Build your own surgical sketchbook

Sketchbooks come in every imaginable size, binding and paper to suit any purpose. Coupled with my stationery obsession, I have more sketchbooks than I will ever need or use. One limitation to the sketchbooks, in all their variety, is the lack of customization. You are essentially stuck with whatever order your drawings are in and whatever paper is in that sketchbook.

I came across the Arc Customizable Notebook system from Staples a few months ago. It has been amazing for my Bullet Journal. It contains 8 rings, a durable poly or leather cover and pages that can be moved around. Like a binder in its flexibility but feels like a notebook. I’ve recently thought of applying it to a surgical sketchbook for use as I transition into practice.

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Here’s what one will need:

  • Small Arc Notebook (6-3/8″ x 8-3/4″)
    • Poly cover – $7.99 USD
    • Leather cover – $16.99
  • Tab dividers – $4.99
  • Arc System Desktop Punch – $42.99 (whoa!)
  • Lined paper for written notes
    • Comes with notebook
  • Sketchbook paper of choice
    • For me, it’ll be mostly white paper and a few pages of toned paper
    • 8.5″ x 11″ 45-lb white paper for dry media (cut in half)

My sketchbook will contain sketches for common surgeries, divided into 5 main sections. I have been dragging my feet on this due to the desktop punch. Not only is it pricey, it is also heavy as sin. And I’ll be transporting it across the country for the big move after fellowship.

This book will serve as my own personal surgical atlas and flexible enough to make changes as my techniques evolve.

I’ll post again once I actually do this!

-LCTL

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