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Legal pads in Australia


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#1 versus

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 00:33

Since my supply of good and quality stuff ran out late last week, and since most of the giveouts don't live up to paper quality, or usable size, expectations I found myself wandering from stationery store to stationery store looking for a decent legal pad. I can't use any of the free giveaways that crowd my drawers; they generally have a large conference or vendor herald on it. I need my sheets of paper stored for future reference, not for advertising.

So after not finding anything suitable at Dymocks, I decided to check out OfficeWorks. Why I didn't go to any of the pen stores? Because they sell pens. Expensive pens that I might find nice. And find a need to have. And find in my possession, after a short transaction. And that is not what I was after. I was after paper.

So, browsing OfficeWorks store on Clarence St I found what seemed a good deal. One of those that if it works - great; if not, no huge loss. I bought a set of three 50 sheet legal pads by Tudor, the "Executive Writing Pad". How's that for a name. For the price less than a Wellbeing smoothie, it certainly wasn't a huge gamble. And if it didn't work out, I could always take it home and make paper airplanes out of it.

Well, after using it for a few days now, I can say that it certainly lives up to expectations. The ink is a bit slower to dry than I am used to, but there is no bleed through, and absolutely no feathering - unlike in Moleskine. My couple of daily pens, one with Waterman's black, the other with Montblanc's Royal Blue, both F nibbed, leave a nice, thin line.

In short, if you're in the great land of Oz, and need legal pads for writing, give it a go. If it doesn't work out for you - no big loss.

If anyone knows of other places that may stock better paper, please speak up. I'm willing to try anything once. Or twice. Or convert, if it proves to be great.

Edited by versus, 09 May 2007 - 00:35.

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#2 Phthalo

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 02:47

Sounds like a good pad, I'll have to check it out. smile.gif I have some notebooks at home I really like... I *think* they are Tudor also.

But, from memory, the Tudor A6 notebooks feather... so sometimes its hit and miss. Currently we have Corporate Express (CE/EXP) brand spiral notebooks free at work, and the A4 240 Page is great - no feathering and super smooth, but then I found that the little Shorthand 300 Page notebooks feather! The packaging is the same, but the paper isn't... argh!

Finding decent paper is certainly no easy matter - good day-to-day stuff is hard to find, and also getting a new annual diary is just plain frustrating too. Everything from Collins for example, contains paper which feathers madly. Basic DATS Quarto were my preference, but the paper changed this year, and now they are unusable. I actually bought four week-opening 2007 diaries this January, and only one was kind of usable - a 'cheaper' brand Grandluxe/Cumberland 'Norwich' diary.

Edit: Also 'ELCO' writing pads are good, and well worth investigating.

I think we should keep using this thread to post FP and non-FP friendly papers for fellow Aussie's. I'll check what ones I have at home and post a summary tonight. smile.gif

Edited by Phthalo, 09 May 2007 - 11:27.

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#3 ajbw

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 03:26

QUOTE(Phthalo @ May 9 2007, 02:47 AM) View Post
But, from memory, the Tudor A6 notebooks feather... so sometimes its hit and miss. Currently we have Corporate Express (CE/EXP) brand spiral notebooks free at work, and the A4 240 Page is great - no feathering and super smooth, but then I found that the little Shorthand 300 Page notebooks feather! The packaging is the same, but the paper isn't... argh!


Funny, I was going to mention CE as well smile.gif I don't know if you can get them retail but I find them excellent, both the Spiral Shorthand 300pg (EXP333) and the Spiral A4 120pg (EXP334). Neither of them feather for me (I use Quink and Pelikan inks) so I guess YMDV (your mileage*does* vary smile.gif). I do agree the two types seem to use different paper (the former has blue lines and the latter grey, as well). I will try and scan a sample tonight.

Edit - I realise they're not legal pads* (neither are the CE spiral pads though I'm sure you could get them) but I found a nice selection of Miquelrius notebooks and journals (A4, A5 and A6) on special at Officeworks in Milton (Brisbane) the other day; they are just as good as the CE notebooks but much prettier!

* I define a legal pad as a top glued lined A4 pad...

Edited by ajbw, 09 May 2007 - 03:31.



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#4 ajbw

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 03:47

Hah! I just found a 100pg Spiral (EXP332) in my desk drawer... unlike my other CE notebooks, it feathers! And unlike the others which are from our Brisbane office, I got it while I was at our Sydney office a few months ago... maybe in NSW they are sourced from a different place, or have changed their supplier?


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#5 Phthalo

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 04:33

Some findings around the office...

NOTEBOOKS / NOTEPADS

Corporate Express / EXP
  • EXP336 A4 Spiral Notebook, 240 Pages. (Blue-ruled lines, no feathering with PR, regular Noodler's, Platinum, R&K.)
  • EXP333 Spiral Notebook Shorthand, 300 Pages. (Grey-ruled lines, feathering.) *
Collins
  • 04100 A4 Black & Red, 100 Leaf. Hardcover bound. (Grey-ruled lines, no feathering with PR, regular Noodler's.)
Goldline
  • A4 Metric Graph Paper 1mm, 50 Sheets. (Blue-ruled lines, feathering.)
Marbig
  • 18064 100 Page Notebook, Spiral (Shorthand). (Blue-ruled lines, slight feathering with most inks.)
Spirax (Esselte)
  • No. 592 Notebook 8mm Ruled Spiral, 120 Pages. Short B5 Size. (No feathering with most inks.)
  • No. 805 A4 Graph Pad, 25 Sheets 5mm Squares. (Green-ruled lines, no feathering with PR, regular Noodler's, Platinum, Stipula.)
  • No. 566 Stenographers Shorthand Notepad, 100 Pages. (Blue-ruled lines / Red centre rule. No feathering with most inks.)
  • No. 566A Stenographers Shorthand Notepad, 200 Pages. (Blue-ruled lines / Red centre rule. No feathering with most inks.)
  • 511-series Hardcover Spiral (coloured cover), 200 Pages. Short B5 Size. (Blue-ruled lines, very slight feathering with most inks.)
  • 56512-series A4 Hardcover Spiral (coloured cover), 200 Pages. (Blue-ruled lines, very slight feathering with most inks.)
Tudor (Spicers)
  • SP92 178x222mm Spiral, 120 Page. Short B5 size. (Blue-ruled lines, no feathering with many of my inks, minimal (better than normal) feathering from Noodler's Eternals.)
  • Tudor Social A5 Writing Pad, 100 Leaves. (Blue-ruled lines, no feathering with most inks.)
Tudor
  • 124006 A4 Lecture Pad, 70 Pages. (Feint Ruled 7mm. Red margin and Blue-ruled lines, no feathering with most inks.)
  • 129400 Executive Writing Pad, 3-Pack, 50 Pages. A4. (Red margin and Blue-ruled lines, no feathering with most inks.)
Quill
  • Funkadelic Colours A4 Spiral, 120 Pages. (Blue-ruled lines, no feathering with regular Noodler's, R&K, PR.)
DIARY / PLANNER / JOURNAL
  • Collins Debden, Vanessa Desk Diary. (Feathering.)
  • DATS, Management Diary, Quarto-Week To An Opening. (Feathering.)
  • SKLEW Hardcover Journals 05B-series. Many colours/designs. (No feathering.)
WRITING PADS / PAPER
  • ELCO Classic A4, Toilé Linen Embossed Paper, 40 Sheet 100gsm. (No feathering with most inks.)
  • Croxley (Spicers) Antique Parchment, Poplin Wove Texture A4. (Very slight feathering with most inks.)
  • Croxley (Spicers) Parchment Smooth A5. (Very slight feathering from most inks.)
  • Croxley (Spicers) Basildon Bond Classic Watermarked A4/A5. (Very, very slight feathering with most inks.)
  • Brisbane folk can find very high-quality writing paper (Crown Mill, Crane & Co.) at Monograms.
For reference, here is a listing of my inks.

(* = I believe this is an older notebook, perhaps two years or so.)

Edited by Phthalo, 05 October 2007 - 10:56.

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#6 versus

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 05:54

QUOTE(Phthalo @ May 9 2007, 12:47 PM) View Post
Currently we have Corporate Express (CE/EXP) brand spiral notebooks free at work, and the A4 240 Page is great - no feathering and super smooth, but then I found that the little Shorthand 300 Page notebooks feather! The packaging is the same, but the paper isn't... argh!

We have CE/EXP free at work as well, in an assorted range of shapes and sizes, from A4 notebooks, to A5 notebooks, journalist pads, lined, graphed, you-name-it-it's-there. Except for legal pads. headsmack.gif Maybe that's the company's way of telling me to just use spiral notebooks. But I like legal pads, because I can just fix it in my padded folder and carry it around with all the other stuff that is required. Being left handed, spirals tend to annoy the heck out of me. mad.gif

*Sigh* It used to be my wife that's a stationery buff. Now I see what she means about trials and tribulations of finding the right notebook, or planner, or business card holder, or any of the other highly necessary things. rolleyes.gif
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#7 NeoTiger

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 08:29

Great information here.

I typically find Spirax brand wire-bound pads and notebooks to be pretty good quality, and handle most inks decently.

I really should track down some of the stuff you guys are talking about though.

#8 Phthalo

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 13:19

Added a few more items to my second post in this thread. smile.gif
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#9 jimg

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 03:59

Thank you very much for the fascinating data Phthalo et al. I have been meaning to ask other FPNers about Australian stationery sources for a while.

Does anyone have any tips for shops with good quality paper etc in Sydney?

regards

Jim

#10 NeoTiger

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 07:34

Sorry to resurrect an old topic here, but just wanted to add comment to Paper Pads in Australia.

I bought a pack of Tudor Executive Writing pads a while ago (pack of 3, 50 sheets each) after seeing the recommendation here. I have to agree that this paper is very good. The paper isn't particularly thick, but it is quite smooth and amazing at resisting feathering or bleed-through.

I haven't managed to get any ink to feather on this paper, even when using wet italic nibs. An accidental drop of ink on the paper just stayed right where it was until I soaked it up with tissue, and even that didn't bleed through! drool.gif

This paper gets a thumbs up from me! thumbup.gif

#11 Ged

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 08:53

Tudor Executive Grid Pad, Product Code 129404, bought from Officeworks. Great paper, smooth, no feathering with Skrip Brown, Pelikan Brilliant Black, Waterman Florida Blue, Parker Blue-Black, Noodlers Red-Black, Zhivago, and Eel Turquoise.

Also the ultra cheap and pretty thin generic Officeworks brand unlined paper pads work quite well too. There is a little feathering with some inks, but nothing major, more a case of expect your XF line to little not XF sometimes! Great for a cheap paper.

A4 generic Officeworks notebook, blue cover, 100 pages. Some feathering with certain ink/pen combos. Not bad for the price but nothing special either.

A4 Marbig hardcover spiral bound book, grey lined inside, slightly greyish paper. Works well most of the time, around the edges of the paper ink tends to feather quite badly. It's a little strange because it only seems to happen within about 1-2cm of the edges of a page, elsewhere no feathering at all.

Spirax A5 Notebook No.P570. Very nice smooth paper that unfortunately feathers a little with Zhivago, but the other inks mentioned above behave well. The paper is a little thin so writing on the reverse side does tend to show up a bit, and a very wet nib will probably force you to only write on one side. Still it's quite a nice silky feeling paper to write on much like the Tudor Executive Grid pad. The perforations are great too!

#12 myles

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 05:32

I'd just like to add a couple of recent discoveries:

Quill writing pad - available in many newsagents
10"x8" (roughly B5 size, a little shorter and wider), and I think there was a smaller Quill pad (about A5 sized, if memory serves me correctly) on the same shelf.
8mm blue-ruled on one side only, peel-off style top binding (short side), no margin lines, 100 sheets
Very FP friendly, no feathering or bleedthrough with the inks tested (including Sheaffer new Skrip Brown and Noodler's Aircorp Blue-Black, both in wet nibs, which are my favourite flaw-revealing inks).
Not exceptionally thick or opaque sheets, you might want to only used single-sided.
A good cheap FP-friendly writing pad.

Tudor A4 Riblaid Ivory - now available in K-mart
50 loose sheets, unlined, yellow cream colour, 90gsm
Very FP friendly, no feathering or bleedthrough with the inks tested
Could probably be used double-sided.
A little reminiscent of Crown Mill Cream Laid, but not as thick and somewhat less textured.
Probably somewhat overpriced - approaching $10 for 50 sheets - but a good specialty writing paper.
I see online there is also a Riblaid White available in at least one Melbourne office supply store, but I haven't seen it myself yet out here in the sticks.

I tend to browse the K-mart stationery shelves far too regularly as it is the only interesting nearby store in one of our local undercover shopping centres while my wife visits the women's clothing stores.

Other threads worth reading:

Fountain Pen Happy Papers in Australia
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=50304

Kikki-K Spektrum notebooks
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=45946

Crown Mill paper (Cream Laid and Pure Cotton) - note: significant paper texture
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=25741
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=46303

Apica in Sydney Kinokuniya
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=59708

Kokuyo Campus stationery in Melbourne
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=45837
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=60531

Miquelrius paper
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=47402

Clairefontaine and Rhodia
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=48959

Other Notes:

I've found some variation in the Shortie size Pukka Pads available in Big W - a bit of feathering of the runnier inks such Sheaffer Skrip Brown in a wet medium nib, and also a little bleed-through. Not always a problem - I have one very well-behaved Shortie pad - but it has happened in at least 2 other Shortie pads. Not a problem in some of their other products I've tried, including an A4 grid-style pad, or with less runny inks. Choose your inks with care if you have this problem.

Also in Big W I've sampled the "ditto" project pads in A4 and A5 size and they seem well-behaved if my individual samples are indicative of the range - I haven't tried enough samples to see if this is consistent.

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#13 inkypete

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 09:02

Unfortunately you are correct - Pukka pads have changed their paper. Bought a few a week or so ago and they feather and bleed. The pads before this lot were fantastic especially given how well priced they are. They may be called Pukka still but they're not pukka.
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#14 Phthalo

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:18

Hrm, glad I stocked up on Pukka "Editor" notebooks several months ago! Love those... smile.gif
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#15 inkypete

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:50

QUOTE(Phthalo @ May 13 2008, 08:18 PM) View Post
Hrm, glad I stocked up on Pukka "Editor" notebooks several months ago! Love those... smile.gif



They may still be ok - I have been using the smaller spiral bound and the latest lot definitely has a different paper - enough to make a substantial difference.
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#16 ncb

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 05:57

I'm currently using one of the Tudor "Executive Writing Pads" (yellow, ruled, code 129402). Unfortunately I've been experiencing feathering with all but my finer and drier writers.

I'm currently on the hunt for a replacement, preferably yellow and also ruled. I'll look into the options mentioned above and see what success I have.

Sidenote: Someone once pointed out that even after several years, yellow/legal pads still tend to look newer than the same notes written on white paper. I think it's more to do with colour psychology, but it's another nice reason to go yellow.

#17 Shangas

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 06:52

I use "Quill" brand writing-pads at the moment. Neatly lined. 100 sheets of roughly A-4 sized paper. Soft but not feathery/bleedy. Nice and smooth. They're pretty cheap, too. $2.30 each at my local post-office for a pad of 100 sheets.
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#18 NeoTiger

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 14:41

QUOTE(ncb @ Jun 24 2008, 03:57 PM) View Post
I'm currently using one of the Tudor "Executive Writing Pads" (yellow, ruled, code 129402). Unfortunately I've been experiencing feathering with all but my finer and drier writers.


That's odd... I bought the Tudor Executive Writing Pads with white paper a while ago, and they have been great. Completely zero feathering, even whole ink drops on the paper do not spread or soak through.

Perhaps the yellow pads have different quality paper? Or have Tudor changed the paper on all pads now?

#19 feiye

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 23:31

I picked up a few of the Double A brand "Storm" notebooks (with the plastic covers) from Officeoworks over the weekend and these are great! Very smooth paper, no bleedthrough or feathering with any of the inks I've tried in them so far. They come as either A4 or A5 spiral bound notebooks and are around $5 each.
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#20 inkypete

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:35

QUOTE (feiye @ Jul 28 2008, 09:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I picked up a few of the Double A brand "Storm" notebooks (with the plastic covers) from Officeoworks over the weekend and these are great! Very smooth paper, no bleedthrough or feathering with any of the inks I've tried in them so far. They come as either A4 or A5 spiral bound notebooks and are around $5 each.



Thanks for the tip - I'm not familiar with them but will check them out asap. They seem well priced - what do they look like?

Edited by inkypete, 28 July 2008 - 03:31.

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