Ask The Desk: Address Books (Fountain Pen Friendly and/or Refillable)

Amy asks:

Any suggestions for an address and occasion book that is fountain pen friendly? I don’t want a full blown planner/calendar. A bonus would be refillable pages. Thanks!!!

I keep rolling this over in my mind. There are a lot of possibilities for an address book.

Filofax Cotton Cream Address Pages

You could actually use a Filofax or other ring bound notebook as just an address book. This would give you the flexibility of choosing exactly the size you want. You could print your own address pages or purchase a printable using paper of your choice thereby satisfying the fountain pen friendly equation. And it would be infinitely refillable. But yes, there’s some legwork and set-up involved in this particular option.

If you don’t already own a ring-bound planner, you’d need to purchase one. New planners usually ship with a full set of inserts unless you buy them secondhand so there may be elements wasted. Then you’d have to find address tabs; buy, print or make contacts pages and assemble the whole thing. Once completed however, you are basically done. Once in awhile, you might need to print some new pages or update existing pages but it would be a self-sustaining system. As someone who owns about a half a dozen planners, I’m thinking I might just turn one of them into an address book because this is a brilliant idea and a way for me to put one of my many planners to use.


Hallmark Address Book

Hallmark Cards continues to produce address books including its own 6-hole binders which you can purchase replacement sheets. The paper quality is up for debate. I’ve used a 6-ring binder for several years and some pens bleed a little, others don’t at all. Its a heavier weight paper but it doesn’t seem to have any sizing on it so its hit or miss. And again, I have not been able to test every book in their store to determine if its specific to a range of products.  Prices range from $9.95 to $24.95.

There are some lovely bound address books that are available as well.

paperblanks address book

Paperblanks address book

Paperblanks makes lovely notebooks and their line of address books are no exception. These are bound books but stand up reasonably well to fine and medium nib fountain pens and are elegant to boot. Jenni Bick sells several options with prices ranging $18.95 and $21.95.

Moleskine address book

While not known to be the most fountain pen friendly, Moleskine does make a tabbed Address Book notebook. Its available in 3.5×5 and 5.5×8 sizes with a hardcover ($13.95-$19.95) as well as the softcover Volant ($8.95-$12) and the tabs are plastic covered to make it more durable. The pages are otherwise unmarked which give the user plenty of room for a variety of contact information from simple phone numbers to lengthy foreign addresses.

Of course, there are many other options for address books at your local book shop or office supply store that may or may not be friendly with your pens or your wallet. But these were a few I thought might meet one or more of the criteria set forth: refillable and/or fountain pen friendly. Nice to look at being a bonus.

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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. That’s a brilliant idea to re-purpose an old planner binder! I have a very nice leather Franklin Covey binder in compact size that I haven’t used for years. And as a bonus I have the portable hole-puncher that matches. Why didn’t I think of this before?

  2. Mind blown. I think I may now know what to do with one of the personal size ringbound planners I have. Which are too small for planner use – but this is perfect. Also, this means I don’t have to go buy a new one to replace the current one – half the people in that have died.

  3. Thank you, thank you, Ana! What a great idea and just what I needed. Never one to go the simple route, now I am all excited about printing my own inserts and making my own address tabs. I bought a cheap Filofax knockoff on ebay and can’t wait for it to get here. I’ll send you pictures when I’m done 🙂

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