Field Notes Brand notebooks provided to CS Department


Dominika Chruszcz

The back inside cover of the Field Notes notebook that every CS student received. According to Coudal, they are particularly good for sketching out ideas, interfaces, or apps that students may be building.

By Dominika Chruszcz, Editor-in-Chief

Sketches, calculations and ideas can all be accessed from a simple tool that one may take advantage of everyday: a notebook.

Field Notes, a notebook company founded by Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners and Draplin Design Co., sets itself apart from other competitors based on its location of production and classic “American” design, according to Coudal.

“They’re based on notebooks that were made for farmers in the 1920s and 1930s,” Coudal said. “They’re very simple and elegant.”

Specifications of the notebook given to Lane students include a custom “Pitch Black Duplex” cover made by the French Paper Co. along with an outside application of the “Stephanite” soy-based Saphira ink. The notebook has centimeter and inch measure increments along the inside and back cover as well.

Another distinguished feature in the notebooks is the characteristic of the dot-grid. Compared to traditional graph paper, dots are visible in the background grid that allow the artist or scientist to make straight lines without being distracted by lines of the regular graph paper itself.

Notebooks were donated to the CS (Computer Science) department last year by Coudal’s company. Coudal has spent some time at the University of Illinois at Chicago watching Lane’s Robotics Team compete with his son, Spencer Coudal, Div. 971. At these meets, he talked with Jeffrey Solin, CS teacher.

“[Solin] was mentioning that his kids use different notebooks and sometimes they use Field Notes notebooks to make their notes,” Coudal said. “We decided last year, that we would send over a couple cases of themso the kids would have nice, fresh notebooks to use.”

For the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school year, Field Notes notebooks have been purchased for the entirety of the CS department at a discounted rate.

The notebooks were considered a “big hit” by Solin who prompted the current arrangement between Lane and Field Notes to provide notebooks to students enrolled in CS courses. No student was obligated to purchase them considering that the costs of the notebooks have already been accounted for.

“The larger format notebooks with the graph paper on the inside is particularly good for people who are in computer science or makers who are sketching out ideas, interfaces, or apps they might be building,” Coudal said.

Since Field Notes sells their dot-grid notebooks to those participating in STEM fields around the world, Coudal thought it would be appropriate to cater similar aspects for the CS department at Lane.

If the notebooks are deemed as helpful and “allow people to keep their work, drawings, sketches, and calculations organized,” Coudal hopes to continue his company’s partnership with the school beyond the 2018-19 school year.

“As long as they’re useful and affordable,” Coudal said. “We’re big supporters of Lane.”