Cheap, Blank Notepads?
October 4, 2008 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy cheap blank notepads.

I few months ago I bought a Fujitsu Scansnap and turned my life paperless.

So far it has gone great and I cannot imagine going back. However, one thing would make it better: pads of blank paper.

I take a ton of handwritten notes and would like to scan them. Currently I use pads of lined paper, but this can be annoying because the scanner wastes time scanning the back sides of all the pages because it cannot distinguish between a page with just blank lines and a page of text.

I have gone to Office Max to find pads of blank paper, but all I could find was expensive sketch pads.

Anyone know where I can buy cheap blank notepads?
posted by chrisalbon to Work & Money (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How big do you need the paper to be? I use a stack of small pieces of paper intended to be used as a refill for one of those desktop wooden paper holders (if that makes any sense....) held together by a rubber band. It works pretty darn well. I've also seen little pads of paper (bundles of four or five for a dollar) at my local stationary store.
posted by MadamM at 4:28 PM on October 4, 2008

I do not care too much about size since they will be scanned and recycled within a week of being used.
posted by chrisalbon at 4:32 PM on October 4, 2008

The local drugstore will usually have a plain writing tablet.
posted by cmgonzalez at 4:39 PM on October 4, 2008

Those cheap full-of-Chinese-import dollar stores might have them.

Blank index cards bought in bulk can be fairly inexpensive.

Make your own? Find cheap reams of printer paper on sale at Staples or Best Buy, purchase a few and have Kinkos cut them down to whatever your ideal size might be. They can even put the glue strip on for you.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 4:47 PM on October 4, 2008

My suggestion would be to buy a ream of copy paper (~$5) and haul it to a local copy shop and ask them to whack it in half and make pads out of it (Kinko's did this when I worked there in college, but that was ~15 years ago). It's probably $10 to have the conversion to pads done, but you'll have 1000 pages worth of 8.5" x 5.5" notepads for $15.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 4:49 PM on October 4, 2008

Every print shop I have worked at makes pads from leftover paper. Sometimes they give them away, and sometimes they sell them super cheap. They may even make a bunch for you cheaper than you can buy them.

If you want to make your own pads from paper you already have, it's not hard. Stack up the paper on the edge of a desk, with a heavy piece of card stock on the bottom. Place a weight, like a ream of paper or several books on top, and use a cheap paintbrush to apply a coat of Elmer's glue to the top edge.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:50 PM on October 4, 2008

They do sell these at office supply stores. Try searching for "scratch pad".
posted by amethysts at 5:03 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Try a Hipster PDA: you can get blank index cards pretty cheap at Staples or whatnot, and just bind 'em with a Binder clip!
posted by SansPoint at 5:04 PM on October 4, 2008

I went looking for blank pads recently (by pad I mean bound at the top), and couldn't find anything that exactly met my requirements in any of my local art/stationary stores. What I ended up getting were moleskine cahier X-large plain notebooks. They aren't bound pad-style, but they were really the best blank notebook-kind-of-thing that I found. Their binding is really nice (sewn), and while they aren't letter size, the x-large ones are pretty close. They aren't very expensive, though relative to lined pads they are not super-cheap.
posted by advil at 5:05 PM on October 4, 2008

Cheapest printer paper you can find and a clipboard. It's usually the only thing I use.
posted by 517 at 6:16 PM on October 4, 2008

I use these.
posted by rhizome at 6:53 PM on October 4, 2008

Check out your local dollar stores. They often have good deals on that sort thing.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:55 PM on October 4, 2008

The whole idea of a pad is wrong, since you need separate pages for scanning. Read what 517 says. Then go to Printable Paper and print out your own one-sided notepaper.
posted by yclipse at 3:05 AM on October 5, 2008

I'd far rather carry a notepad bound with that glue-like stuff that's meant to release its pages than a bulky clipboard around with me.

I'm going to second the recommendation of dollar stores -- they sell a lot of stationery sized notepads for very little money, and because proper stationery paper is always blank, they usually just come with the one page of ruled paper that you're supposed to move so it's always behind your current page, and the rest are all blank. Stationery stores also sell these, but at a much higher price.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:17 AM on October 5, 2008

I'm a big fan of the Muji store note pads. Do you have a Muji in your city?
posted by cazoo at 8:10 AM on October 5, 2008

If you like writing on the lined paper, why not just set your scanner settings to simplex mode, so it will ignore anything on the back side of the pages? Also, faster to process!
posted by zachxman at 9:26 AM on October 5, 2008

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