It's getting kind of old skool over here in the home office. I haven't yet gotten around to talking about why I'm spending time on notepads and notebooks, and just how I use these things. But I'm going to post an article describing just that. This photo is just a teaser to let you know that I'm still working away at this sketch paper stuff because it's an itch that just won't go away.

That big old looking machine you see is a wire ring binder. I've been going through various needs I have for notebooks. I can't live without my Moleskine or Rhodia. One of them goes with me everywhere. Lately it's a Moleskine softcover plain notebook for my sketches, and a small cahier for my todo lists. These are great, but I still want a better notebook just for sketching user interfaces and interaction.

There are a few things I look for:

1) It lays flat and cover can fold over
2) Is small and portable
3) Has some tooth
4) Has a sturdy cover
5) Has perforations for removable pages
6) Has a good graph paper design

I'd be interested in hearing what other people look for.

Right now, I'm mainly concerned with creating the tool that's most useful for the type of work I do. Sometimes a blank canvas is better. Sometimes a grid is better. Some people will always only want blank paper. But maybe there are others out there, like me, who are looking for something a little better. I spent some days trying and being frustrated with what's out there. Most of the time I'm happy with what I have, but other days I just want nicer grids.

I'm just working on finding the right tools to make my life easier. But I'd love to hear if there are things you look for in a designer's sketch book that you just can find right now. I've been thinking that what might come out of this process for me are a small collection of customizable notebooks that I'll produce for fellow designers with various papers that they select and configure. I don't foresee producing a lot of these now.