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sodiumnitrate

Hi all, I've been sneakily reading the posts on this site for a while, but it's the first time I actually write a post (except for the FB page). I've been looking for the best notebook for journaling and such for some years now, and I figured I would share my experiences and disappointments, and hear about others' thoughts on this.

 

I started using Moleskines (classic, large notebook, hardcover, black) way before I was using fountain pens. I had to switch to something else when I started using FPs due to heavy feathering and bleeding. (And in the case of MB toffee brown, discoloration.) But in terms of design and binding, my favorite ever will be the softcover large notebooks. I also like how they are a little thinner than A5.

 

I then switched to Leuchtturm1917. I like that their pages are numbered, and they hold the ink well and the paper is not excessively smooth (like Rhodias or Clairefontaines). I prefer soft covers, so I'm a little disappointed that they are way thinner than Moleskines. They need to be at least 1.5x thicker. Also, I've found that the paper is not that consistent. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks that I've purchased at different times had papers that react differently to the same pen/ink combination. I've had one that feathers more than it should, and another that had the ink kind of spread on it evenly without feathering -- in addition to a few perfect ones, of course.

 

I tried a bunch of A5 Clairefontaines, too. For me, their paper is superior to both Leuchtturm1917 and Rhodia -- that is if you don't particularly dislike smooth paper. But their binding is just horrible. Forget about laying a staple-bound notebook flat on your desk. I tried "my essential" which has sewn-binding, which does a lot better than the others, but still falls short of both Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917. Their covers are a lot more modest too. I would have loved to see that paper in leather or Moleskine-style cover instead of just craft paper.

 

And then there's Goulet's new Tomoe river notebooks. Everytime I write on Tomoe river paper, I'm amazed by how much ink a paper so thin can hold. I like my pens really really wet, so it'll always be my favorite paper. Goulet's notebooks are staple-bound, and very thin, so I'm not a huge fan of their binding either. I'm also a little disappointed that they only come with the white TR paper and not cream. They are also a bit on the expensive side, with $9 for 48 sheets (96 pages), which is fair I guess, considering 100 sheets come for ~$14.

 

With all these notebooks considered, I think I'll continue using a combination of Leuchtturm1917 and Goulet notebooks. My dream would be TR (or similar quality paper) in Moleskine binding. Perhaps I should learn bookbinding and make my own notebooks using TR paper... What are your thoughts? Have you had similar experiences?

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You should look at Nanamipaper.com 's Tomoe River offerings. You might try miquelrius' leather-like notebooks in A-5, fairly inexpensive and a lot of us like them.

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I've been down the same path and am also an A5 fan.. I'm currently using the Black n Red threadbiund which I like quite a bit. Amazon has them for about $14 and they have plenty of pages and are about twice the thickness of a moleskine.

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I had purchased some Clairefontaine Basic A4 (somewhere...I travel, so I can't rightfully remember where now), as a general "taking note" notebook, and with the FP's I have it's turned out to be a solid performer. Problem is, only supplier I can find (even on Amazon) sells them for $16, whereas I'd paid $9.00 (I'm thinking it might've been Canada?)...because the label stated cm's and not inches.

 

The model is 781454C (with a blue textured cover), but if anyone knows where I can pick up these sorts of notebooks in the U.S. I'd be obliged for the pointer...

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sodiumnitrate

You should look at Nanamipaper.com 's Tomoe River offerings. You might try miquelrius' leather-like notebooks in A-5, fairly inexpensive and a lot of us like them.

 

 

Thanks for the info! It looks like nanamipaper currently doesn't have TR in bound form. What do you think about the paper quality of the miquelrius notebooks?

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sodiumnitrate

I've been down the same path and am also an A5 fan.. I'm currently using the Black n Red threadbiund which I like quite a bit. Amazon has them for about $14 and they have plenty of pages and are about twice the thickness of a moleskine.

 

It looks pretty good :) Probably a little too thick for my taste, though. How would you rate the paper?

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sodiumnitrate

I had purchased some Clairefontaine Basic A4 (somewhere...I travel, so I can't rightfully remember where now), as a general "taking note" notebook, and with the FP's I have it's turned out to be a solid performer. Problem is, only supplier I can find (even on Amazon) sells them for $16, whereas I'd paid $9.00 (I'm thinking it might've been Canada?)...because the label stated cm's and not inches.

 

The model is 781454C (with a blue textured cover), but if anyone knows where I can pick up these sorts of notebooks in the U.S. I'd be obliged for the pointer...

 

So it's this one, right: https://www.amazon.com/Clairefontaine-781454C-Spiral-Prediction-Lined/dp/B00KWNWZ4Y

 

You're right, it's a bit too expensive. If you are OK with a clothbound instead of spiral-bound, this could work maybe? https://www.gouletpens.com/clairefontaine-basic-clothbound-blue-lined-notebook/p/C791464

 

But then again, it might have that problem of not laying entirely flat on a table.

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Thanks for the info! It looks like nanamipaper currently doesn't have TR in bound form. What do you think about the paper quality of the miquelrius notebooks?

Obviously nothing like TR paper, but good. Not coated or slick like Clairefontaine, which to me is a plus. I find it not as "feed-backy" as Midori MD paper, also a plus. I use F and EF nibs and may get degrees of shadowing through the paper depending on ink amd nib, but rarely get any bleed-through. I always use both sides. Middle of the road, not fancy, workhorse paper that is good and very FP friendly. Well worth a try.

 

 

I've used several sheet count sizes, 100 to 300, and found they lie flat. Out of many used, one had a slight binding problem I taped up eadily and it's fine.

 

The price and quality makes them a very good value. Mine have held up well over time and daily use. You've probably seen it, but you can find them here http://www.shopmiquelrius.com/leather-look-journals/. In the US, Barnes & Nobles often have the 300 sheet graph notebook on the shelf for about $10. And of course, we're talking A5.

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It looks pretty good :) Probably a little too thick for my taste, though. How would you rate the paper?

It is very nice paper.. bright white and very smooth. No bleed through from my m800 fine point. I only write recto, tho.

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Check out the Hippo Noto.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2016143253/hippo-noto-a-hippo-size-tomoe-paper-notebook

 

(Edited to add: Darn it, orders closed today. I'm keeping my eye on this one... Hopefully if it does well they'll make another print run.)

Edited by economicalpenster
the economical penster - celebrating inexpensive pens!
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Notebooks can give rise to a quandary sometimes!

 

My current favourite is a Midori MD A5 grid. I do like TR though and have a custom notebook bought from Gatzbcn at the Barcelona pen show still to try. For work not journaling I like black and red.

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sodiumnitrate

Obviously nothing like TR paper, but good. Not coated or slick like Clairefontaine, which to me is a plus. I find it not as "feed-backy" as Midori MD paper, also a plus. I use F and EF nibs and may get degrees of shadowing through the paper depending on ink amd nib, but rarely get any bleed-through. I always use both sides. Middle of the road, not fancy, workhorse paper that is good and very FP friendly. Well worth a try.

 

 

I've used several sheet count sizes, 100 to 300, and found they lie flat. Out of many used, one had a slight binding problem I taped up eadily and it's fine.

 

The price and quality makes them a very good value. Mine have held up well over time and daily use. You've probably seen it, but you can find them here http://www.shopmiquelrius.com/leather-look-journals/. In the US, Barnes & Nobles often have the 300 sheet graph notebook on the shelf for about $10. And of course, we're talking A5.

 

 

Thanks! I'll try them out sometime :)

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sodiumnitrate

Notebooks can give rise to a quandary sometimes!

 

My current favourite is a Midori MD A5 grid. I do like TR though and have a custom notebook bought from Gatzbcn at the Barcelona pen show still to try. For work not journaling I like black and red.

 

Oh, that looks great! I thought they only made spiral-bound notebooks in weird sizes.

 

Yeah, to be honest TR is my absolute favorite. I'm seriously considering making my own notebooks.

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sodiumnitrate

Check out the Hippo Noto.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2016143253/hippo-noto-a-hippo-size-tomoe-paper-notebook

 

(Edited to add: Darn it, orders closed today. I'm keeping my eye on this one... Hopefully if it does well they'll make another print run.)

 

Thanks! I had seen this one a while ago, but I didn't like the design of the notebook itself. I ordered one from paperforfountainpens.com, we'll see how it goes :)

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My favorite remains the Nanami Paper Seven Seas range by a long shot and I use this generally. However the Zequenz Classic 360° Roll Up Journals are pretty good as a day to day volume workhorse as well. The Life A5 range is very good as well and have different styles and page counts. All are pretty good.

 

But I always come back to the Seven Seas products !!

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i want to be clear that i have not tried these yet but they are said to have "tomoe like" paper qualities

 

i like the subtle gridding and they are sewn-binding-lay-flat i believe

 

they also have a nifty dating system that allows you to circle the date of the note at the top of the page

 

https://www.jetpens.com/Stalogy-Editor-s-Series-365Days-Notebook-A5-Black/pd/17561

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Thanks for the info! It looks like nanamipaper currently doesn't have TR in bound form. What do you think about the paper quality of the miquelrius notebooks?

 

Look at the Seven Seas products. All those are bound. I usually order a couple of Seven Seas Writers A5 journals each year and they last the the entire year since the page count is enormous (and yet doesn't look all that thick).

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i want to be clear that i have not tried these yet but they are said to have "tomoe like" paper qualities

i like the subtle gridding and they are sewn-binding-lay-flat i believe

they also have a nifty dating system that allows you to circle the date of the note at the top of the page

https://www.jetpens.com/Stalogy-Editor-s-Series-365Days-Notebook-A5-Black/pd/17561

Although I'm not sure this notebook would work for the way I work... I give them serious props for a helluva good design. Very clever and creative. Nice job.

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Unless I ordered the last, Nanamipaper.com does have Seven Seas Crossfield (grid) TR notebooks in stock. I like grid lining, you may not. I didn't want one when it wasn't closed squares but corners only (crosses) but now that they're more complete squares, tough apparently dashed, I have to give it a shot.

Edited by mwpannell
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