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Notebooks For College.



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I won't say I've done an exhaustive search for notebooks, but there are so many options and manufacturers that I believe I am more lost now than before. I was hoping someone would be able to help me. I'll attempt to describe what I'm looking for below.

 

I am majoring in Math and Comp Sci in school, and need something to take notes on. I attempted to use ruled notebooks, but due to the nature of the classes and my handwriting, I can't. I write too large to take notes for the math classes on one line. I would like unruled paper of decent quality (possibly archival but not necessary), I would prefer it to be bound on the side with something other than staples, and something between 5 x 8 and 8 x 11 or so. I sincerely appreciate any input, but so far I have read about so many types of notebooks that I don't know what would work...

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I would consider it a mid-range disposable rollerball... It's not a $2 for 45 bic pen, but it's low-end... I contemplated a Leuchtturm or something similar because I would like to be able to keep the notes that are taken. I wouldn't be averse to a more sophisticated writing instrument, but that would add a level of debate to this that I really don't think I want to invite.

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I am majoring in Math and Comp Sci in school, and need something to take notes on. I attempted to use ruled notebooks, but due to the nature of the classes and my handwriting, I can't. I write too large to take notes for the math classes on one line. I would like unruled paper of decent quality (possibly archival but not necessary), I would prefer it to be bound on the side with something other than staples, and something between 5 x 8 and 8 x 11 or so. I sincerely appreciate any input, but so far I have read about so many types of notebooks that I don't know what would work...

 

I think that taking class notes or meeting notes is best done on plain paper, so that you can use handwriting, paragraph indentation, and symbols to organize the content, emphasize key points, and integrate your comments and questions in a manner that keeps them distinct. Currently I use art pads, but in the past I've used newsprint and photocopy paper. The quality of paper that best meets your needs depends on your writing instrument. Generally, ballpoints work on just about every kind of paper, followed by gel pens, pencils, and roller ball pens. Fountain pens tend not to work well with cheap or highly textured paper, but relatively dry-writing pens with fine or extra fine points are likely to perform best.

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Perhaps a dot grid of some sort. Or find a paper that you like - say a ream of HP24/28/32 and print dots/line on it using incomptech or similar online service. You can always have something like that bound for your use at Staples/OfficeMax/Office Depot......

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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I found loose Quad ruled paper best for me and then it placed it in a cardboard folder with a metal hole and prong to save it. This was 1972-1976 . Those folders sit in a book case in the office and I pull them out regularly to look up a formula or problem as an example to work from. The paper came in a so called Engineering Pad, hole punched on the Left side and Glue strip at the top. Paper was yellow/gold color and Pad had a dark forest green cover. Readily available in the UC Bookstore.

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Perhaps a dot grid of some sort. Or find a paper that you like - say a ream of HP24/28/32 and print dots/line on it using incomptech or similar online service. You can always have something like that bound for your use at Staples/OfficeMax/Office Depot......

I second this suggestion. Sadly the HP 28lb is now discontinued! It used to be the perfect balance of thickness.

fpn_1434432647__fpn_1425200643__fpn_1425160066__super_pinks-bottle_200x159.jpg

 


Check out my blog at Inks and Pens

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It sounds like you are just starting out and have little idea of what you would like, so I'll just mention a few things.

 

You sound like you find the traditional letter size (8.5x11) paper too large. I myself prefer B5 or A5 size. You won't find these from an American company, so look for these sizes from Japanese makers like Kokuyo, Apica, and Maruman.

 

The Pilot V5 rollerball and similar pens are quite nice to write with, but rollerball ink is the most finicky about paper. Generally, rollerball ink behaves much better on Japanese and European papers than on American paper. If you really want to stick with the rollerball pen, try one of the Japanese makes or something like Rhodia or Clairefontaine. Otherwise, give gel pens a try. Some of the nicest are Uniball Signo, Pilot Juice, and Pilot Hi-Tec-C. The Pilot G2, which is what is most commonly available in US shops, is really not a good representative of modern gel pen performance.

 

As much as I like book-bound notebooks, it didn't work for me to use them for lecture notes. I would never fill much of a book before one class ended, but I didn't want to start another class in the middle of a book, so I would have all these barely filled notebooks lying around. Also, it looks really bad when you tear out messed-up pages. So, I just settled with spiral-bound notebooks. The problem was, American spiral notebooks feel cheap and look awful by the end of the term. The Japanese brands I mentioned look and feel much nicer, with the covers and paper being more durable.

 

All of the brands I mentioned make notebooks with blank paper, but most sellers in the US seem to import just the lined notebooks.

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To be completely honest, I know just enough about pens and paper to know that I know absolutely nothing about it. I know that I don't like the way the pen I have writes on the paper I'm using (generic Mead spiral notebook). I also know that I would like something a bit more professional looking than this. I would prefer something that looks presentable, and possibly smaller so I can have the room in my bag for other things. As of now I am using one notebook for notes for all of my classes because I don't want to carry a 3 stone backpack around with me. I am also looking for a pen, but I can't decide which or how to even figure out what I want. I want to try a fountain pen, but I am worried that I won't know how to use it, it will leak, I will run out middle of the day, or I won't be able to write adequately.

Edited by Ridolenai
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You probably don't want to hear this, but you just have to start spending money. You can learn very little from people's descriptions. You have to try a bunch of stuff for yourself to see what you like. And, as you progress, don't be surprised if your tastes evolve.

 

Check out the online shops that import Japanse stuff, and buy a selection of pens and notebooks. To just try out the paper, buy the smallest ones to save money. I strongly suspect that once you try any brand of Japanese notebooks, you won't be satisfied with whatever is being sold at your university bookstore.

 

These shops are good and give free shipping with a modest purchase:

http://www.jetpens.com/

http://www.jstationery.com/

http://www.gouletpens.com/

 

I wouldn't start dabbling in fountain pens until you develop a stronger sense of what you like in paper and ink.

 

Something I found useful for keeping things neat is to get thin notebooks (<50 pages), one for each class, instead of one thick notebook. The wire bindings are smaller and more comfortable, and things generally get mangled less in the bag. Also, look for what the Japanese call twin-ring spiral binding. It stays much neater that the straight sprial wire you are familiar with.

 

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You asked for notebooks. I'll reply that I used a clipboard and paper from the recycling bin in college. Notebooks were too limiting, and bulky. This way I could carry only what I needed (blank pages). Filed in manila folders at home for later study time.

 

Main difference from using notebooks was that I had to go back to elementary school and add a header to the top of each sheet for organization.

 

More importantly, I learned note taking techniques. I used a modified Cornell Method of note taking. Note taking is the skill of writing down what's important. This means not necessarily copying everything on the board, but also writing down things that aren't on the board (e.g. when someone asks a question).

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I did similar to Wallylynn

  • I used loose filler paper in a clip portfolio to take my notes.
  • Then when I got home I would first rewrite the notes, so that I could read them. Taking notes in class was speed writing which was UGLY and hard to read.
  • Then I would put them into a ring binder by class, so the notes were organized.

In this way I was not carrying a LOT of paper to school each day. The paper was at home in the binder.

I rarely needed the notes from prior classes during the day. I studied those notes at home prior to the exams.

 

Also there is no rule that says you have to write in ONE line, you can use 2 or 3 lines to write in. You can also use different size ruled paper; narrow, college or wide.

Edited by ac12

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