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