It’s a little more than two years since I first launched my Adventures in Yarn notebook, and over that time it’s been interesting to see how I’ve been using my notebooks (yes, plural - inevitably there have been a few on the go at the same time, for different reasons!)
My own ‘field research’ combined with feedback from my lovely customers is that the content of the notebook has worked well. So for this reason I’m made minimal changes to the content you’ll find insider the organisers. The major change is the obvious one to the format, which has moved from notebook to organiser. Based on experience, some of the content lasts for much longer than others. Things like recording design ideas, and projects I’m still working remain relevant over months and even years (for me at least!). And other elements; to do lists and more calendar based elements such as monthly reminders + goals are used up much faster.
So the main idea behind the organiser is that at any point in time, the content in your ring binder is up to date and relevant. Useful but no longer regularly used content can be filed away for reference in a separate folder, and pages that are no needed can be recycled (for instance, to do lists which of course are very relevant at a fixed point in time).
The two versions that I’m launching are both designed to accommodate A5 sized paper contents:
- A luxury, limited edition of 45 hand-made, cloth bound compact ring binders, made by artisan book-binders in Nottinghamshire. The fabric I have used for these is no longer available so it genuinely won’t be repeated quite like this, ever again! You can find out more about how these were made in this blog post.
- A sleek, colour printed ring binder, all produced locally to me in Glasgow. This version is slightly larger and includes a tabbed set of dividers.
Over recent years I’ve been increasingly aware of my own buying decisions and the footprint they leave on the planet. As much as possible (and I course I have so much more to learn) I’m actively considering provenance and environmental impact (of buying, sourcing, making and products at the end of their life). In line with this I wanted to make extend the usable life span for this stationary as long as possible.
One element I really struggled with was the plastic pockets. I researched and trialled non-plastic options and unfortunately failed to find something that was a durable enough alternative. (If you come across anything, do let me know; in the longer term I’d love to shift away from the plastic). Hopefully they will serve you through many years of careful use. And for anyone wanting to be plastic free, I’m very happy to substitute the plastic pockets for an extra section of coloured paper, if you prefer.
I’ll pull together a separate post for another time on packaging, as that’s something I’ve been looking into a lot recently. In the meantime, as you’ll see on the product description information, all the packaging for the organisers is entirely paper based and recyclable.
A wider perspective
Just in case you weren’t already aware … I donate 10% of the profit I make on selling each item to a charity, which changes every 6 months. Between now and the end of July 2020 this will be donated to Shelter Scotland who help with bad housing situations or homelessness through providing advice, support and legal services. I had always intended to ask customers to help decide where to make charitable donations to, so as we get closer to the half year point I’ll be asking newsletter subscribers for ideas. A perfect reminder to please sign-up to receive my monthly newsletter if you haven’t already, and if this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in.
A little freebie - if you're quick
As a launch special, I’ll be including a free Out + About mini Adventures in Yarn notebook for anyone who buys one of the 45 limited edition cloth-bound organisers, and one of the first twenty printed organisers. They’re perfect to slip in a bag or pocket when you’re travelling – visiting a yarn festival, your local yarn store or even on your holidays. They also fit perfectly into a plastic pocket of your organiser or notebook for storage once you’re home again.
And some honest musings about the pressure of launch …
When I launched my original notebook over two years ago I had such feelings of apprehension … What if no one else likes it and I get awful feedback? What if no-one buys one? And I eventually decided that the worst case scenario was that 400 yarn notebooks would last me a lifetime of note-taking! I thought that by now, third time around, I would feel much more comfortable and confident! But as I write this to you, I can already feel the familiar anxiety levels rising. So I’m trying to relax, enjoy it as much as possible, and keep everything crossed that the people that decide buy a ring binder like it as customers who’ve been so positive about using their notebooks over the last couple of years.
Looking ahead (already!)
If you’ve used one of my Adventures in Yarn notebook before, I’d love to hear what new features you’d like to see become available for the organiser, in the future. And as always, do let me know if you have any questions or if there’s something you’d like to hear more about.