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So I've been really struggling with finding a journal that works well for both me, and my fountain pens. Perhaps I'm being too picky, but I'm looking for a journal with the following characteristics:

  • Lined Pages, 7mm or greater - For a journal, I need lines. And if the lines are too narrow I find I start to write very small and illegibly.
  • A5 format - give or take. It needs to be large enough to write comfortably, and small enough to carry with me.
  • Paper that won't bleed through. I don't mind some shadowing on the back, in fact, I find I somewhat appreciate it.
  • Relatively white paper
  • Durable - I carry this thing everywhere

 

I realize that this is somewhat specific, but here's what I've tried so far that hasn't worked quite right.

 

Moleskine Grid Notebook (5" x 8.25") - Loved the form factor. Hated the grid -- too narrow to write legibly. Also, all of my pens bled through

 

Leuchtturm1917 A4 Thin Master - Great quality notebook. Love the page numbers. Thought I'd like the size, but find it a bit unwieldy. Lined rule (~6mm) is just slightly too narrow for me to write with anything but really fine nibs which limits my creativity a bit.

 

Rhodia A5 Webnotebook - Got the lined version, and the lines are just a bit narrow again (~6mm). Paper is nice, but dry time for some of my pens & ink is long (could be fixed with blotting paper). Overall though, I just am not a fan of the yellowish paper.

 

 

I'm currently looking at the Nanami Seven Seas Writer notebook. I've heard great things about Tomoe River paper, and these notebooks are supposed to be top quality. I also like the 7mm lines. I'm just worried it will be a bit too fragile to be chucked in my bag every day.

 

What other notebooks should I consider! All suggestions are welcome!

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers ~ Voltaire

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ethernautrix

I throw my Nanami Seven Seas notebook into my bag all the time and don't take especial care not to wreck it, and it's holding up fine. My only complaint (and not a deal-breaker for me) is its soft cover which makes holding it on my lap and writing in it a tad unwieldy. Yet... sometimes I do hold it in my lap and manage to write in it. I really like this notebook.

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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the only one can think of that has wide ruled pages are the Clairefontaine notebooks, but then I'm only familiar with a few brands so there might be more. Anyhow, the Clairefontaine Basic Life, Unplugged cloth bound notebooks are pretty much what you are asking for but it has soft covers which are pretty durable.

 

Thanks! I hadn't seen the Clairfontaine notebooks you mention. They look promising.

 

I throw my Nanami Seven Seas notebook into my bag all the time and don't take especial care not to wreck it, and it's holding up fine. My only complaint (and not a deal-breaker for me) is its soft cover which makes holding it on my lap and writing in it a tad unwieldy. Yet... sometimes I do hold it in my lap and manage to write in it. I really like this notebook.

 

Good to know. I've heard a lot of people have been very happy with this notebook. Ideally, once I find a notebook I like, I'm probably going to spring for a Gfeller leather cover for it, so that should help assuage some of the durability concerns.

 

Do you happen to have any ideas as to the long term availability of the Seven Seas Writer? I could always stock up, but would like to find some sort of consistent journal for at least a few years.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers ~ Voltaire

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I have used all the notebooks you mentioned except the Leuchtturm and the Seven Seas in fact I am writing in several of them currently. I am also writing approximately daily in a Design Y journal; Hardbound (goatskin cover) made with lined TR paper. This is without question the vey best journal I have ever used. It is perfect in every way except one: It is too expensive.

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Have you looked at the Black N Red A5 notebooks? They come either wirebound or casebound, have a very nice 90gsm white paper and are cheaper than many other options. I've seen them at Office Depot and Wal Mart.

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I actually use Black n' Red 11" x 8.5" wirebound notebooks for work (they provide them). I really do like their paper, but really don't want wirebound for personal journals. I'll have to check out the casebound versions!

 

They are quite nice, and I'm always surprised that they aren't more popular given their price point and their availability.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers ~ Voltaire

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ethernautrix

Do you happen to have any ideas as to the long term availability of the Seven Seas Writer? I could always stock up, but would like to find some sort of consistent journal for at least a few years.

 

I don't know about long-term availability, but I'll probably buy a couple more at least. At first, I balked at the price, but now that I have been writing in my Seven Seas notebook since mid-February daily and am only slightly more than halfway through it, it's actually cost-effective, as previously, I was going through $10-$15 notebooks at about one per month, month-and-a-half. Okay, I do write very small in this notebook, two lines per rule (doubling up), but if I start to write one line per rule, it would probably take me about three months at least to fill (at this pace).

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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There are a couple of Kokuyo books that might work for you - one with their campus paper and another with their MIO paper, both with 7 mm lines. Cover durability might be an issue. I make random covers for mine with decorated papers I get at an art supply store. If you're old enough to remember making paper bag covers for school textbooks, that's the kind of random cover I mean.

 

http://www.jetpens.com/Kokuyo-Campus-Notebook-A5-5.8-X-8.3-Normal-Rule-24-Lines-X-70-Sheets/pd/4875

 

http://www.jetpens.com/Kokuyo-Campus-High-Grade-MIO-Paper-Notebook-A5-5.8-X-8.3-24-Lines-X-80-Sheets-Red-Accents/pd/4883

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So many great ideas! Now I'm going to have to try each one.... Perhaps not, but I can say that I'm interested in trying many!

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers ~ Voltaire

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The Kokuyo notebooks are excellent too but as mentioned, the cover durability might be an issue, I like using the Muji Denim Tag Covers with them, it helps make the covers a little more durable for a low price.

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