It was around 2011 when I discovered Field Notes from the USA and Whitelines® from Sweden. At that time I was still in uni and didn’t have the means of ordering Whitelines online, so I chose to try Field Notes instead (I still love the brand to this day!).
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The former has since been on my wish list for six whole years. When they announced the launch of their softwire dot grid notebook on Instagram last year, I decided it was time to bring this interesting concept of a notebook to the Philippines and finally give it a try.
What is Whitelines?
Founded in January 2006, Whitelines is a stationery brand based in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s famous for their innovative white lined paper. Here’s a snippet of their history taken from their About page:
Whitelines was founded in January 2006 by three friends in Stockholm with one ambition: to make a contribution to a better world, no matter how small. The means to this end was a simple but very effective idea – a new kind of writing paper which, through its remarkable clarity, could support everyone’s writing, drawing and thinking.
Whitelines’ products include white lined notebooks, notepads, and sketchbooks, and are sold and used by people across Europe, the United States, Australia, and Singapore. If you’ll check their Instagram feed @whitelinespaper, you’ll see it’s especially famous among students.
No love for the Philippines, I’m afraid, but I’m determined to bring a limited number of these notebooks in the pagerie shop in the future. 🤞
Whitelines notebooks are designed in such a way that it’s easy to scan and save all of your notes, sketches, and doodles to the internet. Notebooks that support the Whitelines Link app have the “Quickbox” feature at the bottom where you can mark to send a page via email, to your Evernote or Dropbox account. You can download the iOS or Android app from their respective app stores.
In today’s feature, I’m reviewing the Whitelines Link Softwire Dot Notebook so you can see what white lines look like how they’re super easy to write with, scan, and save to the cloud for safekeeping.
Simple and functional cover
Compared to the Leuchtturm1917 collaborative notebooks, the A5 Whitelines softwire books have a simple and relatively thick card cover featuring the notebook’s white dot grid page.
At the back is a quick introduction to the brand, the Whitelines Link app, and steps to use the app to save your notes. You can refer to these guidelines when using the Whitelines mobile app for your notes.
The back cover is made of plain cardboard, which I consider a meaningful conclusion its purely functional design. I personally feel absolutely no feelings of hesitation to use the notebook, which makes it a great choice if you intend to use it regularly for study or work. This is evident when you open the notebook and start writing.
White lines for sheer focus on your work
There are 120 perforated pages held together by soft white wire binding, so they conveniently lie flat on the surface.
Moreover, the pages are gray to contrast the white dot grid lines. This conscious choice puts your work at the forefront and reduces distraction when writing.
Below is a concise explanation about the paper’s design:
The concept is patented and yet very simple: Since markings from pens are dark they interfere with the traditional dark lines of ordinary paper. On Whitelines there is no visual interference between the lines and the pen colour. Whitelines makes your writing and drawings stand out. (source)
As someone with pretty bad eyesight, it was a little jarring writing with this notebook. Since the dot ruling isn’t as visible as traditional dot grid paper, it took a bit of effort to see and write along the dots. It almost felt like I was writing with a gray-colored blank notebook.
I used my Blackwing Palomino pencil and my trusty Pentel Energel retractable pen. I went ahead and tried writing with the Baron Fig Squire and feels so good (that’s a review for another day).
Saving notes to the Whitelines Link app
Time to have some fun with the Whitelines Link app. For my test page, I crossed out the email quickbox to send the note via email. Check out the screen recording of the app in action:
To save notes, align the camera so it captures the page in full display. This allows the app to detect the tiny QR-like code, which you’ll see on all four corners of the page.
Once it successfully scans the page, it turns completely white and is automatically attached to the email or Evernote note, whichever option you choose.
The process is that simple and easy. The app itself is convenient for sending or archiving notes for later.
If our schools weren’t so strict with the student’s notebook requirements, I’d be down with letting my kids use Whitelines for their class notes. In any case, I got a second copy of the Whitelines softwire dot grid notebook, and will definitely add more to my stock in the future.