This post was sponsored by GreenBook, all thoughts my own.
When I was a teenager, I got really into notebooks. Like many young creatives I was endlessly excited by possibilities, filling up pages with notes, ideas and scheduling. As I grew older however, practicality began to set in. I suddenly realised I not only had stacks of books to cart around each time I moved house, but there were also too many to even read back over and enjoy. I was filling up pages and pages of paper, only to leave them sitting idly for years after. Increases in technology alleviated this somewhat, as I could take notes digitally instead, but I still felt a desire for something tangible too. There is something inherently enjoyable about picking up a pen and writing with your own hands. It felt like a binary I had to stick to: minimalism or digital detox, I couldn’t have both.
These days, that is no longer the case thanks to GreenBook, a customisable whiteboard notebook created by sibling entrepreneurs and sustainability advocates Yagmur and Kaim Masmas. It’s the perfect solution, giving you the satisfaction of resting from being surrounded by screens, and keeping something to hand to organise your life, whilst keeping waste to a minimum. It’s one notebook that can literally last your entire life.
Greenbook’s to do list page
the customisable weekly calendar
How it works
Firstly, the nature of GreenBook means you can literally tailor it to your exact needs. After choosing your own cover (I have a limited edition one designed by Sanny Van Loon with a biodegradable ring binding), you then choose which pages you need from the website, with options such as to do lists, note paper, habit trackers and yearly, monthly, weekly and hourly planners. The pages can be easily clicked in and out of the book, meaning you can organise the layout exactly to your preferences, or just change it up whenever you fancy. But, most importantly, each page is a whiteboard page that can be endlessly erased and rewritten in, giving you an all in one notebook, planner and to do list to last a lifetime. The book comes with a special non-smudging pen and spray; you can rub writing out with the back of your pen if correcting immediate mistakes, but a few seconds after writing the ink doesn’t smudge when touched with a dry hand. Instead it can then be erased when sprayed and wiped down, or using a few drops of water and a cloth. And while it’s very much a tangible product, you still have the option of connecting it to your digital world if needed. If you have an iPhone you can scan a page right from your notes app, otherwise you can use free apps such as Camscanner to easily scan pages and save to your phone too.
You can see more examples of the ways to use GreenBook here:
When it comes to the materials GreenBook sources FSC certified paper that is coated in a thin layer of plastic, which keeps the pages smooth and reusable for decades. If, after many years of use, you want to get rid of your pages, they can be recycled as the paper is strained to remove plastic and glue in the recycling process. The cover is made from a solid plastic which is easily recyclable (as it’s in pure form, not mixed with anything else), but is deliberately designed for its durability, as opposed to reinforcing a different material with plastic to make it stronger, which would be very difficult to recycle. In the months I’ve been using it thus far I haven’t seen any scratches, marks or evidence of wear and tear at all, as opposed to planners I’ve used in the past that would often end up dirty, scuffed and scratched by the end of a year being carried around in my bag. The pen is made in Germany, uses water-based ink and can be endlessly refilled once you have one. To use a refill station you simply put the pen in upside down and it automatically fills itself using a sponge system. The spray bottle is made from recyclable PET, while the spray is created in the UK and doesn’t contain toxic ingredients or chemicals that don’t break down naturally in the environment. GreenBooks are even packaged using recycled, unbleached paper, demonstrating a full and comprehensive commitment to transparency, and consideration of the full life cycle of a product. The team have also introduced biodegradable rings as part of my limited edition GreenBook and recently launched covers made of vegan leather, which can be used for GreenBook and also reused in combination with other A5 notebooks.
How I’ve been using it
So far I’ve been using my Greenbook both for planning out my week, keeping important dates to hand, keeping my to do list updated, and listing ingredients to buy to try out new recipes. Moving to a new place means I’m a little less organised than usual, and information is currently anywhere and everywhere, so having somewhere to keep everything all in one place, without creating more waste, is incredibly useful. It helps me feel more like I have my life together, instead of adding another stress to the attempt to navigate a new place, rent a new home and make new friends. With all of the new things I have going on I’m finding myself out and about a lot more, so having a non-digital resource is really useful for keeping on top of things, as well as always having somewhere to write things down. After all, phones die. My book fits neatly into my bag, is so lightweight that I can take it anywhere, and the pen attaches to the book itself, meaning that I’m always prepared at a moments notice.
I schedule each day starting from 9am, blocking out time periods for activities (factoring in travel time) and adding extra notes in the bottom section
Greenbook limited edition cover with biodegradable rings, and attachable magic pen
Also, and this is personal to me, I love the ability to erase and start again using the same pages. Whilst I make sure to document and record the things I want to remember long-term elsewhere, my GreenBook does a great job at serving as a constant reminder that each day is a new thing, full of endless possibility. Instead of feeling bogged down in myriad obligations, I feel more agency by reminding myself of how I am constantly writing and authoring my own life, and I’m able to live more in the moment by focusing on smaller chunks instead of looking at the entire month and feeling overwhelmed. But hey, that’s probably just me being a little romantic about a really handy and useful tool (I’m still an enneagram 4 after all!). At the end of the day, GreenBook just makes my life incredibly easy, looks great, is super functional, let’s my eyes and my brain take a break from my phone, and lets me rest in the knowledge that I’ll never buy a notebook or planner again. Which, honestly, is this little minimalist’s dream.
Additionally if you’re headed back to studies in September GreenBook offer a 10% student discount! Students can send a picture of their student pass to firstname.lastname@example.org from their official student email address to receive the discount code.