In the open position, the pages can be removed and rearranged.
In the closed position, the pages are kept in order.
Making and keeping notebooks was such an important information management technique that children learned how to do it in school. Holley of Holyoke, Massachusetts, invented the legal pad around the year 1888 when he innovated the idea to collect all the sortings, various sort of substandard paper scraps from various factories, and stitch them together in order to sell them as pads at an affordable and fair price. As a solution, he glued together a stack of halved sheets of paper, supported by a sheet of cardboard, creating what he called the "Silver City Writing Tablet".
In about 1900, the latter then evolved into the modern legal pad when a local judge requested for a margin to be drawn on the left side of the paper. The only technical requirement for this type of stationery to be considered a true "legal pad" is that it must have margins of 1.25 inches (3.17 centimeters) from the left edge.
These horizontal lines or "rules" are sometimes classified according to their space apart with "wide rule" the farthest, "college rule" closer, "legal rule" slightly closer and "narrow rule" closest, allowing more lines of text per page.
When sewn into a pasteboard backing, these may be called composition books, or in smaller signatures may be called "blue books" or exam books and used for essay exams.Since the late 20th century, many attempts have been made to integrate the simplicity of a notebook with the editing, searching, and communication capacities of computers through the development of note taking software.Laptop computers began to be called notebooks when they reached a small size in the 1990s, but they did not have any special note-taking ability.Notebooks used for drawing and scrapbooking are usually blank.Notebooks for writing usually have some kind of printing on the writing material, if only lines to align writing or facilitate certain kinds of drawing. Personal organizers can have various kinds of preprinted pages.Inventor's notebooks have page numbers preprinted to support priority claims. Artists often use large notebooks, which include wide spaces of blank paper appropriate for drawing.Lawyers use rather large notebooks known as legal pads that contain lined paper (often yellow) and are appropriate for use on tables and desks.The cover material is usually distinct from the writing surface material, more durable, more decorative, and more firmly attached.It also is stiffer than the pages, even taken together.Other bound notebooks are available that use glue to hold the pages together; this process is "padding".Today, it is common for pages in such notebooks to include a thin line of perforations that make it easier to tear out the page.