Notebook Review: Field Notes Byline

Field Notes Byline

Review by Laura Cameron

Sometimes, we discover there are great items that have been around for quite some time that we never got around to reviewing. This is one of them.

I am a consummate list maker. You name it: groceries, to do, vacation packing, craft projects; I’ve got a list for them all.  Half the time I write items on the list just for the sheer joy of being able to cross them off later (it’s sad but true).

So when I saw the Field Notes Byline, I thought it was pretty much a notebook made for me.

Byline is Field Notes 31st Edition which came out about a year ago for Summer 2016. Byline was born out of customer requests for a reporter notebook.  It consists of a grey cover, printed on the inside with all sorts of useful information including a legend of common proofreading marks, and some specs and guidelines for the intrepid reporter.  Byline has 70 pages of college-ruled paper, and an inside pocket.  The whole notebook is 3 ¾” x 8”.

Field Notes Byline

When I received a Byline (compliments of “the Desk”) I immediately tested out my favorite pens and inks.  As you can see, the Byline is perfect for lists and might even work for a smaller bullet journal system. 

Field Notes Byline Writing Test

I found that the paper did ok with fountain pen ink; there is definitely some show through and a bit of bleeding on the opposite side of the page, but the ink doesn’t feather on the page.  I tested out a variety of pens and inks and was happy with most of them.  If I really wanted to use the notebook to maximum efficiency, I might stick with ballpoints, rollerballs and pencils but, given the format, I don’t mind only getting to use one side of the page.  I think it would bother me more if it was in a traditional notebook format, and I constantly had to stare at the back of pages.    

Field Notes Byline writing reverse of stock

Overall, I really enjoyed getting to test this one. Sadly, it looks like it is sold out now and I don’t know if they’ll ever reprint it but, with 70 pages, I suspect that this notebook will bring me many happy lists.

Field Notes Byline Writing close-up

Field Notes Byline Writing Test

(Ed. Note: The Front Page Reporter’s Notebook is  the open edition of the Byline and is essentially the same notebook with cosmetic changes. The cover is the same 120lb card stock paper, but in a lighter shade of gray. The writing paper is the same Cougar 70lb text weight, but bright white college-ruled with light gray lines. The wire binding is black rather than silver. A 2-pack is available for $12.95.)


Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.

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