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Nifty Notebooks

Why settle for a generic/boring/over-expensive notebook when you can get one custom designed just for you? Habiba Barkouki Designs' custom-made notebooks are oh-so-cute, AND they're affordable!

Though we don’t like to admit it, we fear we may have early onset Alzheimer's' and the resulting situation is that we constantly need to have a notebook on us to scribble down stuff we need to remember. Y'know, important things like, remember to shower today. Or feed the dog. We'll pencil in the most basic of things really: 'MUST BUY SHAMPOO TODAY.'

Anyhoo, given our ridiculous tendency for forgetting things, we need notebooks almost as much as we need our morning coffee. Most of those available in the market are either the boring notebooks you wouldn’t want to give to your worst enemy, or some really cute designs at some ridiculously overpriced amount. No one wants to pay 300LE for a notebook that will last for all of two months, people.

And so when we stumbled upon Habiba Barkouki Designs, a charming brand that creates custom-made notebooks, you can imagine we were ecstatic. From cool graphic prints to Harry Potter themed notebooks for the fan-geek inside all of us, the line will accommodate whatever strange design you feel like placing on your notebook.

Its founder Habiba Barkouki got the inspiration to start the line after she took a bookbinding class in university. "I decided on the spot that I wanted to make them," she says. "I feel like in Egypt creative notebooks are either really expensive or they're everywhere." Which is true – once a certain trend hits our city, funky notebooks included, suddenly the item can be found with every single person you come across, essentially rendering yours, which you thought was oh-so-unique, just not as appealing anymore. But with these custom-designed creations, you can choose exactly how you want your notebook to look like and rest assured that no one will be carrying the same one.

From pop art to cool patterns, quotes to pictures, you can top your notebook however you like. Barkouki also uses different binding techniques, so those are your call too; it's basically the notebook version of Build-A-Bear or making your own sandwich. Pick the size, where the binding goes, how it looks, if you want to add an elastic, hardcover, or softcover, etc., etc, you get the picture.  

'The Fault in our Stars' themed notebook

All through university we were stuck with ugly-ass uber-basic notebooks, and if we'd known that we could customize our own notebooks thanks to Habiba Barkouki Designs, we would have done so (hel-lo Game of Thrones notebook) and carried them around with pride. The brand will also be releasing a Ramadan line soon, of which Barkouki says you can expect "Ramadan fabrics, colours, and themes." We're guessing lots of patterns and an overload of colour. You can also pre-order the Ramadan notebooks and even get your initials inked on the fabric.

The next time you're stumped on a cute, personal gift, and you don't want to spend loads of money (prices range from around 30 to 150 LE) get someone a creative, personalised notebook! Or just get yourself one...

You can check out their Facebook page here or follow them on Instagram @habibabarkoukidesigns.