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WWW… Wednesday! Abstract Notebooks

by Taylor Slattery | May 5, 2021

There are many parts to the design process, and these days, increasingly more eyes need to look at them. Whether we’re conducting research or exploring solutions, managing teams and keeping everybody in the loop proves to be a difficult task when our work is spread across many different tools and work environments. Non-centralized tools not only make it difficult to communicate our ideas clearly but can introduce unnecessary complexity harmful to our workflow and organization.

Abstract Notebooks was created to solve exactly this problem. Notebooks offers a single place for product briefs, tracking updates, sharing prototypes, and collecting feedback. Having everything in a single location makes it easier to see threads of conversations in context and follow the logic of the decision-making process. This transparency benefits not only the design team but clients who may be looking to check-in as well.

Notebook’s ability to present a clear visual narrative makes it easy to revisit any step of the process. Visible connections between each step along the way provide clarity through context, so there’s no wondering why any decision was made. Teams can use Notebooks to review insights gained through research and manage goals to keep the project focused through each successive stage.

Different directions can be explored freely, with contextual feedback as to why one option is selected over another keeping everyone on the same page. Work from Figma and Sketch can be imported so feedback is centralized. Context adds clarity to the problem-solving process and this effortless transparency helps to keep unnecessary communications to a minimum.

There’s no need to ask for clarification with a visual timeline neatly tracking all the steps that were taken to get there. This also makes it easier to find where and why changes were made should a revision need to be revisited later. Context gives feedback some much-needed structure. With the ability to understand the team’s train of thought, feedback becomes more meaningful.

Notebook also features integration with Github, allowing for collaboration with development teams and makes shipping a seamless part of the process. Once a project is complete, Notebooks can also be archived to serve as a reference for future projects or as a tool to improve efficiencies and workflow. Teams can review projects, goals, outcomes, and lessons learned along the way, spotting any problem areas that need addressing.

Notebooks Pro starts at $29 per month, but a free plan is on the way that offers the same functionality, minus some of the bells and whistles of the paid version. You can learn more here.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


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