I love it when I get great mail. My good friend Chris sent me some paper he found at our local Office Depot. Chris actually lives up the street from me but he wanted to make sure I got some samples of it so he mailed them to me.The samples were of the Eco Conscious Sugar Cane paper from the perforated pads which are available in 3-packs for $7.59.
Chris sent me his very own written sample in his beautiful handwriting. He even noted the ink he was using (J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage). He didn’t get any bleed on the front.
From the back, there’s a little show through and there’s a bit of bleed with the last sample he tested.
He sent a few sheets for me to try so I gave them a whirl. I had similar results to Chris. Heavier ink coverage caused a little feathering but for the most part, pens seemed to behave.
On the reverse, there was a little show through and a tiny bit of bleed. But for inexpensive, big box legal pads, this is a great option. And paper made from 80% sugar cane fiber, its pretty good environmentally.
Thanks for the heads up, Chris! And for the beautiful writing sample, too!
Filofax has reinvented the ringbound planner with the Clipbook ($25.99). It features a flexible softcover made with a cardstock covered with PU printed material over their classic ring. The Personal planner has a 25mm/0.875″ ring which is roomy but compact.
The advantage of this design is that the Clipbook is considerably less expensive than a classic Filofax planner. The thinner material makes the cover flexible enough to fold all the way back on itself, making it smaller and less cumbersome while still allowing users to carry lots of refills in a ringbound format so switching pages is easy.
I tested the Marble Pattern ($25.99) in the Personal size. It comes pre-loaded with a variety of inserts: 15 ruled sheets, 15 graph sheets, 15 plain sheets, 1 fold out double-sided undated yearly calendar, 6 fold out double-sided undated monthly calendar pages, 13 undated week-on-two-page sheets, and 5 to-do sheets. This starter set will give users a nice sampler of the inserts available from Filofax and be able to determine what inserts work best for their needs.
The paper seems to be slightly lighter in weight and feel to the paper in the Filofax Notebooks which is listed as 100gsm. In pen tests, I got decent results with most fine fountain pens, rollerball, felt and gel pens performing well with just a little bit of show through. Rollerballs and felt tips were actually the most likely to show through with a hint of bleed on the Morning Glory Mach 3 and the Sharpie Pen.
Some wetter fountain pen inks showed through a bit more than the Filofax notebook. There was no feathering issues.
Filofax included the Clipbook erasable pen ($19.99) when they sent . For an erasable pen, like the Pilot Frixion, this is a decidedly lovely design. The body of the pen is heavier than the standard plastic barrels of standard Frixion pens because the barrel is lacquered metal. And, instead of having to flip the pen over to erase, the tip of the pen is retracted and the soft grip area is the eraser. Genius!
The Clipbook pen takes a standard Parker-style refill but color me stumped, other than the Filofax refill 3-pack ($6.99), I don’t know where to find erasable gel refills to fit this. Should I ever reach a point where getting refills from Filofax is so no longer an option, knowing that any Parker style refill will fit means that, though the pen would no longer be erasable, it would still be functional.
I like that the calendars and planning pages are open dated so that they can be started at any time. And since this planner is ringbound, any inserts that are not needed can be removed.
The cover easily folds back on itself and with the pressure of your hand it will lay flat.
The Clipbook pen clip is designed to easily fit over the ring of the Clipbook which can be seen here from above.
Overall, I like that Filofax is continuing to innovate and experiment with what ringbound planners and notebooks can be. The Clipbook is a clear example of expanding the range of products to include casual users, new users and folks who might be on a tighter budget. I love the Clipbook pen and the grip eraser. Now to find more sources for refills!
DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Filofax for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
It looks like we found just the right people to get some shit done this week. Thanks to everyone who read the review of the MiGoals Get Shit Done pocket notebooks and entered to win our notebook giveaway.
Our winners are:
Congrats to Kelly and Mary! I’ve contacted both via email. You both sound super busy and ladies not to be messed with! Go forth and conquer the world!
Thanks to MiGoals and Milligram for the lovely notebooks. And, of course, to all you lovely readers who read and commented. I hope you all put in a dent in those lists.
On the list of things I accomplished was preparation for the St. Louis Pen Show including unveiling the newest Col-o-ring product, The Col-o-ring “Oversize”. It’s a 4×5.5″ spiral bound notebook/sketchbook that will be available for a limited time. I will make them available on our online shop starting next week.I also packed an epic amount of road trip snacks including the new Boulevard Fling Gin & Tonics.
The things I still have left to do include finishing all sorts of tasks at work, packing last-minute items for the trip and speed cleaning my house so that Jesi doesn’t run screaming when she arrives.
There are things I wish I could do but I will throw out to you, dear readers, in hopes that maybe there’s someone out there who might to take on this challenge from my list:
The All Things Stationery Map of Stationery Shops is no longer being updated. It would be amazing if someone out there in the pen community took on the challenge to create a new map. In today’s Link Love, there are three pen shop mentions. Pip’s Cafe is listed on the map but the locales in Taiwan are not. I know several new shops in the US need to be added and others need to be removed. I’ve tried to email but the contact info I have is no longer working. Does anyone out there want to take on this challenge?Update: Tessa is alive and well and updating the map. Apparently, my email bounce was a fluke. Problem solved.
The Rhodiarama 7.5″ x 9.75″ notebook is very much like the Goalbook, except that it doesn’t have the formatted index page and numbered pages. The Rhodiarama has Rhodia’s standard orange front and end pages, an elastic to hold the notebook shut, a ribbon bookmark and an expandable inner pocket inside the back cover. The notebook holds the same wonderful paper, 90 gsm ivory brushed vellum, and is available in both dot grid and lined. The book contains 80 pages. Covers are also available in Black, Taupe and Turquoise.
One of the things that excited me about this size is that I’ve been looking for a good journal for the last few years. I have plenty of pocket and A5 notebooks and I prefer those for my regular list making, jotting down notes, trying new inks and pens, etc. as they’re small enough to fit into my purse or daily carry bag. But when I sit down to write in a journal I really like a slightly larger, more substantial book. I like that this one isn’t a full 8.5″ x 11,” but still gives me lots of space to write. I feel like it’s going to be the perfect size for my bedside table.
Rhodia paper is pretty great. It’s hardy enough to tolerate most fountain pen inks, ballpoints, fine liners and gel pens. The only drawback with Rhodia is that the paper has a coating, and it isn’t the best for showing sheening inks. If sheening inks are your jam, you might want to stick with Tomoe River paper.
One final (fun) note about this notebook – if you’re ordering from Vanness Pen Shop, they can engrave the front cover for you! I didn’t have time to get mine done when I was there last, but I’m still pondering what I should get. What would you have engraved on yours?
Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the Rhodia line and I’m happy to add the Rhodiarama larger size to my collection (and my bedside table!)
DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided to us free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
I have been collecting Midori MD notebooks for some time but I haven’t written a review about them. I got the 10th Anniversary Dark Brown Paper Cover (no longer available) and the A5 Cotton Notebook and a set of three Light Notebooks. I purchased my notebooks from my favorite local shop, Wonder Fair. But you can purchase them from JetPens.
On the cover of each book, the words “MD Paper” and “Made in Japan” are blind embossed into the cover halfway down, along the righthand side. The Cotton Notebook has the word “cotton” under the word “paper”. The notebook includes a ribbon bookmark too.
Inside the front of each book, there is a space for personal information. The Midori MDs don’t have any storage pockets. This is where the covers come in handy as they add a flap front and back for storing miscellaneous papers while also adding additional support and protection.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the Midori MD Cotton notebook comes wrapped in glassine paper and has a small sheet of stickers to label and archive your notebook.
I like blank paper. I prefer not to be constricted by lines, or dots, or grids. Sometimes I want to draw and sometimes I want to write. So, blank paper is my preference. If I want lines, I put guides behind the paper to keep my lines straight. Or I go freeform. That said, the Midori MD books are available in other formats.
I tested the cotton paper notebooks, which I know a lot of artists like to draw and sketch on. I follow Fran Meneses who often sketches in one. She uses Copic markers and a gel pen and protects the following pages from any bleeding from the Copics with a sheet of cardstock.
The cotton paper is actually very translucent. But the paper doesn’t feather at all. There is show through, of course, but no bleed through with most tools I tested. I didn’t test any Copic (or other alcohol) markers since I had seen Fran’s results.
The Cotton paper notebook has 88 sheets which is 176 pages though I feel I would really only use one side of the paper. It’s a warm ivory color with a bit of tooth which is good for drawing. I do prefer paper with a little texture. It keeps me from writing or drawing too fast. It’s good for felt tip, rollerball and pencil too.
I did a few close-up shots to show how clean the writing was. I guess, to me, it seems that it’s unusual for a paper to be thin and resistant to bleeding at the same time.
I have been stockpiling the A5 Cotton Notebooks because Midori has changed the dimensions of the Cotton Notebook line-up as of February of this year. As a result, the new size format has been slowly making its way to the US and Europe. The new sizes, are F0 size (180x140mm/7×5.5″), F2 size (240x190mm/9.5×7.4″) and an F3 variant (273x210mm/10.75×8.25″). According to the Midori MD web site, these sizes were selected because “the F stands for “figure” – this French standard is based on the golden ratio for portraits and other pictures”. I’m a bit skeptical about this new sizing and their logic as I have yet to find any other company using these measurements. Yes, there is lots of information around the golden ratio but nothing specifically linked to paper sizing at these dimensions. If you have more information about this, please leave a comment about it. In the meantime, I’ll continue to stockpile the more common A5 size.
Midori MD A5 Light Notebooks
The 3-pack of Light Paper notebooks were an unusual discovery. Each notebook contains 24 pages (48 sheets).
I had been recommended the paper as an alternative to Tomoe River. In the pen community, that’s pretty much all anyone has to say to get me to try something.
Interestingly enough, the Light paper is not as translucent as the Cotton paper yet it still has a bit of tooth to it. I used the plain paper in the past, which is quite smooth so this more texture-y paper was a pleasant surprise. (Which reminds me… One Book July AND World Watercolor Month is just days away!!!)
The next page can be seen a bit through the writing but its not as apparent as with the cotton paper.
I forgot to actually erase my eraser tests but the paper withstood pens and pencils with equal aplomb. I erased after the photo and results were as expected. Graphite erases fine. Erasable pencils are okay and colored pencils really don’t erase.
In close-up, there is no feathering in the fountain pen writing. Again, with this soft, textured paper, I would have expected more squidge. Instead, all that is visible is the texture of the paper.
The small booklet formats of the Light Notebooks make it good for small projects or as add-in notebooks to a Traveler’s Notebook or other multi-notebook system, especially in this larger format where I feel the notebook would need protection.
I definitely like the Light paper. It’s worth seeking it out and trying it out. I wish it was available in the larger notebook format rather than the booklets but I’m willing to make it work for this unique paper.
I created a good deal of fervor with the announcement of the discontinuation of the A5-sized MD Cotton notebooks and the arrival of the new F-sized notebooks. As a result, I thought I’d provide a visual graphic to show the size difference between the A5 and A6 notebooks and the new F0 and F2 notebooks. There is only a 2mm difference in the A4 and F3 books so if you like the large sheet size, you will be largely unaffected by the change.
I hope this helps visualize the difference in the size and shape of the new notebooks. It’s only affecting the MD Cotton, not the regular line of MD notebooks.
DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
On the cover of most of the MiGoals notebooks is a lovely debossed foil stamped “Get Shit Done” lettering. The notebook I tested had the lettering small, in a tone-on-tone look which was subtle and not so in your face that I couldn’t carry this book to work.
The cover is very heavyweight cardstock. Inside, is a slip sheet with inspirational info about MiGoals and the GSD (Get Shit Done) mission. It’s pretty charming and life-affirming. On the first page of the notebook is also an uplifting quote.
On the next page of the book are tips for how to tackle your daily to do lists. This may be helpful if you don’t have a system in place already. I also included the flip side of the slip sheet and the next page of the notebook which is what all the subsequent pages look like.
The interior paper is 100gsm. There are 48 pages in each book and the paper is a warm white color. At the top of each page is a place to add the date and the first three lines are numbered one through three for your top three items. If you want to continue to number things you certainly could. At the end of each line is a dot that can be used to check off or mark when the task is completed or migrated to another page.
I tested lots of different pens to see how the paper handled ink. The lines are pretty close together (about 5mm spacing) so I didn’t push to super broad points.
I went ahead and continued my writing samples on the back side which means you can see if there was any bleed through. No. That 100gsm paper is pretty thick and durable. There is no feathering either.
For size clarity, I photographed the A6 next to a Field Notes for scale. I like the A6 size. While it’s probably not back pocket pocket pocketable, the A6 fits nicely into the pocket of a bag.
The nice thing with the MiGoals notebooks is that you can purchase these individually instead of in sets of three like many other pocket notebooks. The paper is good quality and the covers are heavier weight than a lot of books.
Thanks to MiGoals and Milligram, I have two Get Shit Done A6 Pocket Notebooks to giveaway. One is in an out-of-print color (bright blue with white lettering) and one is black-on-black. So, I will pick two winners for this giveaway.
TO ENTER: Leave a comment below and tell me what shit you need to get done and what color notebook you want. Play along and type in something. It makes reading through entries more interesting for me, okay? One entry per person.
If you have never entered a giveaway or commented on the site before, your comment must be manually approved by our highly-trained staff of monkeys before it will appear on the site. Our monkeys are underpaid and under-caffeinated so don’t stress if your comment does not appear right away. Give the moneys some time.
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. All entries must be submitted on wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Thursday. Winners will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your actual email address in the comment form (where it says “email address”) so that I can contact you if you win. I will not sell your email address to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 7 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US and APO/AFO only, sorry.
DISCLAIMER: Items included in this review were provided to us free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.