I wrote about the Sorta Notebook about a month ago. It is mentioned at the bottom of this post. I ordered one immediately. Because of the backlog caused by the write up on Lifehacker, it took a month to receive it.
The video on the website describes very well how it works. Used as demonstrated there, it is a brilliant idea, well executed. You can add and remove any sort of page… all styles of calendars, lined note paper, grids, music staffs or even watercolor paper. A large selection of paper designs are sold on the site.
I found it to be well made of sturdy 8.5 by 6.25 inch thick board. I purchased the least expensive original model . I haven’t used or carried it with me so I can’t yet speak to how it holds up to daily use. It is held closed by a thick elastic band.
This shows the gap in the middle into which the paper is inserted (see, again, the video demonstration on the website on to how to do so). Each side has a slim elastic band to use as a book mark.
I purchased one pack of watercolor paper. I’ve not yet tried painting on it so can’t write anything about it. The problem for my use is that it is single sheets. These won’t bind easily into a book once filled. They come pre-creased so that they will open relatively flat in the binder.
That said, it doesn’t work for my intended purpose. I wanted to fill it with 140 pound watercolor paper. My plan was to fold and stitch the paper into signatures that could later be bound into a book. The paper fits well enough.
But it is too thick to crease and open flat. I probably could use a bone-folder to pre-crease it but then I’m not sure I’d like how would later look in a bound book.
However, if I wanted to use single sheets torn to that same form factor, it would be great.
It will, however, work well for the lighter weight paper I use for my journal. I do the same process, folding folios into a few signatures that are later combined and bound into a thicker book. This is the use to which I’ll put the Sorta.
If your plan is to use it as intended, I highly recommend this notebook. It’s a great idea and is very reasonably priced. It just turns out not to work for the way in which I want to do a sketchbook. That’s not in any way the fault of the maker! The system is as flexible and able to be customized as the Arc from Staples or the Circa from Levenger. It is also easier to use as it doesn’t involve special paper punches and far less expensive.