Staples Has A Notebook For Your National Park Musings

Imagine: A 21st-century note-taking system that doesn't require batteries, won't break if you drop it, and stuffs in your back pocket during national park jaunts.

Ok, the compact Arc Compact notebook (5.25 inches by 6 inches) from Staples is just one of the latest iterations of notebooks that have been around for decades. And its mention here on the Traveler is somewhat unusual, in that we don't typically review office products.

But when we head into the parks, we often, if not always, take note-taking materials of some kind, and for me at least scribbling onto paper is the easiest way to get the job done out in the field. Trying to type on a miniaturized keypad on a smartphone just doesn't cut it, particularly when you can't get a good look at the screen when it's washed out by bright sunshine.

A couple factors make this notebook standout: One, a large ring binder system that allows you to turn the pages easily, without them binding up, a problem I frequently encounter with my usual notepads. Two, you can buy 60-page refill packets at Staples. Three, you can purchase brightly colored sticky "flags" to mark spots in your notes. Four, the notebook only costs $4, and the refill packets just $1.99.

One problem the folks at Staples obviously missed, though: the lack of unlined pages for those artists among us who like to sketch scenes, or wildlife, when out in the field. Perhaps the next iteration....