How Eight Startup Notebook Companies Raised $3.3 Million in Crowdfunding


Over the past year, there has been a growing trend with notebooks on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indigogo.  While moleskins have been popular within the tech startup world, the surge in premium notebook startups made me curious as to why they have been doing so well in this digital landscape.  To show you what I mean, here is a sample of the total revenue generated from crowdfunding by eight notebook companies in the last twelve months:

To help answer why analog tools continue to thrive in a digital world, I talked to the creator of the Spark Notebook, Kate Matsudaira. “Pen and paper will always be around for the simple reason that no one wants to be typing on their computer or using their phone when they are sitting across the table from someone important.  Typing while someone is talking to you can display a negative image, but with writing, it is out of the way and generally acceptable.”

Kate Matsudaira is a master note-taker and has developed her methods into a useful notebook that is broken down into sections for meeting notes, one-on-one sessions, planning, and goal setting….all developed to help productive people stay organized.  And this may be the key to why most of the notebooks listed above have done so well; they each contain elements of productivity and organization.  Rather than being blank, most of these notebooks have added functionality to help users become more efficient and/or organized, for example, the Passion Planner, which has a brilliant weekly layout.


And the SELF Journal has a three-month goal setting layout to help achieve greater personal success.

For anyone who has read books on stress-free productivity, you know that creating an extension of your brain, and trusting that system are useful tools in becoming more organized and productive.  After testing four of these notebooks, I can say they certainly have helped me in different areas of my work and personal life.  Each one helps me in my daily activities, but the one I use the most is the Bullet Journal system.   This is something I can tailor to my own needs and is the most adaptable.  Created by Ryder Carroll, his system doesn’t require any specific page layout although I prefer a simple grid notebook.  He also has a great video on how to get started using this system here.

If you have struggled to get organized, or have felt overwhelmed with things on your to-do list, I highly encourage you to check these notebooks out.  The Spark Planner and the Passion Planner are both live on Kickstarter.

You can find my earlier post about Code & Quill here.

Images of the Passion Planner and the SELF Journal are property of their respective owners.