This week I was delighted to dig into reviewing a somewhat new product: Musubi’s Spica Bond Pocket Folio Notebooks (SGD20 for a set of 3, approx. $14-15). These are another one of the goodies that Ana brought back from the SF Pen Show for me to try.
I’ve always been a fan of Musubi. The owner Daryl is completely transparent about what he is trying to do: create beautiful writing tools and notebooks that fully support artisans who hand make many of the products. The Pocket Folio Notebooks are just the newest to a wonderful product lineup.
There are a lot of pocket folio notebooks out there to choose from, often at similar price points. This particular one comes in a slim A6 size (90mm x 140mm, or 3.5″ x 5.5″. The books have cardstock covers and sewn binding, reinforced with tape.
The paper itself is Spica Bond 75, a white 75gsm paper made from 25% cotton. The books are available in blank, lined (7.2mm) or cross grid (5mm) and each book contains 48 pages.
The notebooks come in eco-friendly packaging of cardboard and ribbon. And here is why I love Daryl’s products so much – he truly thinks about how every part of the product and packaging can be used. The cardboard used to hold the package of 3 notebooks together is actually perforate and designed as index cards. These cards can then be used to sort your notebooks (for easy storage in any box that can store standard 3.5″ x 5.5″ index cards or photos). The only part of the cardboard that is “waste” is the small tab connecting the two index cards. The ribbon can be repurposed to be a bookmark, or used to tie the notebooks back together.
So let’s talk about the paper a little more. The paper is smooth to the touch and my pens glide across it easily. One thing I do really like is that the cross grid still absorbs the ink as normal – in some notebooks the ink is repelled by those grid points making it harder to read. I don’t see any feathering on the front side. As for the backs, it’s not bad news. There is some bleed through where I reinforced my lines (the musubi up top) and when I used larger nibs (the Sailor Music nib I used for “pocket notebooks are the best!”)
Even so, I think these notebooks are perfectly functional for an every day carry. I can see carrying one in my purse or pen case (specifically the Sinclair) to jot notes, quotes I want to remember, to do lists, or more. And again, I appreciate that if I want to keep the notebooks as an archive of my daily life, I have some handy index tabs to sort them by! Are they the cheapest notebooks on the market? No, but it’s roughly comparable to other popular pocket notebooks like Field Notes and a number of other smaller brands. However, if you want to support a business that is committed to creating great craftsmanship and ethical production, I can’t think of a better place to shop.
DISCLAIMER: Some of the items in this review were provided free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.