Product Review: Page One-the writer's notebook
Is the Page One notebook a writer's most essential low-tech tool?
When it comes to what I like to call "prep work" on a new project, like research and brainstorming, I prefer doing it old-school in a blank notebook. I fill its pages with notes, scribbles, character sketches, and scene ideas.
Somehow, the material sticks with me more if I do it manually; that is, not in a word processor. Maybe this is because of how and when I grew up. I'm not sure. But it works for me.
What I love about Page One is how it is already divided up into neat little sections: character, plot, setting, scene, research, and ideas. There's even a handy submission tracker.
For lazy writers like me, this saves a lot of time. Now I don't have to waste time dividing up a blank notebook into these sections myself (and not as neatly, I might add). Later, when I'm in the middle of actually writing, I avoid thumbing through dozens of pages to find that great snippet of dialogue I jotted down in the coffee shop last week.
I love that the notebook is ready to fill it up as soon as I take it out of the box (so to speak; it arrives in an envelope).
The character section forces you to analyze your characters and give them a little more life. There's space for a physical description, occupation, history, motivations, and generic notes. Page One also offers writers a place to sketch your character—if you are artistically inclined. (And for artistically challenged people like me, a square to attach a photo of someone who looks like the character I'm creating.)
None of this is revolutionary. Still, it's handy to have all of your notes and ideas neatly organized at your fingertips. It feels a lot more like the act of creation as opposed to data entry. Plus, if you work in front of a computer all day, using Page One gives you an excellent alternative to staring at a screen. There's plenty of "structure" software out there that have built-in character forms, but I want less tech in my process, not more.
Also, Page One can be used virtually anywhere and doesn't require charging.
Page One won't make you a better writer, just a more organized one. And for writers who like low-tech alternatives to clunky software, Page One stands out in the crowd of generic marble notebooks.
I backed Page One on IndieGoGo and have purchased two more since. I find it one of the most useful tools in my kit. Depending on your "process" and how you like to begin your projects, Page One may just be the missing puzzle piece to unlock your creative flow.
I highly recommend the Page One notebook for all your future projects. You can snag yours here.
See you on the other side!