book binding machine

I recently learned a new and exciting (to me) skill… bookbinding! While the act of compiling and binding a notebook might not sound very exciting, perhaps even cringe-worthy to some folks, I found it to be quite awesome, super-convenient, and maybe even a little oddly therapeutic.

While the majority of what I do is in the interactive realm, sometimes I have to break away from the screen; and let’s face it, sometimes there’s just no substitute for good ‘ol pen and paper when trying to rough-out a concept, whether for a webpage layout, wireframe, email, storyboard, and the obligatory annotations that accompany each.

I mainly use my Evernote Smart Notebook for jotting down notes and quick sketches, but with the convenience of pocket-size comes the inconvenience of not having enough room to fully flesh things out on a single page. Of course there are larger notebooks available, but you’re usually limited to single-purpose notebooks… can you imagine having to carry a separate notebook for each of your note-taking and sketching needs?

Now, some of you might be thinking “Suck it up and just get a blank notebook!” Well, to that I say “Nay! I need ruled lines and must have a more adequate solution to my needs!” What might that be? Printable sketch sheet templates + about 5 minutes with our binding machine (plus 10 minutes of training from Connie on how to use the darn thing).

For this exercise, I simply downloaded a handful of free printable page templates: one for general note taking, a 960 grid wireframe mockup template, and a dot grid sketch template.




With the addition of front / back covers, plastic separator sheets, and a wire spine, I was able to quickly combine these layouts into a handy and inexpensive multi-purpose spiral-bound notebook.


I’m sure I’m not the first to do this, and certainly won’t be the last, but I wanted to share anyway.