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As most High School students know, Mead and all those other American brand looseleaf paper, just dont work with fountain pens. It can be difficult to find the right paper for High School note taking that is friendly to F.P users without spending $10 per notebook such as Clairefontaine. There is nothing wrong with this paper by anymeans, it just that some H.S students like myself don't feel like investing that much for each subject, which can be up to 5 notebooks, and there's $50 which can be spend on a new pen for example. I'm Happy to announce


After doing some research I saw that people really like the Target brand filler paper (Up and Up). First stop was there. I grabbed said paper in wide and college ruled and also grabbed a Tops brand packet which was on sale. Next stop was Walmart. I grabbed every brand, ruling, and style I could grab to do a "official" review to help people out, who have the same problem as me. Here is a list of every brand I grabbed;

  • Tops wide ruled
  • Up&Up wide ruled
  • Norcom wide ruled
  • A Norcom sprial bound notebook ( 97 cents at Walmart)
  • Exceed wide ruled with punch hole protectors
  • Exceed College Ruled


I am NOT a professional, these results are only based on my High School experience, and is meant to help said people

The chosen ink was Noodlers Baystate Blue, which is a very heavy thick velvety ink.

The chosen pen was a High School favorite, the Platinum Preppy with a Fine Nib


Here are the results:


  1. Up and Up Wide ruled.
  • Little feathering, does show through a small amount, not ideal for two sided work

2. Norcom Notebook Paper (from the 97cent notebook)

  • no feathering, little bit more show through on back, same as Up and Up, good for one sided note taking.

3. Tops Wide ruled

  • Nearly no feathering, I was shocked how well it preformed so I pulled out my Jinhao X450, (another popular student pen) With a medium nib and Noodlers X Feather, just to see if I could make it feather and show through. Still no! This Paper works great, although it has an off white-yellow color to it, which isnt personally to me appealing.

4. Norcom Filler Paper

  • Noticeable feathering, massive bleed through. Not a good paper for Fountain Pens.

I was starting to get sad, as I couldn't find a paper that worked for note taking, when I realized I still had the Exceed in the Walmart bag. Let the Results explain it to you;


5. Exceed wide and college ruled

  • Only feathering noticed is when you get the paper about 3'' from your eyes, No see through, even on a Jinhao with a Medium nib and Baystate Blue, which is a strong ink. This paper feels like you are writing with a stick of butter on a hot pan, even on a Preppy. This Paper is 110% capable of double sided notes. This paper is also very smooth and the dry time is pretty quick.




For double sided notes in High School with any nib and ink combination, Exceed will not let you down, I tested this result by writing a short biography of me with my Jinhao M nib and Baystate, I wrote front and back and it still appears to be legible. I would recommend this paper for High School students, or anyone who writes on a daily basis. Exceed will work better on finer nibs, which is more sutible for notes.


I Hope this review helped anyone trying to find a good, cheap paper for note taking.

Edited by fitz123


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This is good information. Save your data. It will be useful when school supply buying season starts at the end of summer.

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Thanks, fitz123, this is useful information for any fountain pen user that wants alternatives to high-priced paper. I normally purchase bagasse (sugar cane pulp) paper at Staples which is another inexpensive alternative particularly when bought on sale. However, I'll make a point to try the Walmart Exceed paper based on your fine review.

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You made a wonderful evaluation here. A lot of people are looking for cheap notebook paper that is fountain pen friendly. Thank you for your contribution to the quest.


The Preppy pens are great. I also love the Pilot Metropolitan. If you are looking for a super fine nib, the Preppy EF is wonderful, but beware: it is not for coarse papers (sounds like the Exceed paper will be fine). I love this pen for editing, correcting errors, and for whenever I want to write small (entering numbers into tables). It costs a whole dollar more though!

Eschew Sesquipedalian Obfuscation

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I use the Norcom composition notebooks all the time. Look for the ones made in Brazil. As far as the spiral bound Norcom products, I use those constantly for testing pens that I buy and repair. If you watch closely, these may go on sale for 17¢ after the school supply frenzy ends in August/September. I stocked up last year.

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Good work, Fitz.


(About the Norcom Brazil comp books - I've always found them good in the past, but the last batch I bought has very different paper and it is not fountain pen friendly. So although these have been considered a safe bet for fountain pens for years, I think something has changed, or at least not all have the same paper anymore. I plan to examine the paper carefully before I buy from now on.)

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Most big box business supply stores sell 24 pound notebook filler paper, usually in a pack of 100-200 with the cards and finer writing paper.


A bit more expensive but well worth it compared to the run of the mill 20 pound.

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A quick question. Did you test Walmart Exceed or Walmart Exceed Plus? Exceed is available at my local Walmart, but not Exceed Plus.


Also: A link to a report by college students who came to different (and inconsistent) conclusions using criteria that non-FP writers use: http://gdurant34.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/4/0/31400791/feasability_report_final_1.pdf . Like you, I prefer quality over quantity. Thanks for the review.

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Very good information. I would not have guessed that Walmart carried anything that would work well with fountain pens. Thanks! It is always nice to know what the good options are without having to go through the sometimes painful process of trying them all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

While we're shopping at Wally-World, I've been using graph-ruled paper with my FP's for decades. My current favorite is the "Omni Office Graph Pad" sold by Wal-Mart. The last time I purchased these, they were on sale for about $1.75 USD, for a pad of 80 sheets of what feels like about 20 lb. paper. The paper is graph ruled, 5 squares per inch on the front, and narrow ruled on the back. The paper is very pleasant to write on with FP's, although there is some bleed-through if using very wet writers. Most of my pens write very wet, but I only use one side of the paper so it matters not.


The $1.75 or so sure beats the $6 or $7 per pad for some of the other brands, with little difference in utility.

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