Just like you, I love taking notes. I grew up in Belgium, where every kid uses an Atoma notebook to take notes at school. This famous disc-bound notebook was invented in 1948, and is especially successful among kids and students. The loose leaves that can be rearranged endlessly make it the most convenient notebook, as you can use just one notebook for several classes.
Later, as a professional HR manager in a multinational, I still wanted to use Atoma notebooks, but I ended up using the typical black bound notebooks, just because they looked more professional. However, I got more and more frustrated with these notebooks and their lack of options and versatility. With bound notebooks, you have to take your notes chronologically, and have little freedom to take notes by topic. Also, from an ergonomic standpoint, I missed the Atoma notebooks. Try writing on the left page (I’m right-handed) with a bound notebook and you understand what I mean. The 360 degrees of freedom of a disc-bound notebook solves that ergonomic issue. The spiral notebook offers the 360 degrees of freedom, but shares the same issue as bound notebooks: you can’t move pages.
One day my frustration reached its peak (when I hurt my back carrying several bound books home to prepare a next meeting!) and I said to my husband: “I want a disc-bound notebook that will become my one and only! It should have rigid covers that protect the content and that provide support while writing on the move. Ideally it should also have an elastic band and a good size to fit into my handbag”.
In his spare time he put his efforts into it, and after three years, some dead-ends and more iterations, he came back with ingenious covers made from an aluminium sandwich panel. Finally it was possible to have thin, rigid covers that can be connected with the discs! The invention of the covers is now patented. He then added beautiful aluminium discs, the elastic band, and even a paper envelope in the back. He also re-arranged the spacing in between the discs, so that the paper can always be perforated with a 2-hole punch, perfectly centered in the left edge. This allows for easy archiving of the used pages, when I replace them by new ones.
The upgrade in the material of the covers (aluminum instead of plastic or cardboard) gives it the rigidity and the professional quality I was looking for.
Along the way, we discovered that the aluminum sandwich panels are a great substrate for UV-printing or engraving. In combination with the various colours of discs and covers it offers the opportunity to personalize the notebook in many, many ways. Feedback from friends and family led to developing the notebook as a commercial product: Netobook was born.
Last point but not the least, all the components of the Netobook are produced in our direct proximity, reducing unnecessary transport and therefore our carbon print on the environment, and supporting local businesses. The paper comes out of the Atoma factory in Belgium, the aluminum discs and the elastic bands come out of Belgian factories, the covers are sourced in the Netherlands. Your notebook is meticulously assembled by hand, according to your instructions, with the covers that are designed by you.
A final word about myself: In 2017 I said goodbye to the corporate world, and I am fully dedicated to bring you the best notebook you have ever imagined…
“The pen is mightier than the keyboard…”