Field Notes Steno Pad Review

Field Notes Steno Pad

Like all good office supply junkies, I’ve been listening to the Pen Addict podcast. There have been several episodes lately that have waxed poetic in regards to the Field Notes pocket memo books. They have become quite collectible. But, truth be told, my favorite Field Notes product so far is the Steno Book. It is a larger format than the memo books at a whopping 6″x9″ and has all the features associated with a steno pad — top ring binding and Gregg ruling.

Field Notes Steno Pad

Of course, Field Notes does the features of a steno pad better than the any others currently on the market. The covers are made from heavy-duty chipboard, the ring binding is a sturdy double black wire and is filled with 80-, 70# bright white paper with light brown (almost khaki colored) lines.

The inside covers feature a plethora of info, both useful and entertaining. If your next meeting is particularly boring, you can read the covers of your Steno Pad and see how many of the phrases on the Abbreviation Guide you can use in one sentence. There is even a ruler printed on the inside back cover — both inches and centimeters — which comes in particularly handy in my world.

Field Notes Steno Pad

And, of course, in the most important tests of any paper, the Field Notes Steno Pad performed excellently. I tested rollerballs, hybrid gels, felt tips, fountain pens and pencils and every pen worked well. My very, very fine Pilot Prera fountain pen was a little too fine to lay down much ink on this paper but it may have been a result of the slightly drier J. Herbin ink I was using. The Lamy Studio with the 1.1mm calligraphy nib wrote beautifully and there was no bleed-through on the page — just a tiny bit of show-through but not so much that I wouldn’t be comfortable using both the front and back of the page.

And you may be asking yourself, how did this review end up in the middle of Pencil Week? My favorite tool on this paper was my fittingly 60s-looking Palomino Blackwing 602 which glided on the paper and is the perfect tool for those first drafts — whether you know shorthand or not.

Madmen Moleskine and Blackwing
I think he is using a Moleskine Reporter notebook and Blackwing combination here but I think it would be more authentic if he were using a Steno Pad. (via Blackwing Pages)

The Steno Pad is available from Field Notes for $9.95.

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  1. Oh I do like Field Notes very much. I only have one steno pad but it has a leather cover and I’m pretty sure this would fit in it.. it would be a perfect refill!

  2. I have recently started using a Field Notes Steno Pad too. I have been using Field Notes memo books for a while, but I was still pleasantly surprised by the steno pad. Especially the heavy duty cover. That thick cover makes I great to carry around and use on any surface.

    I was surprised to hear that you had trouble writing in it with the Prera. I have been regularly using my fine point Prera in the steno pad with no problems. The ink I have in it is Namiki Black. Maybe a different ink will do the trick for you.

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