The Lamy Notebook (Notizbuch in German) A5 (€13.97, the color I got for review does not appear to be available at present but other color options are available) is a hardcover notebook with a brushed silver cover and features a contrasting elastic closure, built-in elastic pen loop, and interior back pocket (with gusset) and two coordinating ribbon bookmarks.
The ribbon bookmarks feature finished ends so they won’t fray and one matches the book details and the other is highlighter yellow.
The pen loop will, of course, fit a Lamy Safari or AL-Star but is stretchy enough to accommodate a more slender pen and may fit a slightly wider pen as well.
The Lamy Notebook features edge painting on the pages that matches the elastics and bookmark. The ribbons are also long enough to open the book by sliding the ribbon to the corner and lifting which is a plus in my column (I’m looking at you, Baron Fig Confidant and your shorty ribbons!).
This is a close-up of the line/grid combo printed on the pages which Lamy has dubbed “Lamy Ruling”. It features 5mm grids between 10mm lines. For bullet journaling or note-taking, the combination seems to work really well. When writing the details, I like the 5mm spacing but for making titles or call-outs, the 10mm lines are a great option.
Fountain pen ink, even in a Fude nib pen, performed well on the paper. I had no surprises in the writing performance. Fine nibs look fine, stubs retain line variation… So, my initial reaction to the paper is good.
I am surprised that I quite like the grid/line format. I don’t normally prefer grid or lined paper but the printing of the grids and lines is light enough not to detract from the writing, even with light bright colors like the orange ink.
A close-up shows no splining (where ink travels along paper fibers to create weird artifacts) and only slight feathering with the Sharpie Pen which is a wet fiber-tipped pen with liquid ink.
When I really pushed the notebook with extra large nibs like the Fude and brush pens, there is the hint of bleedthrough and very noticeable show through. However, under most normal writing circumstances, it appears that the paper is pretty good. I would place it higher than Leuchtturm1917 in terms of weight and durability. So, if you are looking for an upgrade for bullet journaling or a more visual journaling method, the Lamy Notebook appears to withstand a good variety of tools though you may occasionally need to avoid using the back of a page if your ink coverage is particularly heavy.
I decided to test a few more pens that might be used in bullet journaling to see how well the paper performed. Once again, no feathering. The paper is just slightly more toothy than Clairefontaine paper. In terms of pen feel, again, I would compare it most closely to Leuchtturm1917.
The very heavy application of fountain pen ink had some minor bleedthrough but none transferred to the next page and all the large pen marks had slight show through though at this size and heavy application, its to be expected at some level.
The last 8 pages in the 192 page notebook are perforated should you want to remove a sheet or two for other purposes. The thread stitched binding allows the book to lay flat as well.
If you are looking for an upgrade to Leuchtturm1917 or the much-maligned Moleskine notebooks, the Lamy Notebook is a good option. There are lots of color combinations available for the covers for a look that might best suit your tastes.
This is not a notebook designed to compete with the Tomoe River and Cosmo Air Light notebooks designed for maximum ink sheening and other “fountain pen fanatic” specific requirements. The Lamy Notebook is a good all-around notebook at a competitive price designed to shine in the market against other mass market notebooks.