Home Parenting Classmate, Notebooks and Classmates (and a contest!)

Classmate, Notebooks and Classmates (and a contest!)

by Vidya Sury December 11, 2017 24 comments
Classmate, Notebooks and Classmates (and a contest!)

So my son turned 20 last week. I spent the morning going through all our photo albums holding memories from the day he was born, and in the process, set aside a few photos to see, again.

Most of these were school memories. I fondly recalled how he liked to gift his friends Classmate notebooks. I secretly think this is because we always stocked those at home and it was convenient as last minute gifts. And of course, he consumed them voraciously, thanks to his love for writing.

We called him to wish him a happy birthday, and in the course of conversation, he informed me that our favorite notebook brand Classmate now has an online store where notebooks can be completely personalized.  His friends and he had gotten together and customized a set of notebooks with their group photos on the cover and surprised a classmate on his birthday, gifting him the books. What a creative, personal gift!

It reminded me of how, at the slightest nudge, we’d set off to a bookstore and settle down to spend the next few hours. While he browsed his favorite section, I’d run through the shop quickly before wandering around to the stationery section. Soon, he’d join me there to pick up art supplies, drawing books and notebooks.

Classmate, Notebooks and Classmates (and a contest!)

We preferred Classmate for their excellent quality and binding. Not surprising, coming from a company like ITC. What he loved about these books was the choice of gorgeous covers, and the information filled pages at the end with facts, snippets of info and puzzles. Amusingly, when the pages were filled, he would keep the covers and those information pages carefully in a file.

You’d laugh if I told you that at the end of each year, we would sit down together with all his used notebooks and rip off the unused pages and covers to bind and use as rough notebooks.

Through all his school years we’ve used Classmate notebooks of various sizes—right from the regular size, which then transitioned into long notebooks and king-size notebooks, science record books, one-side-ruled notebooks, and of course, drawing notebooks of various sizes. He particularly loved the mega sized drawing book.

Classmate, Notebooks and Classmates (and a contest!)

Somewhere along the way, we started buying these in packs of 10-12 so that we didn’t have to rush to the store every time he needed one. Also, they made great gifts—they’re useful, and every child we knew used them.

I even used to carry a couple of them in my scooter under the seat, just in case—for an emergency!

What’s interesting is, now that he’s in college, he still uses these notebooks. And kind-hearted as he is, he collects the leftover pages at the end of the semester and returns them to the shop, where they bind them into rough notebooks.

So, when he mentioned the Classmate online shop, I was eager to experience it for myself, and visited the website.

The Classmate online store

The process is easy. All one has to do is selecting the size, choose the type of binding and number of pages, ruled or un-ruled and unleash your creativity. And voila! You’re ready to go!

I found myself brimming with ideas and all the ways this can be used! Besides making great gifts for school kids and college kids, I thought, who wouldn’t love a set of custom notebooks? I have a good mind to order a set for my son as a surprise homecoming gift.

Considering how most of us enjoy clicking photos on our phone, imagine converting our favorite photos into book covers!

Since I love lists, I jotted down other innovative reasons to order from the Classmate shop.

  • full set of schoolbooks. How nice that would be!
  • as personal diaries or journals
  • for work, with the company logo on the cover
  • as conference handout notebooks
  • as part of branded welcome kits
  • as a token of recognition to someone
  • as birthday gifts
  • as personalized drawing books for sketching/artists
  • as return gifts for birthday parties and special occasions
  • use as giveaways

I found myself smiling, recalling the days of my own childhood when the paper in the notebooks we bought was rather like blotting paper, since we wrote with ink pens. Sometimes, we couldn’t write on the other side because the paper was too thin.

In the summer after my seventh grade, my uncle, who worked in Defence and had gone to a paper manufacturing mill for inspection, bought a ream of paper because the quality was good, along with a roll of cardboard. When I asked him why, he said, to make good notebooks for me.

That summer before I went to eighth grade was spent cutting that paper, stitching it into notebooks with twine and then ruling it. It was a family project. While my uncle cut the paper and cardboard and used a giant needle to stitch the notebooks, my mom, armed with a ruler and a blue pen, drew lines in the notebooks. And I, drew the margins in red.

My uncle presented me with fifteen books. Fifteen! Can you imagine the labor that went into that? And I, I am ashamed to confess that I felt embarrassed that my books were not store-bought.  But even by the end of the year, my books were intact. And three years later, when we moved cities and were decluttering, they still looked as good as new. I wish I had kept one as a keepsake! Today I realize the value of that love and effort.

As I basked in those memories, I couldn’t help smiling at the thought of how far I’ve come.

So yes, I am off to personalize my first set of Classmate notebooks online.

What do you think? Do you use Classmate notebooks?

Does the thought of customizing your notebooks excite you?

Contest time!

How would you use the customized notebooks? 

Share your ideas with me in the comments!

The top three ideas will be rewarded with free ITC Classmate notebooks.

Winners will be declared on 25 December 2017. Yes, Merry Christmas!

(This is a brand collaboration. But all opinions are exclusively mine)

Classmate, Notebooks and Classmates (and a contest!)

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Vidhi Duggal December 11, 2017 at 2:57 pm

I would like to have a customised classmate notebook known as ‘Mummy and Kashvi – friends forever’ where both me and my daughter will pen down our one happy memory everyday. I would like to fill up that notebook with our happy memories and keep it with me till she grows up and gift it to her on her 18th birthday.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Love this idea, Vidhi! Imagine how she’ll feel (and you, too) when you go through the book together, years later!
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

JayanthyG December 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Oh Vidya!! Such beautiful memories this article brought in! I still collect the left over pages and customize my books. I still have loads of paper from many notebooks waiting to be made into journals for daily use. Those scenes of making books as a family flashed before my eyes and it is such a lovely memory. One of my uncles had a printing press and they made notebooks from my left over papers. I used to stick the cut out of Rahul Dravid – my all time favorite batsman, on the front cover. I love those books. The same with dad, he used to bring those stitched books from office. My sister and I used to play shopkeeper games as a kid. 😂😂
I loved the sizes of those books and they were my biggest companion during exams and many other tests! I managed to use them fully(both sides) within a year and was left with some more pages. 😍

So many ideas popped up as you told me about this customizable books. Coming to the contest,

I would love to use them
* As a daily journal in which I use one part to jot down my expenses and as a planner. You know how tasks just grow when you stay at home. Also, I actually jot down completed tasks at times rather than to do tasks. Actually, they make me feel better.😆
* I have always used classmates drawing notebooks to make greeting cards, mainly because of its good paper quality (how thick they are, right?) I would continue to do the same. Some DIY too. I use them for monthly challenges and as a chart for bills and the months I am supposed to pay my insurance.
* My new idea is the family book. You know my little one is now in her month 6 and I miss those photo albums that we usually take. I have too many photos waiting to be printed. That book will hold Ilakkiya’s memories and it will also be my grateful family book that captures moments!

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Love your ideas, Jayanthy! I find it cute to read about your Rahul Dravid covers–very nice role model! Thank you for participating. Please stay tuned for the results.
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

Roshan Radhakrishnan December 11, 2017 at 5:19 pm

I was not aware at all that Classmates had a personalized option. That is brilliant. As for me, well –
1. One book would definitely have a cover featuring a collage of books featuring my published short stories with a ‘The Best is Yet to Come’ tagline in the front. It would be my inspiration journal where I jot down ideas and concepts for future contests.

2. A second book would feature a vibrant dream catcher in the front – it would be my travel diary, allowing me to jot down musings as I travel to different new lands.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Both lovely ideas, Roshan! Congratulations on the Sudha Murty win!
All the best to you–and wishing you a fantastic 2018 ahead.
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

upasna December 11, 2017 at 5:30 pm

I will customize them using quotes and cartoon pictures and will donate them to the needy students.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

How kind, Upasna! Thank you!
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

Vidhi Duggal December 11, 2017 at 5:50 pm

I simply fell in love with the idea of having customised classmate notebooks. My mother studies astrology and makes notes on astrology in classmate notebooks. I would like to have a set of customised notebooks for her with a picture of each planet on each notebook. She can then write her notes of every planet according to the corresponding planetary notebook. It will help her in locating her registers easily and keep her data organised. With the same cover image on every register, she finds it difficult to locate her registers.
Secondly, I would like to use customised notebooks with individual names and subject picture on the cover page for both my daughters. It will help them in locating their specific notebooks and they will recognise and learn to associate each subject with the corresponding cover page. For example, if they have maths notebook with cover pic related to maths , they will be able to find their maths notebook easily in their cupboards. They will learn to become independent and organised and to keep their work safe and organised with the long durable classmate notebooks.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm

These are great ideas, Vidhi! Thank you for sharing! (and all the best!)
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

Obsessivemom December 12, 2017 at 11:06 am

Oh I had no idea they had a customised store. Soo happy with this. We’re big on personalisation here. With H and N’s personal choices on the cover we’d perhaps be able to reduce the ‘This is my book’ fights. A great way to keep peace among twins/siblings :-). What say?
We used to save up the left-over pages too and punch them together in files, that was easier than stitching them together. I love that your son has imbibed so many of your wonderful habits.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Thank you Tulika! The customization feature is fun, and great. Imagine the memories! Have you tried it?
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

Rama Chandrasekharan December 13, 2017 at 2:25 pm

I love thiis idea of customised classmate notebooks and I would customize it according to the occasion. I would like to gift my mother with a customized classmate notebook uploading my father’s photo in it and their wedding photo on the cover.The inner coves could have photos of us(we three children).Some captions could be added and I know that it will be a best gift to my mother as she has lost my father at a young age.This gift will be a precious one and she will cherish it forever.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm

How lovely, Rama! Beautiful idea for cherished memories!
Vidya Sury recently posted…She Let Go

Rama Chandrasekharan December 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Thank you Ms.Vidya

Vishal Bheeroo December 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm

The giant-sized Classmate notebooks were my favorite and hoarded them, along with Sudarshan. The customized notebooks are such a heaven for students and collectors. Love the creative idea and hard labor running in your family, Vidya.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Thank you, Vishal! Indeed the personalized books are great ideas as keepsakes!
Vidya Sury recently posted…She Let Go

Rachna Parmar December 14, 2017 at 9:31 am

I love Classmate notebooks and love the new customization option that they are offering. So many fond memories associated with notebooks.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Same here, Rachna. Classmate notebooks came well after my school days. The last few pages of my notebooks were always filled with poetry or doodles!
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

Jayakrishnan December 14, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Thanks Vidya, for taking me from the present stage of life to the cheerful & tireless childhood days. Those were the days, when we were always looking for a chance to run around and play the various indoor and outdoor games. Never hesitates to knock the doors of neighborhoods, every now and then, to call the boys and girls to join together to form teams for different events. Apart from this, particularly during summer vacation we found time to learn cycling without elder’s knowledge, climbed on trees to pluck its leaves, flowers & fruits, etc.so on and on… .

In my school days I too had experienced the most of the incidents beautifully narrated by you, picturing the flash back scenes of your memories. Preserving of unused pages of note books, before disposing it to the paper vendors, was an annual phenomenon and parents had happily allowed us to pocket the coins received out of it.

Considering the interests of both manufacturer and customer point of views, customization of Note Books, is a great idea. Manufacturing of customized note books will attract many bulk buyers to create their own brand values on the item and an individual will always prefer to get connected with the items with personalized touch. Major Institutes ear marks cores of rupees for advertisements in their budget allocation. Customizing the note books by highlighting the pictures of Institution name, symbols, vision, motto, etc. will add extra attraction and it helps to create more awareness of the Institution among the masses, without much effort. Since the Institute sell these customized books to its students through their stationery outlets in the campus, the additional costs will not create impact on their budget.

Vidya, of course, the note book customization for an individual, open up widely with a number of choices based on individual’s tastes. Definitely, if I decide to have a set of customized note book by myself, I will get the cover pages printed with dear family (of both mine and wife) members’ latest group photos, end of every year, with a caption carrying the Good Wishes message of New Year. And, at the end of every year I will get it updated with latest photos adding the pictures of new born and newly wedded ones separately, and gift to each member of the family as a New Year Gift… No doubt will try to continue in the years ahead, as long as the circumstances permits, with different formats and captions in each year, to cherish it in generations together……..

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 4:53 pm

What a lovely idea! Imagine creating a series for each year! It would be wonderful to sit together as a family and reflect on the memories. Thank you for your comment, Jayakrishnan. School memories are indeed precious.
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

sapna December 15, 2017 at 11:01 pm

When I was in school I was too fond of Classmate notebooks as they are quite good in quality, now preferring the same for my kiddo too.
The customised Classmate Notebooks, especially conserve water can be used to make my kiddo remember the importance of water every time they use the notebook. A powerful social message which obviously makes an impact if read again and again.

Vidya Sury December 16, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Thank you for your comment, Sapna! Absolutely true!
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fabulous Trip to Channapatna

PARVATHY DEVI February 22, 2019 at 9:41 am



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