Last week, I posted on Instagram the current state of my daily notebook. Its the Piccadilly A5 notebook I’ve been using for several months and its reached critical mass. Its bulging with taped, glued and stuffed-in bits of paper ephemera and I only have about 20 pages left. The time has come to select the next daily notebook.
Its hard for me to just leap and make a purchase, so I nerded out in a big way and made a spreadsheet of all the potential candidates. My general criteria includes: hard cover and A5-ish size. I listed the pages by sheets to be consistent. If you’re used to seeing it as pages, just double the number. Some notebooks did not list the paper weight in any place I could readily find and I used the description for color used by the manufacturer or retailer. Some say cream, some say ivory and some didn’t describe it at all so I had to make an educated guess. So, here’s the candidates:
|Brand||Size||Page count||Available in?||Paper Weight||Paper Color||Additional Features||Notes||Price|
|Moleskine||5×8.25||120 sheets||blank, lined, graph||unknown||cream||pocket, vertical elastic||thin paper||$18.95|
|Leuchtturm 1917||5.79×8.23||124 sheets||blank, lined, graph, dot grid||80g||ivory||pages are numbered, lots of cover color options||$18.95|
|Rhodia Webnotebook||5.5×8.25||96 sheets||lined, blank, dot grid||90g||ivory||orange or black, fountain pen friendly||pricier than most, smaller book available in rainbow of colors (Rhodiarama) lined only||$25|
|Piccadilly Essential||5×8.1||120 sheets||lined, blank, graph||80g||cream||black, 8 color covers in lined editions only||$5.99|
|Ecosystem||5.25×8.25||96 sheets||lined, blank, graph||unknown||bright white||bright cover colors available||lines are far too dark||$14.95|
|PaperThinks||4.5×6.5 or 7×9||128 sheet||blank, lined||unknown||white||recycled leather covers, lots of colors available||flexible covers||$17.95 or $22.95|
|Quo Vadis Habana||6.25×9.25||80 sheets||lined (5.5mm) or blank||85g||white or ivory||black, red, anis, or raspberry covers||larger than most||$20|
|Palomino Blackwing||5×8.25||80 sheets||blank, lined, graph||100g||white||also available in “luxury sketchbook” with 120g paper and orange cover (+$2)||$16.95|
|Palomino Luxury||5×8.25||80 sheets||lined or blank||90g||white||distinct orange spine and embossed rope along spine on cover||$17.95|
|Ogami Stone||5.5×8||64 sheets||blank||unknown||white||grey, white, tiffany blue or black covers||stone paper (repap); covers are board material rather than leatherette||$16|
|Monsieur Notebook||6.5×8||96 sheets||blank, lined||90g||ivory||real leather covers, 8 color options||other formats available like dot grid and sketchbook but in fewer cover options and sizes||$26|
|Ciak Soft Leather||5×7||112 sheets||blank, lined and multicolor||unknown||white||horizontal elastic, soft recycled leather covers||multicolor page option available, sketchbook blank measure 6×8.5 (+$2)||$24|
|Miro||5×8||80 sheets||lined or blank||90g||cream||colored page edges: lime, blue, black, red or pink||white or black leatherette covers||$13.99|
|Exacompta Basic Journal||5.5X8.25||100 sheets||lined||100g||white||metallic silver or gilded edges||lines seem very widely spaced||$16|
|Exacompta Forum||4.7 x 6.7||96 sheets||lined, graph, blank||64g||white||perforated tear-away corners, 8 pages of maps and tables||lined version appears like an undated planner, designed to be used as refill with Exacompta Club leatherette covers||$16.5|
|TWSBI Notebook||5.25×8.25||120 sheets||blank, lined or graph||75g||white||spiffy red ribbon bookmark, lay flat construction||a smaller and larger version are available||$12.99|
|Baron Fig||5.4x 7.7||96 sheets||blank, lined or dot grid||65# text (approx 90g)||not sure||lay flat construction, gray bookcloth only||Kickstarter project that ends on Oct. 3||$20|
|Poppin||5×8.25||96 sheets||lined or blank||unknown||white||soft cover leatherette, 9 color covers available for lined, red or black cover for blank||other sizes available, blank book has margin across the top of pages||$9|
I’m still debating. The low price of the Piccadilly is hard to beat though the paper is not as lovely as the more expensive options. The Ciak offers colored paper which seems like it might be kind of fun. The Palomino folks now have a kraft covered 90g notebook under their less expensive Forest Choice brand. The Palomino Luxury (with orange spine) and the Blackwing Luxury (all black) are two different lines — I got a bit confused when I built my grid about the difference between them. There are also the highly decorative Paperblanks notebooks with the pleasing cream stock. I quite like the looks of the simpler Pocket Companion series ($14.95) as a good daily user option.
What’s your notebook of choice? Did I miss any in my chart?
UPDATE: I revised the grid with recommendations and items I forgot as well as providing live links to each product via the company web site or trusted reseller.