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Local entrepreneur designs notebook for productivity

Design entrepreneur Sung Yi has created a notebook designed to help people gather and organize their thoughts on index cards.

Remarker Notebook coming soon:

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Despite the digital age we live in, many people still prefer to write down their thoughts on paper, whether it's on a loose piece of paper, a receipt or an index card. Grand Rapids entrepreneur Sung Yi has created a notebook that allows people to keep all their thoughts in one place and organize them whichever way and as often as they wish.

The Remarker Notebook gives users a space to keep their notes that have been written on index cards, sticky notes or other loose paper. The notebook can also expand to hold other miscellaneous items such as coupons, small envelopes and even a pen. 

While developing software, Yi found himself still having to use paper to write down his to-do lists and ideas during brainstorming. He created the Remarker Notebook to help him collect and rearrange these thoughts as needed for his projects.

“Thinking was happening very quickly and informally... These were ideas and thoughts that needed to be easily created, removed and organized,” says Yi. “It’s all about the tools that help to get the tasks done. Sticky notes and index cards helped to do these tasks.”

The notebook includes two pockets for storing notes. Elastic bands on the pockets are designed to keep items from falling out and can be used to hold a notecard in place while writing.

The name Remarker is based on the French word remarquer, which means to note or comment and was the original name for the notebook, says Yi. The name was changed for its easier pronunciation and ability to better resonate with people.

Prototypes began being developed soon after Yi came up with the idea for the notebook. After years of testing and customer feedback, Yi will be distributing the Remarker Notebook in a bigger launch this fall. The notebook can be pre-ordered online. Final changes are still being made to the design but Yi says the notebook will look very similar to what is pictured online.

While Remarker may be a paper product, it doesn't depart the digital entrepreneur too far from his roots in technology.

"The goals of this project have been to create a product that is both functional and affordable. Part of the functionality is being able to coordinate with technology," says Yi. "One of the reasons why we use index cards is because it can easily be captured with cameras, scanners and software."

With various note-taking applications available for phones and computers, Yi recognizes arguments for and against the sustainability of paper.

"In the end, I do feel that there is enough infrastructure in place for sustainable production, consumption and recycling. However, we continually look for better ways to improve our answers to what can help with thinking and learning," says Yi.

Yi notes that starting Remarker in Grand Rapids has influenced and improved the notebook throughout the development process. He has worked with local designers and groups such as Lanio, Mutually Human and GR Makers to produce Remarker.

"Grand Rapids has been a great place to start this kind of thing. There are a lot of design, tech and business folks here who are open to interaction, good at what they do and well connected to the rest of the world," says Yi. "I'm really thankful for everyone's help."

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Ana, I am enjoying your articles.   Thanks for reminding me of Sung's project.  I think it would work for me better than online lists.


Eric, thank you. I, too, prefer the old-fashioned pen and paper.