This is a new mesh, and means that it's a brand new self contained object that usually does not require a specific Expansion pack (although this is possible depending on the type). It may have Recolours hosted on MTS - check below the description for more information.
A notebook for sims to practice writing, write letters and books, and some other things.
Update 2016-01-06: Updated with Dutch strings added.
Update 2015-12-13: Updated for 1.13.
Update 2015-04-29: Updated for 1.5.149. Solves the issue that crafted books have a value of 0§ when done (tested and confirmed by GtW users, see comments; thank you!).
Update 2015-03-27: Updated for 1.5.139. Two issues I’m still seeing is that 1. custom book titles aren’t being saved (but the book can be named after it’s finished, which I think is actually pretty neat) and 2. my tester sims very often got the “Feeling Uncreative” buff when they started or resumed with craftable books. Right now I’m not sure whether that is an issue with this notebook though, or a general one. To me it’s not a very big deal since that buff only lasts a few minutes.
Update 2015-02-15 (2.1): As pointed out by scumbumbo in the comments, v2 had a Maxis interaction in the object tuning that turns out to be a "Spray" interaction when Outdoor Retreat is installed (when it isn’t, it doesn't do anything). This is removed in 2.1, and Russian / updated Chinese translations added.
Update 2015-01-14 (2.0): Success! Writeable Books! Colour options! Letters! Awesomeness! And it seems to be all still working after installing the patch, as well =D.
Update 2015-01-11 (1.2): Still no progress on the crafting front, but writing letters to penpals is now included and the "Put Away" issue fixed. This version also tunes dining tables and desks to be more desirable writing surfaces than counters (in case you have seen your sims read-writing in the kitchen a lot, it's because the game doesn't differentiate between plain old counters and islands with barstools). Also includes the changes mentioned in the comments (no chatting while writing, thus no musical chairs).
Stealth Update 2015-01-10: Put the missing thumbnail resource back in and added the Chinese (zh-TW) translation provided by egureh. Thanks! People who downloaded the original version will probably need to delete localthumbscache.package (in Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4) for the game to regenerate the thumbnail like it should.
Write Letter (v2)
Write Letter to Penpal (v1.2)
Write Love Letter
Write Excuse Note
Write About Feelings (Sad sims)
Write Genre Book (v2)
Write Skill Book (v2)
Write Dollhouse Story (v2, children only)
Letter writing is a custom feature that gives a small relationship boost upon completion (for the regular relationship, not the romantic one like love letters). It is available for children and older. Dollhouse Story (same as on the computer) is available to children who have the "Inspired by Dollhouse" buff; this is mostly untested since my stupid sim kids got that buff exactly once and then never again .. let me know in case it misbehaves.
Skill gain and requirements for the other interactions are the same as on computers, except for the following changes:
Elders gain skill slightly faster and Teens slightly slower (i.e. the exact opposite of the computer tuning)
Skill gain from writing books is a little less overall than on a computer
Writing skill books requires level 5 Writing skill instead of the Professiorial trait (aka Chronicler), plus level 5 of the skill the book is about (like on the computer) – this is deliberate since I think explaining things, like in a manual, is something that one can learn and not a supernatural gift. If you want to change this for computers too, you can use this mod.
Skill and genre books have a different completion time (skill based curve rather than whatever the *&$%# it is on the computer) – I don't know how it compares exactly, but to me it seemed like a sensible amount of time
Writing books gives a small Fun boost to sims with the Bookworm, Chronicler, Epic Poet, Genius, Savant, CreativeVisionary, Muser and Creatively Gifted traits
The power requirement (that computers have) is removed
All animations are from the teen/child homework; all interactions should work from in-world objects, sim inventory, and bookcase inventory.
The notebook costs §60 and is available in Function > Skills > Creative and Room > Study > Skills. 19 colour options; like other custom objects this can only be recoloured from the catalogue. Custom strings are localised for Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and US English; the rest of the world gets the US English version until someone provides a translation (contributions welcome).
As reported by olienka in the comments, interactions on this notebook will not fulfill whims like "Write jokes on a computer for N hours". This actually makes sense to me seeing as a notebook is not a computer =P. The "Finish a book" whims should be working OK though.
During the writing animation for teens and up, a dark shadow overlay appears near the fold (see the "writing" screenshot). This is because the Teen Homework book (that the animation is originally using) has a different mesh/rig so the thin book that I'm using as a basis doesn't really fit. Maybe I can find a way to get rid of that artifact, maybe not .. I didn't want it to be a big fat brick so I consider this the best compromise for now. This only happens indoors and is not an issue for children.
"Put Away" currently means sims will put this book into their inventory, not in a bookcase. -- Fixed in 1.2
As reported by egureh (thanks!) sims will sometimes decide to play musical chairs when they talk to others while using this book, and forget to take the book along, which results in strangeness. I'll try to get rid of this (wasn't aware it's an issue with these interactions too, I meant to look into it anyway for the craftable books). -- Fixed in 1.2
You will need to re-buy the books when you update from v1.2 or older to v2 -- the old ones will go missing since it has a different ID now. Sorry about that (didn't think that through very well).
In order to write love letters and excuse notes, sims need a bit of writing skill (level 4/5 I believe), so don't be surprised when those options don't show up for everyone.
For writing letters to penpals, they need to have a penpal first. This is only available through a computer, not the notebook.
Writing letters to pen pals is on the top level of the pie menu, writing letters to sims is in the "Write…" menu (it'll be obvious anyway when the sim picker dialog comes up). For the latter I'm recycling the pie menu text of the former; let me know if this results in strangeness in your language (I only see the US English text).
For the craftable books, the progress circle does not update continuously -- sims will write for a little while, then it'll update about 1/8th of the circle in one go, etc. Its modeled from the violin "Write Song" interaction, hence why it's different in that respect -- apart from that it worked fine for me though, including stop/resume, exit to world, to main menu, and exit/reload the game.
Sims will use kneeling/standing animations when they don't find a free desk/table and chair -- in those cases they don't appear to be writing (see the guy on the "kneeling" screenshot -- he is writing a love letter), but just like with homework it works nevertheless. Let's say they are proofreading.
2015-05-31: Tested in 184.108.40.2060, works for me.
2015-04-29: Updated for 1.5.149.
2015-03-27: Updated for 1.5.139.
Tested again in 220.127.116.110, works for me.
Tested mostly in 1.3.18, should work in 1.3.32 as well (2015-01-13) -- I haven't seen any differences in the code and the interactions are all custom anyway.
Same as Maxis skill books
scumbumbo for helping me to get the crafting to work, egureh for testing and the Chinese translations, pekesims for the Spanish translation, KuriXarya for the Russian translation, ElenaInTheSims for the Dutch translation.