More details on the Maker’s Notebook

More details on the Maker’s Notebook

O’Reilly’s FYI Blog contest to give away a Maker’s Notebook is over. 22 people posted ideas of what they’d do with their book or to improve their book. Several of the ideas for improvements are already included:

1. Several people mentioned rulers. The Maker’s Notebook has inches and metric rulers on the book’s end papers. One cool thing about these rulers is that the 8ths, 16ths and the cms are written out at each mark (1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, etc.) for other dyslexics and slow people like myself who can’t easily identify these marks at a glance.

2. One person wanted a place in the front for “This book belongs to” type information and a place for emergency numbers. We do have a page for “This book belongs to” info, as well as title of volume, volume number, date, etc. The emergency numbers page is a good idea. We do have a blank, lined two-page Table on Contents. It has ruled margins where you could list emergency numbers.

3. Place-marker ribbons. The book has one red satin marker stitched in. You can easily add more simply by putting a spot of glue on the end of a ribbon and sliding it between the cover and the binding. PaperSource and other craft and stationary stores sell the same ribbon as our printer used.

4. Closure. If you buy the Maker’s Notebook from the Maker Shed, you get a 1/2″ red rubber band that serves as a closure. If you want to attach it to your book, you can hot glue it at the top or bottom of the spine.

5. Some way of marking spines to differentiate notebooks. If you buy the Maker’s Notebook from the Maker Shed, you get two bonus sheets of pressure-sensitive stickers. On one sheet, there are a series of icons that we included especially for this purpose (some of them are above). If you have more than one Maker’s Notebook, you can use these on the spine to tell at a glance which book is which.

Here’s one of my favorite entries:

When asked what five books he would take with him to a desert island, George Bernard Shaw replied that he would take five blank books. With my Maker’s Notebook, I would seek out a desert island to crash my plane on and start documenting my survival and escape attempt. I would embed shards of mirror from the wreckage in the electric blue cover to use as a signal when a rescue craft approached, use the sturdy cover to help dig an SOS message on the beach, and start to sketch out designs for a boat using bits of the plane and the inevitable palm tree. Local flora & fauna would be documented (before being eaten…) as I would eventually use some of my notes to write my O’Reilly Desert Island Cookbook. Since the desert sun might eventually begin to bake my brain, the handy reference pages would undoubtably help when I needed to know what size fishbone needle I would need to create my palm-frond sail. With luck I won’t manage to escape until the notebook is completely full, giving me a decent income afterward when I publish the notes to my adventure.

Get your Maker’s Notebook, with bonus stickers and band, at the Maker Shed.

The Maker’s Notebook webpage.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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