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My everyday notebooks and pads


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#1 inkypete

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:20

There has been a lot of discussion over many threads about notebooks. I have tried many including paying the postage to get the product not available in Australia sent in from (mainly) USA.

My summary:

Everyday: Clairefontaine notebooks stitched and spiral, anything with Apica written on it, Rhodia pads, Kokuyo (Campus) notebooks and Field Note notebooks. All quality stuff. Field Notes in larger sizes would be sensational.

Forget them: Moleskin - paper quality is rubbish.

Maybe: Rhodia webnotes - really nice book, but paper doesn't suit all pens.

Still to try: Quo Vadis Habana - really keen to try them.

So many notebooks, so little time.

Edited by inkypete, 31 May 2008 - 01:20.

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#2 limesally

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:29

Everyday:

moleskine daily planner (this one has *great* paper - if only they were all like this)
clothbound Clairefontaine, as a commonplace book
moleskine blank pocket, everyday catchall for ideas, lists, sketches
moleskine blank large for personal journal (mostly to use my last one up, I'm ready to defect any time)
Rhodia A16 pad - sketches, letter drafts, letters, stuff I don't want to write in my permanent journal and destroy immediately afterwards (!)
small clothbound Clairefontaine, ink tests and records

when school is in session:


Mead or Hilroy spiral notebooks
Mead or Hilroy composition books
Apica

I've written about my Quo Vadis Habana woes elsewhere, and have ordered another one from the UK with high hopes.

Edited by limesally, 31 May 2008 - 01:30.


#3 inkypete

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:34

QUOTE(limesally @ May 31 2008, 11:29 AM) View Post
Everyday:

moleskine daily planner (this one has *great* paper - if only they were all like this)
clothbound Clairefontaine, as a commonplace book
moleskine blank pocket, everyday catchall for ideas, lists, sketches
moleskine blank large for personal journal (mostly to use my last one up, I'm ready to defect any time)
Rhodia A16 pad - sketches, letter drafts, letters, stuff I don't want to write in my permanent journal and destroy immediately afterwards (!)
small clothbound Clairefontaine, ink tests and records

when school is in session:


Mead or Hilroy spiral notebooks
Mead or Hilroy composition books
Apica

I've written about my Quo Vadis Habana woes elsewhere, and have ordered another one from the UK with high hopes.



My very first Moleskin had fabulous paper too - good enough to make me forget the price tag. But from then on all downhill. I believe there are a few Rhodia distributors who are lobbying Rhodia strongly to change the paper in their webnotes back to their typical paper - if they do I will have found my almost perfect notebook. One feature webnotes doesn't have that the Moleskin does is the last few pages perforated for easy removal - I find that feature invaluable.
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#4 Richard

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:48

Since a package of Field Notes memo books appeared in my mailbox, I've been carrying one of these books every day. Great paper, perfect pocket size, 100% U.S. made.



DISCLAIMER: I like these memo books so well that we are now selling them. (The pen is NOT included. smile.gif)
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#5 Writer44

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 02:14

I'm in a bit of a deep grove these days. Been working with the moleskine, both the large and the small ruled versions. Would like to go to something with better paper but haven't gotten the right combination yet.

I use a medium nib with blue ink and have cursed left handed writing so it looks like one muddy stream on the page. Luckily I have a magic decoder ring and can figure it out.

For desktop, I've been using the old RECORD books, which feather terribly and bleed through, but I only use the right-hand side for writing and the left for notes among the spots. Actually works quite well, especially with red ink on the left (happens to be correct for maritime navigation as well, just thought I'd mention that).
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#6 DerekB

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 02:25

The Blank Rhodia No 16 is my new favorite thing in the universe. I love it. I'm also looking for a purpose for my Field Notes...they're really cool but I don't have any use for them because that Rhodia is such an all-around performer.

#7 xena

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 02:48

My everyday notebook for book journaling is a junior circa noteboook (leather foldover), that I'll eventually post the hand written review of. Additionally, I have some Ampad Law ruled notebooks that I have been using for a few years to take class notes in, that are fountain pen friendly.

#8 Songwind

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 04:41

My personal journal is a Clairfontaine basic 6X8.

Right now I am writing in Moleskine cahiers, basically to try it out. I want something nicer than a Norcomm spiral to encourage me to keep writing. I don't think these are it. I believe I will use up the current cahier and move on to something else.

I want to try Strathmore writing paper. If I like it as much as everyone else seems to, I will probably have it bound and drilled into 3-hole writing pads and use that for my stories. I got one of their free sampler packs with a bunch of different finishes and colors.

I am also looking at Rhodia writing pads. I have a local source for them, so if they are comparable in price I may just do that.

Oh, and I have some of Richard's writing pads with the vintage pens on that I am using for letter writing.
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#9 Shangas

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 05:20

Sick of using blank printing-paper and not satisfied with notebooks, I recently went out and bought three pads. They're 'Quill' brand notepads. A4-sized lined paper. Smooth, strong and seem to put up with fountain pens pretty good. They're the kind of pads where the pages are all glued together at the top on the back of a cardboard backing sheet, and you can just rip the pages off neatly when you're done. Both sides of each page are lined. I'm really liking these pads...wish I bought more. Must do it next week...

Pretty cheap, $2.50 for a 100-sheet writing-pad. I bought 300 sheets'-worth.
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#10 MiniMaupassant

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 15:52

The quest for the perfect notebook seems to be an endless one for me!!

I use a plain, A4, hardbacked Clairefontaine at work and attract a lot of positive comments about the quality of the paper.

However, I also like to have a notebook with me at all times to jot down ideas, incidents, general notes to self, as well as being a sort of journal and memory book. For this purpose I have been using large plain Moleskines, purely because I love the fact that the pages lie flat and there is a pocket at the back, which I find extremely useful. I also find the elastic enclosure and bookmark really handy. However, as we all know, the quality of the paper is appalling, as well as being ivory, when personally I would prefer bright white.

My 'dream' notebook would therefore be the size and shape of a Moleskine, with features such as back pocket and enclosure, but would have Clairefontaine paper. If Rhodia decide to upgrade the paper they use in their WebNoteBooks, as well as producing a plain version, then I might be tempted.

I came across some Ciak notebooks a few weeks ago, so have some to try when I finish my current Moleskine, but they are a full A5 size.
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#11 ajaxline

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 15:01

I like to switch between different notebooks. This helps to keep the writing experience fresh and interesting.

Apica CD-11s. Love 'em!

Kokoyu Black Ice notebooks. Bright, white paper that really likes fine-nibbed Lamy pens.

Rhodia Reverse Books. 21x21cm grid paper that's great for doodles or mind maps.

Whitelines A5 coil-bound. My current favorite and champion. Looks amazing using all kinds of different pens and inks.

Moleskine Large Reporter's notebooks. I recently filled my first one of these, which was an epic task. My experience with my first Moleskine product was positive, but I know from reading other folks on the forums that your writing experience may vary.

For me, paper is about variety. I like to find a handful of favorites, and then mix it up depending on what I'm working on, where I'm working, and so on. It's all about personal taste, as well as how much you're looking to spend on your paper.


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#12 wvbeetlebug

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:43

For journaling I use the basic lined journal from Barnes and Noble. It's $4.95 for a lot of pages and the size is just right. Also, comes in colors other than black.

For work and note taking I use a standard college ruled Mead notebook. I can get them free from work.

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#13 Jake

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:33

I use basic ruled Moleskines. What's wrong with the paper?

Those black stitched Clairefontaine notebooks look attractive, but 6 x 8 is too large for my pockets. If the company made one in a size identical to the Moleskine, I'd try it.

#14 Songwind

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 05:22

QUOTE(Jake @ Jun 7 2008, 10:33 PM) View Post
I use basic ruled Moleskines. What's wrong with the paper?

Those black stitched Clairefontaine notebooks look attractive, but 6 x 8 is too large for my pockets. If the company made one in a size identical to the Moleskine, I'd try it.


A lot of people on the boards have had inconsistent performance from Moleskine.

I have only bought once (a 3 pack of cahiers) and I have definitely had 3 different "grades" of paper in this one cahier. They range from bleeding and feather to nearly perfect. I like the performance on the good paper, but for that kind of cash I would like to be able to count on it being good all the time.
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#15 inkypete

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 08:41

QUOTE(Jake @ Jun 8 2008, 01:33 PM) View Post
I use basic ruled Moleskines. What's wrong with the paper?

Those black stitched Clairefontaine notebooks look attractive, but 6 x 8 is too large for my pockets. If the company made one in a size identical to the Moleskine, I'd try it.


After having 3 or 4 Moleskin I am an "absolutely never again" person. The paper variation is remarkable. They feather and bleed way too much for an expensive notebook. Clairefontaine, Rhodia and Field Notes use fabulous paper.
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#16 david6

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 08:58

QUOTE(Richard @ May 31 2008, 02:48 AM) View Post
Since a package of Field Notes memo books appeared in my mailbox, I've been carrying one of these books every day. Great paper, perfect pocket size, 100% U.S. made.



DISCLAIMER: I like these memo books so well that we are now selling them. (The pen is NOT included. smile.gif)


These books look interesting, are they available from any UK suppliers yet?

David

Edited by david6, 08 June 2008 - 09:00.


#17 phillychuck

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 09:17

My day to day book (in my briefcase and on my desk) is a Black n'Red A4 casebound. I've been using a small shirtpocket Clairefontaine wirebound, and I'll probably switch to a Rhodia No. 11 for a universal capture tool.

#18 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:39

Clairefontaine and Rhodia are butter smooth but I cannot justify the price for every day use.

I use Ampad recyled pads in letter and 5x8 size, good enough for everyday use and takes to
my medium and bold nibs fairly well.


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#19 Paddler

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:59

I make my own notebooks. That way, I get the paper I want. I make them large enough to mostly fill a shirt pocket and leave room for a pen in the right corner.

For historical reenactments, I made a black suede cover with a tie string in the center. Inside, I use laid paper from Eaton Private Stock. The paper has a bit of tooth to it, so it gives a little more control for hand-held note taking. No bleeding or feathering.

For everyday note taking, I tooled a heavy leather cover and fill it with Wausau Royal Cotton stationery paper. No bleed, no feather.

The notebooks have single signatures of 16 folded sheets, giving 64 pages. A simple saddle stitch holds the signature to the cover. When a notebook is full, I make a new signature and stitch it to the cover in place of the old one. The old one is held together by a single stitch in the center. Its fly leaf gets the dates spanned by the notes inside. The whole procedure takes about fifteen minutes.

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#20 hardyb

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 15:34

Field notes contact info. to ask about a UK distributor:
http://images.google...htt...l=en&sa=G

Home page:

http://fieldnotesbrand.com/

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#21 jmkeuning

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 15:41

Office Depot composition books.

But I might switch to Mead.
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#22 kmorris

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 16:15

For my journal, a disc bound journal with covers made from my DS9 dvd case, I cut and punched some 32# resume paper (pinstripe style). For daily notes at work I've got junior and letter size disc bound notepads that may have a variety of my own paper, punched handouts, and I use the back of scrap paper before it is thrown away. If those notes end up being something I need to keep, I generally recopy them, or at least summarize salient points onto nicer paper.

I've always cut scrap paper in fourths and used the super jumbo binder clips for my phone pads. But I think I'm going to start disc binding that as well. The binder clips annoy me by getting in the way all the time. I think the annoyance factor will more than cover the small time it takes to punch a bunch of it.



#23 vermillionpart4

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 17:20

RIght now I use Miquelrius notebooks for class... although classes just ended. Moleskine for my personal journal alhtough I might switch back to a large Rhodia pad again, they're a great size, solid and cheap(er)

#24 Tricia

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 22:43

Mostly I use Clairefontaine and Circa (old stuff from Levengers), pretty much switching off when the mood or subject matter varies. I have a Circa punch, so it's easy to add the Clairefontaine pages to a Circa notebook (yeah, the pages are a little different in size, but it doesn't matter to me).

For my journal, I'm using a Moleskine (fortunately, with good paper). I have several others that I bought at the same time, so I'm hoping the paper will be of the same quality. If so, it will be a while before I need to see what is available nowadays.

I do have some Apicas but they are soft cover so I don't reach for them very often since I sometimes - though not often - write where I don't have a hard surface to write on. The Circa notebooks have leather or plastic covers and I can write in them without support for a little while. Same with the Clairefontaine, with an especial favorite being the hard-backed pads.

I have been known to buy whatever will work with fountain pens when I'm out and don't have my tote with me. Since I have a stash of the "good stuff" that's over a foot and a half high, I certainly don't need any more paper! I guess what I do need to do is remember to take my tote with me more often. cool.gif
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#25 Artful Lounger

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:56

For school/note-taking
- Apica is the new favourite for a variety of factors. The size, cost, paper and quality.

For other purposes
- Rhodia notepads (both A5 and A4)
- Whitelines

Clairefontaine paper is really good, but ink dries too slowly on the paper for my taste. I want to like it but it's just not practical for me.

#26 GeneF

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:11

For note taking at work I usually use a Cambridge Limited notebook, or a Tops Docket Gold (20 lb.)

Don't really care for recycled paper - it seems to suck the ink right out of the pen - my fine nib writes really heavy lines.

I just picked up a Staples brand composition book. I like the college ruled styles best.

For casual note taking while walking around I use 3x5 lined index cards. I always keep a few in a leather holder in a hip pocket. Easy to carry and super easy to write notes on.

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#27 effrafax

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 05:09

QUOTE(Shangas @ May 31 2008, 03:20 PM) View Post
Sick of using blank printing-paper and not satisfied with notebooks, I recently went out and bought three pads. They're 'Quill' brand notepads. A4-sized lined paper. Smooth, strong and seem to put up with fountain pens pretty good. They're the kind of pads where the pages are all glued together at the top on the back of a cardboard backing sheet, and you can just rip the pages off neatly when you're done. Both sides of each page are lined. I'm really liking these pads...wish I bought more. Must do it next week...

Pretty cheap, $2.50 for a 100-sheet writing-pad. I bought 300 sheets'-worth.


I'll second the Quills. I just bought three from a local newsagents, and they perform really well, especially for the price. In fact, so well, it's the only paper I've found so far that I can write with the otherwise-troublesome Noodler's Concord Bream, that bleeds so badly on any other paper I have that it's unusable. Good find, so will now get some A4 size white and try that. (The ones I have are an A5 spiral-bound with purple paper (!?!), an A6 hard-covered spiral-bound w/white paper, and a reporter-style spiral bound A7 with a mid-blue paper: all good! Total cost around AUD8.)

Edited by effrafax, 10 June 2008 - 05:11.

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#28 dcwaites

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 12:06

Most of what I write is stuff like 1st and 2nd drafts, details of client's problems with their printers, stuff like that, that I don't want to keep for posterity. So I don't want to spend a lot of money on paper that might have a working life of a few days. On the other hand, I want to have some tactile/physical pleasure in the writing process, and I want to see what the inks look like, really, and I don't want feathering, bleeding, and the like. (And I want peace on earth, goodwill to all men, mildly left-wing governments installed in all nations, an adolescent son that gets up before noon and does his chores without grumbling...)

If I am going to spend $20 on a notebook, it is for final copy, stuff that I'm going to keep.

I have finally found some cheap ($3, $4, $5) notebooks that I am happy to use for day-to-day stuff. It's an Australian brand called Phaze I, made by a company called Dats. The company is Australian, the paper is Chinese, but it is more than good enough for normal scribbling. It is very thin, hard paper that doesn't bleed or feather with anything other than my Jinhao firehoses. As well, it really shows up the colour of the inks and their shading relatively well.

I also make little shirt pocket notebooks by taking a piece of A4 paper, folding it down to A7 and stapling the binding edge. I then slit the pages to give me an 8 leaf / 16 page notebook that neatly fits into a shirt pocket. I use one of my nice cut sheet papers like OCE or Clairefontaine in 100 gsm.



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#29 xena

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 19:03

For my planning i use a combo of items- a hipster pda from hp inkjet copy paper and run of the mill oxford index cards, and a filofax for longrange calendar planning. The hipster pda rides with me in an ancient levenger pocket briefcase i nicked from my dad who was no longer using it.

#30 jde

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 21:13

For my back pocket, I carry a miguelruis flexible notebook.
For major writing, my standard bearer is the "Porta Desk" rigid back notebook, by National. I use the version that has the spiral wire at the top instead of the side. Depending on the ink, there can be a bit of bleed through. I used to use Clairefontaine for both large and small notebooks. I love 'em, yet the price on the Porta Desk is sooo much kinder on my bank account.

Sometime soon, I hope to try out Field Notes. Just because.

Edited by jde, 10 June 2008 - 21:14.

 
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