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Reporter Style Notepads?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Linsolv

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:24

I realized a few months back that I cannot bring myself, for whatever reason, to use side-bound pocket notebooks. I have a letter-sized Arc notebook, and probably will grab a half-Letter sized as well, but for jotting down thoughts and notes quickly, a back-pocket notebook is nice.

However, I'd rather something a bit sturdier than most spiral- or staple-bound notepads, and I am not crazy about getting a new Moleskine, since I don't generally enjoy Moleskine paper, and if I'm paying a premium that high I'd rather like it for writing than feel secure in the knowledge that if I ever one day took up watercolor I could probably do it in my notepad.

So off the top of my head, I know 2 options, the Moleskine pocket reporter and the Rhodia WebNotepad in 3.5x5.5.

I haven't tried a Rhodia notebook before but having heard plenty of good things (and certainly not minding the dot grid!) I would gladly buy one of those, except for that I read a complaint on Brian Goulet's site from a customer saying that it wasn't comfortable to sit on. Any word on how the Rhodia compares to the Moleskine, and if it's a bigger problem than it would have been there, any alternate recommendations?

#2 mAnuscript69

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:24

Leuchtturm makes Reporter style notebooks as well. I have no experience with them aside from the side bound ones.
Black N Red offers Reporter style notebooks, but I have no experience with them as well. Reviews have been largely positive though.

If you don't mind perforated pages, you can't go wrong with Rhodia top stablebound notepads. I find the #11 and #12 sizes to be ideal for daily carry. The staple binding holds up very well with daily use. For additional durability, you can opt for a leatherette cover to go with the notepads. Those things never seem to wear out.

Another option would be the Zequenz notebook, which is a very flexible notebook suitable for everyday carry. Personally I find it a little too thick to sit on for long periods of time.

#3 fpc

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:46

Clairefontain also makes a 3.5 x 5.5 and one even smaller that are top spiral.
Goulet pens carries both.

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#4 kcnightfang

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:27

The Moleskine reporter books aren't comfortable to sit on either. I have to keep mine in a front pocket, and that can get uncomfortable after a while too. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I'm probably going back to softcover sidebound notebooks for my pocket.

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#5 nicholasyeo

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 14:24

Rhodia is cheap and therefore quite ok, but I would prefer something more discreet and stylish like Moleskine, WITH the Rhodia paper. A pity nobody makes the perfect reporter notebooks!! I think an important factor is price. AS a reporter myself, price matters, because we're paid peanuts! ;)

Edited by nicholasyeo, 18 December 2012 - 14:27.


#6 Linsolv

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 17:52

Leuchtturm1917 makes reporter-bound notebooks? That is interesting, as well, since I'd just yesterday read a number of glowing reviews. I didn't see any such on gouletpens, maybe I should've done my research better.

Ah. Seems to be common in the UK, but I can't find any US retailers. Any tips, or should I just keep an eye out?

#7 NedC

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 19:34

Well, if you're thinking of watercolour you could get a landscape formatMoleskine watercolour book;) Or considering the other alternatives: The Leuchtturm pad is very nice but is about a centimetre longer and probably even less comfortable to sit on than the Rhodia Webbie, it's really more suited to be carried in the inside breast pocket of a suit jacket or such and it doesn't seem to be distributed in the US. The Rhodia Webbie is the same size as the Molekine reporter but unlike the Moleskine or Leuchtturm all of the sheets a micro-perforated at the top for removal. I would suggest for back pocket carry the standard Rhodia head staple bound pads or their dotPads and the separate pad holder which are more flexible and economical in use.

#8 NedC

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 19:43

I ordered my Leuchtturms from Cult Pens in the UK, no affiliation yada yada they offer excellent service. Being left handed I seriously prefer top bound pads whenever I have to use a pad hand held and the extra length of the Leuchtturm comes in handy but as I said makes carrying in one's back pocket or any trouser's pockets more problematic. The Leuchtturm paper is also slightly more prone to bleeding if you prefer a wet broad nib than the Rhodia, but not so much as the Moleskine, it does tend to allow ink to fry a bit faster than the Rhodia though which is handy for quick notes.

#9 Linsolv

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 20:31

I prefer drier, finer nibs.

Shipping wasn't too obscene from Cult Pens?

#10 NedC

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 21:01

I prefer drier, finer nibs.

Shipping wasn't too obscene from Cult Pens?


£10.00 not too bad if you're getting half a dozen and a few other higher value or rare items. But, as I said, for back pocket carry the best option would probably be the Rhodia no.12 pads and a the holder.

#11 randyholhut

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:05

Rhodia and Clairfontaine notebooks are nice, but they are too expensive for my taste.

As a working journalist, Ampad Gold Fibre 3 x 5 inch note pads are what I use every day. Fountain pen friendly (unless you have a broad nib and high penetration ink) and about $1-$2 (depending on if Staples has a sale) for a 90-sheet pad.

I carry them in a leather pad holder, similar to what many police detectives use. You can find them for about $15 at a police supply store or online.

It gives you a stiff back to write, endlessly refillable, and looks very cool when you pull it out of a jacket pocket to take notes.

#12 mnkygrl7

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:51

Leuchtturm1917 makes reporter-bound notebooks? That is interesting, as well, since I'd just yesterday read a number of glowing reviews. I didn't see any such on gouletpens, maybe I should've done my research better.

Ah. Seems to be common in the UK, but I can't find any US retailers. Any tips, or should I just keep an eye out?


In the U.S. there is another option but I'm not sure how it works for a back pocket: Levenger has a Circa jotlet 3 X 5 for $7 plus S/H (they have sales sometimes too, and see the link below to the Levenger Ebay outlet, they may have some there.

It's basically the same binding as the Staples Arc notebooks (since you mentioned them in a previous post). If you don't mind a little initial investment, buy the punch and make your own notepad and/or refills. The punch is about $30, watch for a sale. I printed (and punched) my own with index card stock.

If you decide to make your own, it works better to use the smaller rings (1/4-1/2" diameter) so I found the Levenger Ebay outlet (discs). I made the covers out of a shoebox (that boots came in, the boxes are a little more sturdy).

And no, I don't work for Staples or Levenger. If you are interested in details of making your own there are some threads on the Arc by Staples thread of the (FP) forum.

If you'd like to see a picture of a customized one here is my Etsy store link.

Happy Hunting!