The BASICS Notebook review

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If your idea of a perfect notebook is a combination of a day planner and a journal, you will want to take a look at the BASICS Notebook Kickstarter campaign. The campaign ends on 08/29/2015, but has already greatly surpassed their original funding goal of $10,000. They sent me a prototype of their BASICS Notebook and so far I’m impressed with what I see. Let me show you.

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

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The BASICS notebook has a high-quality faux leather cover and will be available in either black or mint. I was sent the black version that you see in the image above on the left. Next to it on the right, is a large Moleskine notebook. The BASICS notebook is 5.5″ x 8.75″, which is slightly larger than a large Moleskine which is 5.0″ x 8.25″.

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The size difference is due to a special feature of the BASICS notebook which you can see above. The cover’s extra height allows it to hold a pen for easy access.

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This is a nice feature which eliminates searching for a pen every time you want to write something in the notebook.

The BASICS notebook will be available in a 6-month version and a 12-month planner version. Regardless of the version, each notebook will have the 220 pages. Here’s how they break down.

12 Months

Introduction 6 Pages
Planner 144 Pages
Lined 58 Pages
Blank 12 Pages
Whiteboard 2 Pages
Total 220 Pages

6 Months

Introduction 6 Pages
Planner 72 Pages
Lined 126 Pages
Blank 16 Pages
Whiteboard 2 Pages
Total 220 Pages

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The BASICS notebook has two elastic bands. One on the left that can be used to quickly open the notebook to the current month. The wider band on the right holds the cover closed when you’re not using the notebook. There are also three colored ribbons that can be used to mark different pages for easy access. The notebook has a spine that has been designed to allow the book lay flat on a table, which is a feature I really like.

I was sent the 6-month version. The first group of pages has the month view which you can see in the image above. The months aren’t marked with the month or year, so you can start using them any time you like.

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After the month view, the next pages are for the week view. There are pages for five weeks. Note that the weeks start on Sunday and only have time slots from 6 am – 10 pm.

Here’s a more detailed look at the month view and the week view pages. I copied the info directly from the BASICS Kickstarter page.

Month view

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A) 3 Daily Tasks – Fill out three things you want to do on a daily basis and check the box each day that you do that activity (i.e. exercising, personal study, planning, etc…). This will give you visibility on how well you are performing these tasks on a daily and monthly basis.

B) Notes – Two notes sections are provided for you to use however you want. There is always something that needs to be written down.

C) Monthly Focus – Select something that you would like to focus on this month in order to improve (i.e. budgeting, meeting new people, eating healthy, or any other positive activity).

D) Monthly Calendar – We have given you an open calendar where you can add any dates you want. This gives you the flexibility to use the calendar whenever you want rather than having a notebook that will expire. Here you can get a big picture view of your entire month, and never miss another meeting, appointment, or party. We will provide a yearly calendar with the notebook so that you have easy access to the dates anywhere you have your notebook.

E) Goals —> Tasks – Here we have provided room to write down your 3 most pressing goals for the month. Then connected to each goal are three lines to list three smaller tasks that will need to be completed in order to achieve that goal. This activity forces you to break down big daunting goals into smaller and more digestible tasks to ensure that you know what to do on a weekly basis to accomplish your goals.

Weekly view

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A) Notes – Two notes sections are provided for you to use however you want. There is always something that needs to be written down.

B) Weekly Layout – The weekly layout gives you an hourly break down of the 7 days of the week with 1 line for each hour between 6am – 10pm. For early morning, lunch, or late night activities, we have added an extra blank space before 6am, right after 12pm, and right after 10pm. Assign these hours to fit your needs. Just like with the monthly calendar, we have given you an open weekly calendar where you can add any dates you want. This gives you the flexibility to use the calendar whenever you want rather than having a notebook that will expire. We will provide a yearly calendar with the notebook so that you have easy access to the dates anywhere you have your notebook.

C) Activity – Research has shown that happy and positive people are more productive, have higher income, demonstrate superior performance, and overall are more successful. So let’s focus on this and create opportunities to foster a more positive outlook on life. Each week you will find a new optional activity that will help you become more positive and optimistic in your day to day tasks. Which in turn will make you more successful.

D) Daily Priorities (Checklists) – Jot down your most important to-do’s for the day here and check them off to ensure you don’t forget anything.

E) Goals —> Tasks – This is the same exercise as shown in letter “E” in the monthly layout above, but gives you the space to make weekly goals. This activity forces you to break down big daunting goals into smaller and more digestible tasks to ensure that you know what to do on a daily basis to accomplish your goals. Again taking your big picture goals and dreams and helping you turn them into smaller actionable tasks.

Note: Everyone who pledges to buy a notebook will receive the monthly and weekly templates in PDF format.

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After the planner pages, the rest of the BASICS notebook has ruled pages with some blank pages at the end.

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There’s also a roomy pocket attached to the back cover.

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In the pocket are two whiteboard sheets. The whitebaord pages function exactly as a normal whiteboard would. You can use dry erase markers on it and easily erase them.

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The BASICS notebook paper seems pretty similar to Moleskin paper. It’s pretty thin and has an off white color.  I used a pen with a Pilot G2 gel ink refill, a Sharpie ultra fine point permanent marker and a Uniball Jetstream ink pen to test how well the pages stand up to writing.

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Although I could faintly see the writing through the back of the page, only the orange Sharpie had a very slight bleed through.

The BASICS notebook comes close to the perfect notebook for me. It’s well made and has some nice features like the pen holder, dual elastic bands, and extra ribbon bookmarks that I really like.  I do wish that the paper was a little thicker and that the lines on the ruled pages were gray instead of black. But the biggest issue I have with the BASICS notebook is that it’s expensive. At $27 each, that’s more than I would personally want to spend and that doesn’t even include shipping, which is $5 for one notebook.

If the price doesn’t bother you and the features look good, head over to Kickstarter and make your pledge. Delivery is estimated for November 2015, which is right around the corner.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by BASICS. Please visit Kickstarter for more info.

 

Product Information

Price:$27
Manufacturer:BASICS
Retailer:Kickstarter
Pros:
  • Quality look and feel
  • Built-in pen holder
  • Dual elastic bands
  • Three ribbon bookmarks
Cons:
  • Expensive
Posted in: Paper and Pens, Reviews
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