Category Archives: Stationery

Stationery Reviews – here you will find all of my reviews on fountain pen friendly paper products. Stationery reviews include notebook specs, a handwritten review, bleed through and show through performance, feel of the paper and several enlargeable pictures to show texture.

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPens

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook – Review

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook

-Handwritten Review-

Specs: 

  • Special B5 7.5″ x 10″
  • 6mm Lined Ruling, 35 lines / page
  • 70 sheets (140 Pages) of off-white paper
  • Date and page number headings
  • Heavy cardboard covers
  • Black double wire binding
  • $14.50 from JetPens

Handwritten Review Pictures:

Notes:

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPensThe Kokuyo Campus Wide notebook looks pretty great. The olive green, heavy cardboard covers, paired with the black double wire binding makes for an awesome looking notebook. Huge thanks to my friends over at JetPens for sending over the book for review! Their site lists the book as being “fountain pen friendly” but I don’t think I’m with them on that 100%. Enjoy the review!

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Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!

Appearance and Construction:

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPensThe Campus Wide notebook in olive green looks awesome. All of the color and design choices in the book compliment each other so well. The off-white paper has a maroon upper and lower line, with light grey lines in between. The black wire binding adds some nice contrast and is a welcomed departure from the standard silver metal. I love the color palette of the notebook, dark green and maroon are two of my favorite colors, and coincidentally the first colors of fountain pen ink I had ever purchased (Diamine Evergreen and Diamine Oxblood).

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPensThe notebook is also constructed quite well. The heavy stock rigid covers make it easy to write anywhere, for the handwritten portion of the review I was leaning on my lap. The double wire binding can take a beating, and aren’t easily bent, making the pages easy to turn. The Campus Wide notebook is a winner in terms of appearance and construction.

Performance and Feel:

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPensThe 70g off-white paper is smooth, but it’s having quite the show through problem. There’s no feathering and ink dries on the page pretty quick. I imagine an extra fine nib would work okay, but if you’re using the paper to take notes with a fountain pen, you might not have the best time. This paper would definitely be better suited to gel or ballpoint pens (or any other non-liquid based ink).

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPensThe paper is listed as fountain pen friendly, but I don’t think I agree. I would like to be able to use both sides of the sheet, but the showing/bleeding is a bit too much. I much prefer the Maruman Mnemosyne B5 notebook for a fountain pen friendly B5 notebook with off-white paper.

 

Color and Ruling:

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPensThe off-white paper is easy on the eyes. Mix that with the wubtle grey micro-dot ruling and maroon accents, and you have a really nice looking page. There’s a spot in the header for the date and page number, which is a nice touch. The 6mm rule nicely compliments the size of the page, as well as my handwriting. It’s slightly narrower than the 7mm rule I’m used to, but I still like it. There are other versions of the book with different colored covers with slightly different ruling spacing. Even though the paper is off-white, it still does a good job of showing off the color of the ink. Once again, it’s a shame that the paper isn’t slightly more ink-resistant, as I really like the features of the book.

 

Pros:

  • Great looking book
  • Perfect size (B5)
  • No feathering
  • Rigid covers

Cons:

  • Significant show-though
  • Wider nibs will bleed through

Conclusion:

Kokuyo Campus Wide Notebook Review JetPensOh how I wish the paper in this book was slightly heavier. If you don’t mind using only one side of the page, you may like the book. It’s well designed and I like the color palette quite a bit. It’s understated and simple, right up my alley. There’s no feathering and it’s smooth to write on, but the bleed through is just a bit too much for me to give it the seal of approval. If you need a great looking notebook to use with other types of pens, definitely consider this one. Thanks again to JetPens for sending over the notebook for review!

Gallery:

 

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Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid Lined Notebook Review

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid and Lined Notebooks – Review

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP
Semi-B5 Dot Grid and Lined Notebooks

-Handwritten Review-

Specs: 

Handwritten Review Pictures:

Notes:

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid Lined Notebook ReviewHuge thanks to JetPens for sending these notebooks over for review. The Kyokuto F.O.B COOP notebooks have a minimalistic appearance and design. They’re loaded with 80 sheets of 81.4 gram smooth white paper. I use the dot grid books for my ink reviews 99% of the time. The bright white, semi-absorbent paper is accommodating to most inks and the brightness really shows off the true color of ink. I already know they’re great for my ink reviews, but will they work for an everyday fountain pen-friendly notebook? Make sure to check out the gallery at the bottom of the post for a ton more pictures that aren’t in the post!

JetPens-Sponsored-Blog-BannerCheck out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!

Appearance and Construction:

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid Lined Notebook ReviewThe lined version of the F.O.B COOP notebooks have a black cover. There’s a hard plastic frosted cover over a black cardboard sheet that gives the book a really nice matte appearance. They’re easily overlooked, but I personally prefer a notebook that doesn’t draw too much attention. The back cover is made of a much heavier cardboard that gives the book some nice added rigidity. The double wire binding is sturdy and durable. I’ve filled an entire dot grid notebook with ink reviews and it still looks like it did the day I got it. It’s a very professional looking notebook that I already know will stand up to being used, thrown in my bag, and transported.

Performance and Feel:

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid Lined Notebook ReviewHere’s where things get weird. The white paper in the notebooks is wonderfully smooth and super bright. There’s no feathering at all and the ink dries very quickly on the page. However, there’s a prety substantial amount of show through and some bleed through. This is odd, especially because the paper is 81 grams (Rhodia = 80g, Clairefontaine = 90g). It’s not all about the weight of the paper, and this paper proves it. The tradeoff here is the fast dry time.

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid Lined Notebook ReviewThe F.O.B COOP books have a faster dry time than Rhodia, but it can be tough to justify a book that you cannot use both sides of the page with. If you don’t use the back of the page, then you will definitely enjoy the super smooth paper. It’s a pleasure to write on with everything from a Japanese fine nib to the architect point I wrote the review with. It’s makes every nib feel its smoothest.

Color and Ruling:

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid Lined Notebook ReviewThe paper in these notebooks is a bright neutral white. It’s great for showing off an ink’s true color. The ruling is made of solid light grey lines, spaced 7mm apart. 7mm rule is ideal for both the size of the book and the size of my handwriting. 21 lines is a nice amount of page real estate. I personally love B5 sized notebooks and used them throughout college. They’re versatile, portable, and a great medium-sized notebook option.

Pros:

  • Bright white pages
  • Super smooth
  • No feathering
  • Fast dry time

Cons:

  • Unusual amount of bleed through

Overall Thoughts and Recommendation:

Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Dot Grid Lined Notebook ReviewThe Kyokuto F.O.B COOP books are so close to being perfect. If not being able to use the back of the page with fountain pens isn’t an issue for you, you’ll definitely enjoy these notebooks. Definitely try out these super smooth, bright white notebooks. I’ll continue to use the dot grid for my ink reviews because they do a great job of showing off the true color, and I love the B5 size. As an everyday notebook, it’s hard to recommend the Kyokuto F.O.B COOP because of the show through. If you’re in the market for a fountain pen friendly B5 book, check out the Maruman Mnemosyne B5. Once again, huge thanks to JetPens for sending over the books to review!

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Field Notes Colors Spring 2014 Shelterwood Review

Field Notes Shelterwood Spring Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Spring 2014 Colors Edition
“Shelterwood”

Field Notes Colors Spring 2014 Shelterwood Review

Specs From Field Notes:

“The covers are left uncoated with text printed in a triple-hit of “Ghostflower White” which remains slightly opaque, the wood texture showing through like a faded whitewashed fence. Inside covers are mossy green text on kraft paper. The guts of the books are Finch Fine “Soft White” 70# text stock, the same beefy stock you loved in our “America the Beautiful” Edition. They’re ruled in “Maidenhair Green,” and bound together with three sturdy gold staples.”

Field Notes Colors Spring 2014 Shelterwood Review

Handwritten Review Scans
(Click here for a full PDF - Field Notes Shelterwood Review)

FN S2014 Shelterwood

Notes:

So these look really awesome. The covers are made of a very thin wood veneer that’s bonded to kraft paper. The paper inside is a 70#T “soft white” that’s noticeably thicker (and more fountain pen friendly) than their standard 50#T paper. The ruling is a nice green color, and it’s in the form of lines. It’s been a while since I’ve used a lined Field Notes, and I can say that I did miss it. Make sure to check out the handwritten review scans for the fronts and backs of all of the pages I used for the review. I tried something new this time and used my Doxie Flip to make a PDF of the review.  Please let me know what you think!

Field Notes Colors Spring 2014 Shelterwood Review

One thing I noticed is that the covers do have a hard time staying closed on their own. I think I’m going to be using my Field Notes General Purpose Band of Rubber to help keep this one closed. Other than the fact that this is the most fountain pen friendly FN I’ve used, I don’t think I have much else so say about this awesome seasonal release. Act fast, because they tend to sell out. Good thing I ordered two packs, because these are going to see some serious use.

Field Notes Colors Spring 2014 Shelterwood Review

Gallery:

 

Related Reading:

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

Paperscreen Four/Five Pocket Notebook – Review

Paperscreen Notebooks
Four / Five

-Handwritten Review-

Specs:

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

  • Ink Resistant Recycled Paper
  • Rounded corners
  • Hand-sewn binding
  • Hand made in Germany
  • Sized to fit an iPhone 4/4S/5/5S
  • 48 lined pages (also available in graph, blank)
  • ~$6.50 / 3 pk.

Notes:

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

Paperscreen is a brand new company out of Germany that is hand making notebooks in an original format. Instead of using regular paper sizes, they have decided to use the screen sizes of popular electronic devices. At first this seemed a bit gimmicky, but in practice, it actually works quite well for carrying/packing in a bag. I use an iPhone 5, and the notebooks definitely “piggyback” well with the phone. The smaller, slimmer size is also more pocket-friendly than the typical 3.5″x5.5″ pocket notebook. Rounded out with fountain pen-friendly paper and a bunch of different formats, the Paperscreen notebooks are a refreshing entry into the ever-growing world of pocket notebooks. Make sure to check out the Gallery at the bottom of the post, I wen’t a bit photo-crazy and there are a lot more there that aren’t in the review!

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

Thank you to Paperscreen for sending the notebooks for review! They’re available for sale through their website, which is mostly in German. Hopefully we’ll see these notebooks available stateside sooner rather than later!

Appearance and Construction:

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

The Paperscreen notebooks I received had grey covers and tan kraft paper covers. They have minimal branding, which is welcomed. There’s a small logo on the bottom front of the books, and a scannable QR code on the back. The inside cover has a few lines for identification. They’re minimalistic, and I like them. The books are stitch-bound by hand, and it’s been holding up in my pocket for a few weeks with zero problems.

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

I think I might prefer the stitch binding to the traditional 3-staple binding because it’s less likely to fail. I’ve had the covers come off of several staple bound pocket notebooks, and I hate to see that happen. The Paperscreen notebooks are well-constructed and I have no doubt that they’ll hold up in a pocket for the life of the notebook.

Performance and Feel:

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

I was quite surprised at how well the Paperscreen recycled paper handles fountain pen ink. There’s no bleed to be found, even with heavier flowing pens. I didn’t expect much from the off-white, recycled paper, but I was pleasantly surprised. Dry time is decent as well since the paper has no coating. The paper has a small amount of texture which can give some extra feedback, depending on the fine-ness of the nib. I’m happy with how the paper performs and feels, especially for a pocket notebook.

Color and Ruling:

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

The paper in the Paperscreen notebooks is off-white, leaning more towards grey. This is typical with recycled paper, as the ones I’ve seen aren’t usually bright white. The ruling on both notebooks is lined, but I appreciate the attention to detail here. The Five’s lines are further apart than those of the Four. I really like when manufacturers take notebook size into consideration when determining how to space the ruling.

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

A small notebook with wide ruling just doesn’t make much sense, and I’m glad Paperscreen chose to adjust the ruling with the size of the book. That being said, the lines themselves are light grey and relatively unobtrusive. I wish the paper was a tiny bit brighter as to better show off ink colors, but it performs well, so I can’t really complain.

 

Conclusion:

Paperscreen Pocket Notebooks iPhone Sized Review

It’s great to see a new company try new things. In this case, I believe they have a good product. The sizing is definitely different, but it makes sense. If you are already carrying a phone in your pocket, then having a notebook of the same size minimizes the “footprint” and bulk in your pocket. I find the notebooks to be perfect for lists, as they are a bit more narrow than the standard 3.5″ x 5.5″ notebooks. I keep a small daily journal, and I much prefer the 3.5″ x 5.5″ because of the extra room, but the Paperscreen notebooks are ideal for writing things down quickly. Thanks again to Paperscreen for sending the notebooks over for review. I’ll have another review coming soon for the iPad sized version as well. Thanks for reading!

Gallery:

 

Disclaimer: This item was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by Paperscreen Notebooks. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

Paperblanks Notebooks Mini Reporter in Grolier

Paperblanks Mini Reporter Notebook in Grolier – Review

Paperblanks Mini Reporter Notebook in Grolier
-Handwritten Review-

Specs: 

  • 3.75″ x 5.75″
  • 192 Pages
  • Book edge printing
  • Memento Pouch
  • Ribbon marker
  • Elastic band closure

Notes:

Paperblanks Notebooks Mini Reporter in Grolier

Paperblanks were kind enough to get in touch and provide some samples for review, so thank you to them for sending some over! I was not familiar with the brand prior to them contacting me, and when I saw the books, I was definitely impressed. They’re definitely well outside of my minimalistic preferences, and some of their offerings are a bit over the top for me, but the Grolier pattern and the Nocturnelle pattern both looked pretty awesome. This review is of the Mini Reporter notebook in Grolier pattern. Enjoy!

Appearance and Construction:

Paperblanks Notebooks Mini Reporter in Grolier

The notebooks is definitely well constructed. It’s 192 pages are stitch bound and nicely cut to size. The covers are heavy cardboard, and the designs are embossed into them. It’s an impressively constructed notebook that is quite the looker. The pattern has some awesome depth to it, and the embossing and metallic inks make it pop.

Paperblanks Notebooks Mini Reporter in Grolier

The back of the book has a small pocket that would be handy for keeping receipts or important pages. The Mini Reporter also features an elastic band for keeping the book closed and a ribbon for keeping your spot.

Performance and Feel:

Paperblanks Notebooks Mini Reporter in Grolier

The paper in the Mini Reporter is smooth and performs relatively well with fountain pens. For testing I used a wet Montblanc 149 and some Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki. There’s some slight show through, and a bit of bleed, but it’s not too bad. There’s no feathering, and I suspect it would be better with a finer, drier nib.

Color and Ruling:

Paperblanks Notebooks Mini Reporter in Grolier

The Mini Reporter has off-white gridded paper that’s easy on the eyes. I didn’t measure it, but it seems to be about a 5mm grid. It almost reminds me of the Rhodia Webnotebook paper.

Pros:

  • Quality construction
  • Good features (elastic band, ribbon)
  • Opens flat

Cons:

  • Paper could be more FP friendly

Overall Thoughts and Recommendation:

Paperblanks Notebooks Mini Reporter in Grolier

The Mini Reporter is a bit too bulky for my needs. It’s too big to be a pocket notebook (for me) so it would have to live in my bag. Unfortunately there are other paper products that fit my needs better than the Paperblanks. That’s not to say it’s not an awesome looking notebook that’s constructed with quality. I prefer the more minimalist approach to design, but if you like what you see, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Thanks again to Paperblanks for sending the book over for review!

Gallery: