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Economical Notebook/paper Recommendations For Student



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I'm a incoming college student who in between preparing for move in at the end of this month and sorting out the finances of college is trying to find a quality but economical way to continue using the pens I've grown so fond of. Before I would buy Staples Sustainable Earth notebooks by the cartload when on ridiculous sales but recently the quality of their notebooks have been unforgivable, even the Egypt made ones, and I'm looking for a change that would still work within the reem/10ish dollar budget.

 

Digging around the garage I found an old binding machine, the Ibico EB-19, and thats meant a day full of bookbinding research. My needs are a flat lying, 360 folding, folder pocket sporting, and most importantly hardcover notebook that is forgiving of even the wettest writers like my Lamys. The binding system that covers all of those requirements and is compatible with the EB-19 is spiral-o wire binding. Looking on Ebay, I've found a lot of 100+ wire spines for super cheap and now am looking for a paper that would be suitable for the task of making a notebook between 90-100 sheets, writes both sides, and maintains an acceptable weight to carry sacks full of them.

 

Some candidates include: Staples Sustainable Earth copy paper that seem to be the pick of the month, HP Laserjet paper 24lb, Double A 22lb, and any other cheap, no bleedthrough or feathering paper you've had good experiences with. Tips and tricks for self binding and recommendations for alternatives like prebound books are welcome. Just trying to stay afloat and continue using my longtime companions.

 

Also, finding affordable hard covers for 19 hole notebooks is impossible. Looking into diy solutions for that and pocket folders, editable systems like zipbinding seem tempting for a modular notebook. Staples Arc, I find to be just too fragile for throwing into a backpack and the paper punch alone is so steep.

 

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chiaroscuro

Try Ology paper from Walgreens. I recently discovered it with some help from the Paper forum here. It's grayish and it feels a bit cheap, but it holds up very well to FPs and it's inexpensive. If you'll be binding your own notebooks, you can print out whatever kind of ruling you like.

 

My only experience with binding was with a GBC Proclick system I used for a while. I liked it plenty because you get cutomizability (you can use any kind of paper, cover, tabs, pocket inserts, spiral size, etc.), flexibility (you can open and close the notebooks very easily to reorganize your notes or add paper) and they look really great -- like bound reports. The perforator costs about 50 (basic blue model) and starter kits and spirals are below 15 USD, I think. I got mine from Office Max but I think you can get them at Amazon too. I don't know if Arc notebooks fall apart, but that was never an issue with the Proclick spines.

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You can try Hammermill 28 pound Color Copy Digital paper. Seems to work well for the pens that I have.

But is it is unlined (so you have to use you computer and printer to print your own lines) and the 28 pound density is VERY difficult to see a guide sheet under the paper.

I think 24 pounds might be the upper limit to using a guidesheet.

 

Old cereal boxes might give you a decent cover, and would look neat.

Try visiting your local Tap Plastics, if you have one, to look for thin sheets of flexible plastic.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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I just picked up some template plastic used by quilters at a fabric shop to make covers for an Arc notebook. It comes in different thicknesses, is pretty cheap (under $5 for 12 x 18 inches) but may only come in clear/frosted color. I think it can be punched by any punch that will do more than 5-6 pages of paper. It was discussed as being used for covers here on the forum.

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I will pick up some HP paper on my next trip to the office supply store. Coincidentally Michaels is near it so I can sample some plastic sheet materials.

 

Try Ology paper from Walgreens. I recently discovered it with some help from the Paper forum here. It's grayish and it feels a bit cheap, but it holds up very well to FPs and it's inexpensive. If you'll be binding your own notebooks, you can print out whatever kind of ruling you like.

 

My only experience with binding was with a GBC Proclick system I used for a while. I liked it plenty because you get cutomizability (you can use any kind of paper, cover, tabs, pocket inserts, spiral size, etc.), flexibility (you can open and close the notebooks very easily to reorganize your notes or add paper) and they look really great -- like bound reports. The perforator costs about 50 (basic blue model) and starter kits and spirals are below 15 USD, I think. I got mine from Office Max but I think you can get them at Amazon too. I don't know if Arc notebooks fall apart, but that was never an issue with the Proclick spines.

 

I checked on the compatibility of the Proclicks to the 19 hole punch I have and it seems like only the Zipbind spines from the same company work. Reading reviews on Amazon, the Zipbind is getting lots of complaints on coming apart and I'm wondering if you've ever had that problem with the Proclicks.

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chiaroscuro

I will pick up some HP paper on my next trip to the office supply store. Coincidentally Michaels is near it so I can sample some plastic sheet materials.

 

 

I checked on the compatibility of the Proclicks to the 19 hole punch I have and it seems like only the Zipbind spines from the same company work. Reading reviews on Amazon, the Zipbind is getting lots of complaints on coming apart and I'm wondering if you've ever had that problem with the Proclicks.

 

Not at all. I found them shockingly sturdy.

In fact, I replaced the single small one I used only because I got the larger spines. I never managed to use the others in the starter kit or the extra pack, and I opened and closed them all the time. If you decide to get the perforator, I could donate a couple in both sizes and I'm sure you wouldn't have to get any more.

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I will pick up some HP paper on my next trip to the office supply store. Coincidentally Michaels is near it so I can sample some plastic sheet materials.

I tried my local Michaels first when I looked for the template plastic. They did not carry it, I ended up at a JoAnn fabrics store.

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Got the paper today and it by far exceeds my expectations. Its a bit thicker than what I was use to but it doesn't show through and I can't even imagine it bleeding. Found that it costs significantly less at Walmart (~8) than Staples and other office supply places.

 

I tried my local Michaels first when I looked for the template plastic. They did not carry it, I ended up at a JoAnn fabrics store.

Yeah, checked the Micheals and they didn't have plastic sheets either. JoAnns is a bit far for where I'm at so I guess I'll have to settle for the cardboard stock from the back of legal pads for now. I'll keep my eyes open.

 

 

 

Not at all. I found them shockingly sturdy.

In fact, I replaced the single small one I used only because I got the larger spines. I never managed to use the others in the starter kit or the extra pack, and I opened and closed them all the time. If you decide to get the perforator, I could donate a couple in both sizes and I'm sure you wouldn't have to get any more.

I'm glad they work well. Sprial-o wire is a bit expensive and the dealer I was looking at went on vacation, meaning I won't be able to even test them out till next month when school has already started. And I appreciate the offer, I'll pm you.

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