or consulting, there's one kind of time that's almost always wasteful: time spent in motion.

Think about day-to-day transit. Most people drive. While they drive, they can't do much else. They can talk on the phone, maybe.

And in America, people drive a LOT. Think about going to the grocery store. How much time would you need door-to-door, both directions? A fair amount, probably, even for that one simple errand.

This kind of "waste" adds up fast. But get creative with one little rule and you can shed tons of needless time.

Here's the one little rule: eliminate needless motionYou'd be surprised how many goods and services can come to you—just Google it. Per the Instacart math, the extra cost is often justifiable.

If nothing else, start combining more errands while you're out. And for heaven's sake, don't be ashamed to get dinner delivered on a busy night. 

By the Way

When you're doing the math, it's worth being nit-picky. There's a reason (profitable) manufacturing and shipping floors try to eliminate 4 steps (of walking) here and 2 steps there—because 4s and 2s are small savings for steps walked, but not when you multiply them by 500 cycles per day, 330 days per year, 50 workers at a time.  

 

 

4. Economies of Scale

Anyone who's shopped at Costco or Sam's Club already understands economies of scale: the more money you can spend at a time, the further you can stretch each dollar you spend. 

So the simple advice consider a Costco/Sam's Club membership belongs right here.

But there are also economies of scale for time. Most activities become more productive when we can do them for longer periods of time.

A simple example: doing all the laundry in your house might take a while, but it's much faster per garment than doing one small load at a time. (Doubly true when you combine multiple people's laundry.) 

In terms of Time = Money, economies of scale means that...

Time = Output, but...
2(Time) = 3(Output)

So another round of simple advice: figure out how to "batch" whatever you can. Look for ways to save yourself time by working ahead!

Next week, we'll be back with more useful advice—and our pithy "Spark Notes" for an excellent book on productivity. Want to get twice the work done in half the time? Check back next Tuesday for a Code&Quill briefing on Scrum! 

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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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." 

 

——————————

 

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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