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  1. The Paper Plane – Endless Recorder A5 with Regalia Paper A while ago I reviewed the Endless Recorder A5 in both blanco and dotted versions: a great fountain pen friendly notebook with 68 gsm Tomoe River paper. The paper in this notebook was simply perfect for an everyday notetaking instrument. It quickly became my notebook of choice for daily bullet journaling, which I use as a productivity tool (see also bulletjournal.com). Recently, with the production stop of the original Tomoe River paper, the company decided to produce their own paper for the Endless Recorder notebooks. Time for a re-review, where I examine the next incarnation of the notebook with the new 80 gsm Regalia paper. Same concept… new paper. Except for the change in paper, there are only a few minimal differences to the previous Tomoe River based Recorder notebooks: 187 numbered pages instead of the original 192, 2 page marker ribbons instead of one. The essence of the notebook hasn’t changed at all. But what about the new Regalia paper? Is it as good or better than the 68 gsm Tomoe River paper of the original? To find out, I did some writing tests, with multiple pens, nib sizes and inks. The 80 gsm Regalia paper is advertised as a paper that loves ink: very fountain pen friendly, zero bleed-through, no feathering. From my tests, I can confirm that all of this is true. Writing on the new Regalia paper is a pleasure: the paper is very smooth, but still has a little bit of feedback while writing. A really nice feeling. Although not advertised, the paper is also really good at expressing sheen in inks that have that quality. The picture below gives an illustration: The top line in the above photo is written with TACCIA koiai, which is an ink that shows some glorious sheen with the Regalia paper. The middle line is my own Kung Fu Caine ink mix, which is a non-sheen ink – the few shiny dots come from glitter that was present in the underlying Golden Beryl ink. The bottom line is written with a glitter ink (Jacques Herbin Shogun). So, the new paper in the Endless Recorder notebooks is indeed very fountain pen friendly – no doubt about it. But… and here comes the bad news… There are three things I don’t like about this Regalia paper: The first thing is a personal impression, that I find difficult to express. The paper tends to present ink colours in a “cool” rather than “warm” way. It’s not that inks look bad, it’s more an impression of a cool attitude, distant, reserved, unfriendly… I don’t feel the warmth and coziness I'm looking for when using this paper for journaling. A personal opinion, but the paper just doesn’t feel right for me. Second – and this is a lot more objective: the paper is very slow-drying. It takes ages for the ink to dry. The dry times on the writing samples above were done with my Lamy Safari M-nib pen filled with Diamine Espresso. It took almost 50 seconds for the ink to dry! And look at that small ink droplet at the top right … it still smeared after more than 5 minutes! Third – and this is again a personal impression: the paper has almost no grip to it. When using your fingers to leaf through the pages of the notebook… it just doesn’t work. There’s too little grip on the paper. You really need to pinch the pages at the corner to turn them. This makes it difficult to quickly flip through the notebook, e.g. when searching for notes on previous pages. The second and third points kill the Endless Recorder with Regalia paper for me as a daily bullet journal. The super long drying times and the difficulty when flipping through my notes are a definite deal-breaker. And the first point means that – for me – it’s also not a good paper for daily journaling. A pity… because I was a huge fan of the older Tomoe River-based Endless Recorders. Conclusion Endless recently changed to their own 80 gsm Regalia paper for the Endless Recorder notebooks. This surely is fountain pen friendly paper – no doubt about it. But my primary use case for these notebooks was as a daily bullet journal, and here the new paper fails: the super-long drying times are a true deal-breaker. So, time to hit the road again, and re-start my search for the perfect fountain pen friendly bullet journal notebook.
  2. In need of a dot journal quickly, I decided to try the Ottergami. In general I am quite pleased, though I fear it may actually be too heavy for optimum portability; this is due to a combination of high page count (192 pages) and thick paper (150GSM). The pen loop is a bit narrow, though nice to have, but I eventually realized a Pilot Metropolitan will fit. Photos show size relative to the pen, and also relative to an Endless Recorder notebook(my preferred journal). Unlike the Endless, it does not have pre-numbered pages, which I miss. The paper is thicker than than in the Endless. The both have back pockets, elastic closure, and place-keeping ribbons; the Endless has page numbers and a Table of Contents, which the Ottergami lacks. The Ottergami has a pen holder(albeit a tiny one)and stencils, which the Endless lacks. I will update with thoughts in a few months. Inside photo with Pen
  3. The Paper Plane – Endless Recorder A5 Notebook (dotted) A while ago I reviewed the Endless Recorder A5, which is a great fountain pen friendly notebook with 68 gsm Tomoe River paper. With the somewhat heavier 68 gsm paper the pages are a bit less flimsy, which suits me better for an EDC notebook that gets intensive use at the office. And you keep the advantages of Tomoe River paper: the notebook can handle practically any ink & nib size with close to zero see-through and bleed-through. Here I give you an update to my previous review, where I examine the dotted version of this notebook. Same paper, but with a dot-grid that makes this notebook more suitable for use as a daily recorder. The dotted version of the Endless Recorder has some nice features compared to the plain paper version I reviewed before: At the beginning of the notebook there are a couple of “Table of Content” pages, that can be used to build the index for your bullet journal, All the pages in the notebook are numbered, so you don’t have to do this yourself, The pages are printed with a 5mm dot-grid, that is very light and unobtrusive. This grid makes it very easy to do structured notetaking (where you use indentation to structure your notes), At the back of the notebook a sleeve is provided, that you can use to stow away some loose scraps of paper. This is a feature that I appreciate … I often use this to store away businesscards, receipts, etc before processing them in the evening, At the back of the notebook are 16 perforated sheets, that make it easy to cleanly tear out a sheet when you need a loose piece of paper. All these features make for an excellent notebook for those of us that use bullet journaling as a tool for bringing structure to our work. The only disadvantage the Endless Recorder has is the lack of a pen loop. In my opinion, this should be a standard feature on A5 type notebooks, that are typically meant to be carried around. Well … that’s easily remedied: the first thing I do when putting this notebook to use is adding a Leuchtturm1917 pen loop. Just stick it to the end of your notebook, and you’re ready to go (and you can even match the colour ;-). Conclusion If you like minimalist notebooks, the Endless Recorder is definitely worth looking at. This is basically the Moleskine for fountain pen enthousiasts. The same look&feel, but with divine paper instead of the crappy stuff that Moleskine uses. I use my notebook as a meeting notes recorder, and am perfectly happy with it.
  4. The Paper Plane – Endless Recorder A5 Notebook I've been enjoying this little corner of the web for some time now, mainly focusing on inks and pens. But these are more or less useless without the humble paper or notebook that will let you capture your thoughts. So here comes the "Paper Plane", where I review some of the paper and notebooks that I've enjoyed using over the years. Today's guest is the Endless Recorder A5 notebook, a minimalist notebook with some very fine paper. This notebook is produced by Endless Works, a company that clearly states its focus on simplicity, aesthetics and service. With this notebook they really succeed on all fronts, as will become clear during this review. The notebook comes packaged in a cool cotton bag with an integrated pen loop. Nice packaging, aesthetically pleasing, but not really practical. The pen-loop is pretty useless... just try to insert a pen into a loop attached to a cotton bag... an exercise in frustration. Anyway - I don't see anyone using this bag to stow their notebook away. But enough of the bag. It's what's inside that counts. And within this bag comes a gem of a notebook. I got me the plain version of the Endless Recorder, but there's also a dotted version for those who prefer this. The notebook has a truly minimalist look... it's just a plain notebook with a ribbon to mark your place and an elastic band to keep it closed. That's basically it. The notebook comes with some goodies, including a ruled/lined sheet that you can use as a guide while writing on the blank pages. The notebook's cover is almost brand-free. The front shows the small embossed "Endless" logo, and the back mentions the brand's name. The cover itself is made from faux-leather that feels nice to the touch. At the back of the notebook a sleeve is provided, that you can use to stow away some loose scraps of paper. This is a feature that I appreciate... I often use this to store away businesscards, receipts, etc before processing them in the evening. Putting all of this together, you basically get the Moleskine look & feel. The only difference being that this notebook is A5 size, and a bit wider than a standard Moleskine notebook (14cm vs 13cm). Back in my ballpoint days, I really liked the Moleskine for its elegant simplicity. But once I discovered fountain pens, the days of Moleskine ended for me due to its horrible fountain-pen unfriendly paper. Enter the Endless Recorder. This is the Moleskine made for fountain pen enthousiasts. It contains 192 pages of 68 gsm Tomoe River paper. And this paper is sublime. It's a bit heavier than the standard 52 gsm Tomoe River paper I normally use. This makes it feel a bit less flimsy, and better suited for a notebook. This paper is fountain pen heaven! There is zero bleed-through, even with ink swabs using wet inks. Show-through is present, but not disturbing. It's perfectly ok to use both sides of the page. This paper can handle basically anything you throw at it. Super ! Below I show you the front & back of a page, on which I scribbled away with different pen/ink combinations. As you can see, you get the experience you expect from Tomoe River paper. Conclusion If you like minimalist notebooks, the Endless Recorder is definitely worth looking at. This is basically the Moleskine for fountain pen enthousiasts. The same look&feel, but with divine paper instead of the crappy stuff that Moleskine uses. I use my notebook as a meeting notes recorder, and am perfectly happy with it.

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