I am the kind of person whose pockets are always stuffed with bits of paper, scribbled with ideas & things to do. However many notebooks I make or own, it’s always the makeshift ones that find most use. So I was a bit shocked a few days ago when I was in a situation where I really needed a clean piece of paper to hand that I didn’t seem to have anything useable. (Admittedly, my purse had been stolen the day before, so normally I would have had at least 1 pen & notebook; I just hadn’t re-stocked, yet.)
Then I had a brainwave. In my pocket, what I did have was a makeshift mini-notebook that I had already written in, from cover to cover. This notebook was folded from 1 sheet of copier paper. It appeared to be full; but because of the way it was folded, I realised it was entirely blank on the reverse. I quickly un-folded & re-folded the same piece of paper so that my previous notes were now on the reverse, and created a new, entirely blank(-appearing), useable notebook. The situation was saved!
I use these folded mini notebooks all the time. I’ve been meaning to post the how-to for ages, but was having trouble with the diagrams (not a project that is very scannable, unfortunately, as some of the steps are definitely 3-dimensional!). The discovery that as a mini-notebook, it is reversible (& therefore less wasteful) gave me impetus to find a solution, so that I could share it.
Now if you have ever looked into making a zine, or simple book, you will know that this format is not original, but I don’t know who originally came up with it. It’s traditionally a format for making a quick zine, so in true zine spirit, I have drawn my diagrams in marker pen.
You’ll see I’ve added numbers to each ‘page’ – 1 is the eventual front cover, 8 is the back. You obviously don’t need page numbers in a notebook; but I thought it might help clarify some of the diagrams. (Extra clarification: dotted lines = folds.) But if you want to make a zine instead, you can use the numbering to orient your pages (rotate your text according to which numbers are upside down).
But like I mentioned earlier, the beauty of this notebook is that once you’ve filled it up, you can just unfold it, then re-fold it with your previous notes on the inside, for a whole extra notebook’s worth of space. Hurrah! Make them as you need them, and stuff them in your pockets, & you’ll never be short of a scrap of paper, again!
N.B. I’ve posted the diagrams here, but if you need more explanatory text, just click here for the PDF with full instructions.
Okay, now I’m going to go & do some packing. Honest.