I received the [Code & Quill Origin](Code & Quill Origin Grey Dotted + Linjert A5 Hardcover Notatbok – Tudos) free of charge from Tudos for the purpose of reviewing it.
This is a A5-ish notebook with dot grid on the left side and lined on the right side – what I usually call dual layout. The paper is okay, but it bleeds through a little bit more than I’m used to. It’s not that bad, but a little bit worse than for example Leuchtturm1917.
The design of this notebook is not ugly, but it isn’t anything I like either. The only way to describe it is how iOS apps used to look before everything went “flat”. There are probably some people that love how it looks. But it isn’t my kind of thing.
My three big complaints of this notebook is:
- The paper quality makes something to be desired. Close, but no cigar.
- The lack of felt page markers is really annoying.
- The format of the book is similar to A5, but a little bit shorter. This drives me nuts. Why wouldn’t you follow an established standard? This is the kind of thing where I mumble “fucking Americans”, we have the metric system and various other systems for a reason.
I have used dual layout notebooks before, mainly the Field Notes special edition from about three years ago, or something. And it never clicked with me. My opinion have been that people should get a Travelers Notebook and fill it with different refills if they just want multiple page layouts in their notebook.
The way I usually use notebooks are either long form writing or writing down lists. And to use a dual layout for something like that is either confusing or plain wasteful. So what I had to do in order to test out this notebook was find something I could use it for where it made sense to have one layout here and another one over there.
I decided to use it for creating “mockups” for app and web development stuff I do at work and for fun. This means I need to carry another notebook, and that was exactly what I needed…
The dual layout is good for some stuff. And my mock up notes are less messy and easier to understand when I use the grid for the mockups (crappy drawings) and the lined part for describing what it is.
Now. I’m not 100% sure if the improvement is big enough for me to justify carrying another notebook. I guess time will show.