Customers We Love, Vol. 2: John Grimshaw

Four weeks ago, we introduced Caroline—the code-cracking, dragon-slaying, rock-climbing extraordinaire of a customer who graciously served as our first Creative Exposé. 

We found Caroline—a complete stranger—on the interwebs when we saw a tweet she'd written about us. She seemed cool ("she does so many things we like!"), so we extended an invite.  

By contrast, our second Creative Exposé is someone we've known personally... but who, until very recently, didn't know about us professionally.

Today, ladies and gents, we'd like to introduce John Grimshaw.  

If you're wondering why he's pumped about the monitor and headphones above, it's because John was the winner of our first major contest, and this is the pic we snapped when giving him his prizes. When we invited him to be one of our Creative Exposés, he joked that answering seven questions was a fair trade for his gear. 

Kevin's quick story about that: It's a total accident that John won; no foul play, we promise. In fact, when Ronak checked our website's contest app to see who'd been randomly selected, he read out "John Grimshaw" and—since Ronak only knew him as "John"—I had to (excitedly) point out that this was someone we knew. 


The following questions and answers have been gently edited for clarity.


1. What is your notebook philosophy?

"My philosophy for notebooks is to structure chaos. I like to be able to record notes whenever they come to me, and I think about a LOT of different topics. In my notebook opinion, it's a cardinal sin to mix ideas from wildly different topics on the same page, so adding a bit of structure helps keep that from happening. 

"I practice a modified version of bullet journaling in my Code&Quill notebooks. I rely heavily on my own index function—mostly so I can add notes about the same topic to pages I don't fill up. Since it's mainly an ideation tool, I don't worry too much about tracking schedules in there, though I do timestamp pages whenever I'm adding new info to them."  

2. What's your "creative weapon" of choice?

"TUL ballpoint pen, 100% of the time. Embrace the scratch-outs."  

3. What does being a creative mean to you?

"Follow your impulses and make some f#&king mistakes. The spark of something truly meaningful is discovered through volume, not precision." 

4. What do you do?

This doesn't have to mean your profession! 
Do you design, create, build, dance, help, organize...?

"I'm a great analyst, a good marketer, a terrible writer, and an aspiring game designer.

"To be specific, my day-job title is Marketing Operations Manager at DigitalMarketer. It involves many, many Excel spreadsheets."  

5. What do you do with your notebooks once they're full?

"If I fill a work notebook, I'll pillage it for any ideas I need to remember or want to add to a digital swipe file (which I like for long-term storage because they're searchable and don't take up physical space). Then I ditch them. KonMari forever!

"If I fill a personal notebook, I try to save it. A notebook I've used for creative writing or game design notes usually represents a serious labor of love, and the contents are meaningful to me. Not because they contain a lot of information, but because they symbolize the creative project." 

6. What would you lose if you lost your Code&Quill notebook?

"I've got two main notebooks: one for work, one for creative projects. If I lost my work notebook, I'd lose dozens of might-be-valuable notes and ideas (though I try to review and transcribe the important bits at least once a month). 

"It'd be pretty crushing to lose my creative notebook. The current one has a Dungeons & Dragons campaign I've spent over 60 hours designing—everything from character names and records to map drawings, illustrations, and plot details. The notebook is basically my external brain for that, so it'd be near-impossible to replace." 

7. Why Code&Quill?

(And how'd you hear about us?)

"I know a guy. Ha ha. 

"But seriously. The paper weight is great, the mixed [dot-grid and indentation-rule] layout is awesome for ideation of all kinds, and the notebook as a whole feels solid and well-made." 


John likes the covers for his chaos and the paper for his purpose.
What will you love about your Code&Quill? 


8. Last Things About John

He's a wicked-smart guy and true-blue data nerd, but he's also got a sense of humor. 


Stay tuned for more Code&Quill Creative Exposés in the coming weeks!

Email subscribers get special promotions, exclusive content, and a present just for joining. Click here to stay in the loop.

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.

1 comment

  • Renae Gregoire

    Love John’s thought about making mistakes; dressed it up for wider sharing:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like View all