15 Amazing Notebooks to Inspire You to Write More

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iStock

It can be hard to get started writing, but when you're using one of these awesome notebooks, you’ll at least be tempted to jot something down (especially with the right pencil).

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1. STAR TREK CAPTAIN’S LOG; $7.95

A lot can happen on a mission, so it’s important to keep a thorough captain’s log to help you remember it all. Trekkies will love writing their notes in this 64-page themed notebook, which is about the size of a passport and slides easily into a pocket.

Find it: Amazon

2. WONDERLAND PASSPORT; $7.95

It's unlikely Alice would have had an easier time exploring Wonderland if she'd had the proper paperwork, but this notebook modeled to look like a passport will please any literary bureaucrats you know.

Find it: Amazon

3. TREE TRUNKS; $9.17

Write down all your most outdoorsy thoughts in these notebooks, which have covers that look like different tree barks—and are textured to feel just like real trees. The 96-page books are made with FSC certified wood and recycled paper.

Find it: Amazon

4. LEFTYBOOKS; €9.50

Most of the notebooks designed for lefties are pretty basic. Not Leftybooks, which are made specifically with left-handed people in mind and are plenty of fun, too: Writers can choose from covers with fun designs like marble, feathers, cereal, and more.

Find it: Imborrable

5. MICROWAVEABLE BOOKS; $23.57

Your mother probably told you not to put non-food items in the microwave, but we’re here to tell you to put your notebook in there—or at least this one specific kind. The Rocketbook is a handy notepad that’s reusable: After filling it with notes and doodles taken with a Pilot FriXion pen, pop the notebook in the microwave. When the pen's ink hits 140°F, it turns invisible, rendering the the pages clean and ready for another use. You can microwave the notebook up to five times before you have to get a new one. Writers who want to keep their notes can download an accompanying app that will send your notes to the cloud service of your choice.

Find it: Amazon

6. TABLE TENNIS NOTEBOOKS; $20

When you have this set of notebooks, you and a friend can play table tennis anywhere. Two books act as paddles—they even have textured rubber on their covers, just like actual paddles—while the third book serves as the net. There’s also a scorecard on the inside of the books to keep track of your games, plus 100 pages in each for recording tactics and strategies.

Find it: Amazon

7. ETCH-A-SKETCH; $13.49

This may seem like an ordinary Etch-a-Sketch, but it’s really a notebook in disguise. Open it up and discover 200 blank, unlined pages waiting to be filled. The two white dials are secretly erasers, since shaking it won’t work this time.

Find it: Amazon

8. LENTICULAR MARIO BROTHERS; $7.61

The lenticular cover of this notebook features everyone’s favorite Koopa-killing plumber; Mario jumps up to activate a question mark block as you open and close the book. Inside, you can find 200 lined pages with grey illustrations along the bottom.

Find it: Amazon

9. R2-D2; $11.99

R2-D2 notebook
ThinkGeek

Jot down your screenplay ideas in this officially-licensed i>Star Wars R2-D2 Journal. The end papers are decorated with even more R2, and there are 240 unlined pages waiting to be filled.

Find it: ThinkGeek

10. COLORING BOOK NOTEBOOK; $21.95

If you hit a wall while writing, take a coloring break—and with this fun notebook, you don’t even have to change books when you make the switch. The hardcover book lies flat when you open it, making it easier to color every inch of the 50 pages that feature illustrations (the notebook has 176 total pages).

Find it: Coloring Notebook

11. DECOMPOSITION; VARIOUS PRICES

Decomposition Notebooks are a lot like regular notebooks, but these are made with recycled paper—and they’re absolutely adorable. The fun designs vary from dinosaurs to feline cosmonauts. Each book is made with soy-ink and contains no chlorine, so it can be recycled again.

Find it: Amazon

12. RAINBOW PAGES; FROM $28.45

Your notes will look beautiful when jotted down on pastel paper—especially when that paper is also handbound in colorful leather. The 120-page A6 journal can be purchased with either lined or blank sheets.

Find it: Etsy

13. SUSHI CATS; $5.99

When picking out just the right notebook, why not choose one covered in sushi cats? You can even get matching puffy sushi cat stickers to put on it.

Find it: Amazon

14. LEGO MOLESKINE; $17.92

If you love building with LEGO bricks, pick up this Moleskine notebook. The black hardcover comes with a fancy LEGO design and a real LEGO plate. Inside, you can find two sheets of LEGO stickers.

Find it: Amazon

15. INSPIRATION PAD; €11

Created by a Brussels-based design and advertising firm, this notebook is meant to break the norm of traditionally lined paper. The Inspiration Pad features a different pattern on each page: You can watch as the lines warp and shift in spirals, slopes, and waves. The notebooks are available in yellow, brown, or blue and can be shipped internationally.

Find it: TM Shop

25 Back-to-School Products That Earn High Marks

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iStock

New school style: Whether you're starting college, shopping for the kids, or just want an excuse to treat yourself to new office gear, Mental Floss has you covered. Equip yourself or a loved one with these stylish and functional school supplies.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. COFFEE AND DOUGHNUT POST-ITS; $13

coffee and doughnut Post-its
Courtesy of Post-it

Add some flavor to your notes with the two-pack set of coffee and doughnut Post-its. Each of the 60 sheets is 3.20-by-3 inches.

Find It: Amazon

2. PACKIT FREEZABLE HAMPTON LUNCH BAG; $16

PackIt Freezable Hampton Lunch Bag, Blanket Stripe
Amazon

This spacious lunch bag is designed with a freezable lining, so it can be folded and placed in the freezer. When you're ready to take it on the go, it'll be ready to chill your food for hours. Bonus: It's also lead- and BPA-free.

Find It: Amazon

3. MONSTER REUSABLE SANDWICH BAGS; $11

Orange Monster Reusable Sandwich Lunch Bags
Amazon

Save the Earth and amuse little students with these reusable, dishwasher-safe bags. Each set of four includes two sandwich bags and two snack bags—all with an easy-to-grip opening.

Find It: Amazon

4. BENTO BOX FOR KIDS; $40

OmieBox Bento Lunch Box With Insulated Thermos For Kids
Amazon

This three-compartment bento box is roomy enough to fit a hearty, healthy lunch. The BPA-free container—available in five bright colors—is leak-proof, easy to open, and comes with a built-in thermos.

Find It: Amazon

5. LARGE MONTHLY PLANNER; $15

Large Personal Monthly Planner
Amazon

JStory's minimalist planner is made of thicker-than-average paper and includes a column for notes. And the blank design offers flexibility: You fill in the dates yourself.

Find It: Amazon

6. ORANGE LINED NOTEBOOK; $9

Rhodia Staplebound Orange Lined Notebook
Amazon

French brand Rhodia earned a strong following among artists and designers for its high-quality paper that's unbelievably smooth. The cover is sturdy so you can take notes anywhere.

Find It: Amazon

7. HONEYSTICKS BEESWAX CRAYONS; $23

crayons
Amazon

These sustainable crayons are made of 100 percent beeswax from New Zealand. (They smell like honey, too!) The thick shape is perfect for toddlers to hold.

Find It: Amazon

8. MOPHIE POWERSTATION XL; $66

external battery
Amazon

An external battery is a must for days when shuttling around campus from classes to clubs to rehearsals is unavoidable. This slim rose gold option has two USB ports and is compatible with both smartphones and tablets.

Find It: Amazon

9. CABLEKEEP; $13

Nice GLD-02 Goldie CableKeep
Amazon

This helpful gadget for iPhones holds both your power adapter and USB cable while keeping them tangle-free. It also functions as a stand for your phone when the Cablekeep is plugged into the wall.

Find It: Amazon

10. PARKLAND BAYSIDE KIDS' BACKPACK; $28

Parkland Bayside Kids Backpack
Amazon

Tote books in style with this eco-friendly backpack, featuring a polyester exterior made from recycled water bottles.

Find It: Amazon

11. LEGO BRICK BACKPACK; $50

LEGO Brick Backpack
Amazon

This whimsical statement backpack from LEGO features a padded handle and shoulder straps, so it's as comfortable as it is cool.

Find It: Amazon

12. HERSHEL NOVEL DUFFEL; $81

Herschel Supply Co. duffel
Amazon

Class up your gear with this stylish duffel from Herschel. It features a padded shoulder strap and a special compartment for those dirty cleats.

Find It: Amazon

13. ANTIQUE BRASS PHARMACY FLOOR LAMP; $50

Dawson Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Amazon

Overpower dim dorm room lighting with this brass floor lamp. Its height can be adjusted from 33 inches to a maximum of 55 inches, while the arm can be adapted to shine light at a variety of angles.

Find It: Amazon

14. EGYPTIAN COTTON TOWEL SET; $24

bathroom with towels
Amazon

This set of soft Egyptian cotton towels from Amazon's Pinzon brand includes two hand towels, two washcloths, and two bath towels—all listed as 100 percent cotton and at an affordable price.

Find It: Amazon

15. WHITE MARBLE MACBOOK KEYBOARD SKIN; $12

White Marble MacBook Keyboard Skin
Nordstrom

Protect your keyboard while adding a little luxury to your Macbook with this white marble keyboard skin.

Find It: Nordstrom

16. MAGNETIC CHALK BOARD; $18

chalkboard
Amazon

Get organized with this wood-framed chalk board, which comes with chalk and two vintage-style magnets.

Find It: Amazon

17. COFFEEBOXX SINGLE SERVE COFFEE MAKER; $230

portable coffee maker
Amazon

This ultra-durable single-serve coffee maker is great for the dorm as well as the campground. It's water- and dust-resistant and works with K-cups.

Find It: Amazon

18. TRAVEL MUG; $25

 Zojirushi SM-SA48-BA Stainless Steel Mug
Amazon

If you need java to survive, pick up this sleek vacuum-insulated travel mug, which features a splatter-free push-button lid. It's also lockable, so you won't be that person who spills coffee in class.

Find It: Amazon

19. SIX-PACK OF STACKING DRAWERS; $32

stacking drawers
Amazon

Stack these versatile transparent drawers to create a dresser so you can fit your huge wardrobe in your dorm room.

Find It: Amazon

20. FACETED TAPE DISPENSER; $7

gem tape dispenser
Amazon

This elegant copper tape dispenser will give your desk some class. It's also weighted, so you can grab with ease. (Roll of Scotch tape included.)

Find It: Amazon

21. COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE; $84

microwave
Amazon

Master the art of dorm room microwave cooking with this 1000-Watt model, featuring that all-important popcorn setting.

Find It: Amazon

22. SATEEN SHEETS; $18 AND UP

sheet set
Bed Bath & Beyond

These 400-thread-count sateen sheets feel silky to the touch: They're a simple way to make your dorm room feel luxurious.

Find It: Bed Bath & Beyond

23. TOUCHSCREEN MIST CLEANER; $10

Two-In-One Spray and Microfiber Cloth
Amazon

Use this screen-safe spray to remove dirt and fingerprints from your phone. It comes in a bottle that's coated with microfiber cloth so you can spritz and wipe all in one.

Find It: Amazon

24. MESH SHOWER BAG; $13

 Saltwater Canvas, LLC Zip Top Mesh Shower Bag
Amazon

No more feeling around outside the shower curtain for your shampoo. Take this quick-drying mesh shower caddy right into the stall with you.

Find It: Amazon

25. MINI FRIDGE WITH DRY ERASE BOARD; $250

 Igloo FR326M-D-BLACK Erase Board Refrigerator with Neon Markers
Amazon

Make your dorm room unique with this fun fridge that has a dry erase exterior and comes with neon markers so you can write notes directly on it. No paper and magnets needed. It also includes a freezer unit and ice cube tray.

Find It: Amazon

The Brilliant $20 Gadget That Will Keep Your Beach Umbrella Firmly Anchored in the Sand

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iStock

Failing to properly secure your beach umbrella is more dangerous than you think. Tumbling, airborne umbrellas can be a safety hazard, with the potential to collide with beach-goers. Recently, a woman in Maryland was struck in the chest by one that was carried away by high winds.

Usually, it’s simply a matter of inconvenience—chasing a rogue umbrella is not how anyone wants to spend their day. Today recently broke down some preventative measures to help keep umbrellas secured, including using a rocking motion to bury it in the sand and making sure at least one-third of it is underground. You also want to tilt it into the wind so the gusts help keep it secured. 

The best way to avoid umbrella-related mishaps, though, is to opt for a sand anchor. These cheap-but-effective devices are like giant screws that bite into the sand for a much more secure fit. You then place the umbrella pole in the anchor. You can find the Beachr Beach Umbrella Sand Anchor, which fits all sizes of umbrella, for $19.97 on Amazon.

Experts like beach superintendents also advise you to consider taking down umbrellas if it's too windy and never, ever bringing a patio umbrella to the beach. With a larger surface area to catch wind, they can be extremely dangerous.

[h/t Today]

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