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Doane Paper

As a designer, I often use gridded notepads to sketch out ideas. They’re great for drawing, but not the best for writing or taking notes. Doane Paper notepads solves this problem by marrying grid and college-ruled lines together on the same sheet. Now you can easily sketch and take notes all on one notepad.

Chad Doane recounts his inspiration:

During a break at a product design meeting I noticed that half the room was using grid paper notebooks (product design) while the other half used legal pads (marketing). What if I could get designers to think more like marketers and marketers to think more like designers?

The 8.25\” x 11.75\” notepads cost $9 for a pack of three. Each pad has 50 sheets. You can also download Chad’s free templates and print your own.

I’d like to see future versions come in multiple sizes, including an 8.5\” x 11\” US standard size. It’d also be a tad more useful if they were 3-hole punched for binders.

What do you use to sketch and take notes? Any other recommendations?


  • chrispian

    gravatarMay 7, 2007
    11:46 am

    Don’t punch them! I use Circa punches so the 3 holes would kill me. I’d like to see them come in Cornell notes format, which I’ve become fond of.

  • Chris Henslin

    gravatarMay 7, 2007
    12:22 pm

    I recently came across Action Pads from a company called Behance. They’re pretty nifty and offer the best of both worlds as well in a nice clean layout. The pads consist of a few helpful sections from title, notes, dot grid, action items and a catch all area. I especially like being able to sketch with a grid with out the grid. (if that makes sense)

    They’re a little spendy at $8 per 40 sheet pad.


  • Dave

    gravatarMay 7, 2007
    9:35 pm

    I’m in love with the Bienfang Notesketch books. Especially the 5.5×8.5.


  • David Airey :: Creative Design ::

    gravatarMay 8, 2007
    2:58 am

    I recently published a lot of logo design sketches on my site, using plain, un-ruled or grided paper.

    I’ll pick up some pads with grids next time I’m at the art supply shop.

    Nice post. :)

  • Yong Bakos

    gravatarMay 8, 2007
    7:51 am

    Now we need to get the Moleskine guys to release notebooks with this style of paper.

  • illovich

    gravatarMay 8, 2007
    7:58 am

    I’ve been considering trying to use one of the boutique photobook places like Viovio to make a grid sketchbook of my own, similar to the Behance Action Pads, but I hadn’t decided on a grid yet.

    I had thought it would be nice to make a sketchbook with some classic grids for page layout, but I realized that unless you were using one sketchbook per project (like your magazine always uses the same grid) that it would be a fairly complicated product line, and impossible to make a universal one.

    But the dot grid book seems like a good universal one. I like the doane idea, but the grid lines look too heavy for me.

  • Aaron

    gravatarMay 8, 2007
    1:42 pm

    I print these, and they work great on a clipboard, in a folder, or wherever, and you can just trim them to any size you need/want.


  • Charity

    gravatarMay 15, 2007
    6:18 am

    @Yong – I was just about to say that before I read your comment! :D I’ve been using a squared Moleskine for about a month now, and thanks to the suggestion of this article I can hack it into something like Chad’s idea… but a new Moleskine hybrid would be a lot prettier. ;)