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Whitelines Notebooks - A Short Review


mana
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I received a recommendation about these notebooks from a member of the Finnish Fountain Pen group on Facebook (which I am an admin of). Did a little digging and found that they can be had for relatively cheap from Clas Ohlson, a Swedish electornics, hardware and household supply store (they have stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Dubai).

 

The notebooks themselves come in two sizes, spiral bound A4 and A5 with grid/line options being dot grid, lines or square grid. They also have a companion app with which you can easily capture your notes to digital format as photos. You can read more about the papers and app from their homepage: https://www.whitelinespaper.com/

 

Ok, I got two different notebooks which seem to share paper of similar quality, A4 in square grid (3,99€) and A5 with the dot grid (2,99€). The one displayed in the example images is the A5 dot grid notebook.

 

First, here is how they look on the outside:

 

fpn_1537807830__img_3766.jpg

 

You can remove the promotional leaf that is on top, the actual cover is plain with branding on the bottom right corner (not found on the actual pages inside). Otherwise it displays the pattern that you find on the pages inside. As the name implies, the lines are actually white and the page background is light grey. This promotes a more distraction free experience and I found it to be quite acceptable.

Moving on to the paper and writing examples:

 

fpn_1537808029__img_3772.jpg

 

Let's start with how it bleeds. The ink in question was rather heavily laid Pelikan 4001 Blue Black from a Pelikan 100N & BB-nib. I pushed the pen to deliver as much ink as possible (seen in the following photo) and to my surprise, it didin't bleed through that much (or at all).

 

Here is a photo of the writing on the other side:

 

fpn_1537808239__img_3773.jpg

 

As you can see, there is a some visible shading (usually not the case with this pen and ink on most papers). No mentionable feathering which is also great. The paper is not ultra smooth but offered a bit of feedback, I rather liked it. Combined with how it behaves otherwise and especially given the price I can easily give this one a big up and a hearty recommendation.

 

Ok, the companion app... not going to go into details other than give you an example of what the output is, here is the same page captured with some additional scriblings:

 

fpn_1537808540__img_3774.jpg

 

Final notes: Great experience with this one and I will definitely stock up on this for work and more practical, everyday use. For other uses... maybe. Journaling, personal correspondence etc. might be best done on a more emotionally evocative paper.

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...tried it with more wet inks at home (Lamy Pacific Blue) and there is more bleed through, nothing too bad though. Also, if you really concentrate on one area (heavy crosshatching with a finer nib) it will bleed through with more dry inks such as the Pelikan 4001 BB I used.

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I bought one A5 with lines in a recent trip to Stockholm (apparently the company has HQs there, I don't know if it's produced in Sweden though) and I agree with your review overall.

 

I tend to use F and EF nibs, so in most of the cases there was no visible bleed-through.

 

As one could expect, the inks with had the most bleed-through were J. Herbin, although Diamine Sapphire Blue in a Wing Sung 659 EF did show some. Of course, writing with a Manuscript 2B italic (with Manuscript Red ink) on one side rendered the other side of the page almost unusable.

 

I've also been enjoying the accompanying app for the scanning. Nowadays notebooks 'optimised' for scanning are proliferating, but what is special about these is that the (white)lines actually disappear while the colours of the writing are mostly respected, giving a very neat result in no time. They claim that the fact that there is little contrast between the lines and the background also avoids getting distracted, but that much I cannot confirm (I don't feel like 'normal' lines distract me from my writing).

 

Anyway, for its price it's been entertaining to play with and I plan to use it for things that I'd like to transfer easily to the computer.

Edited by Qoan
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I like the samples I’ve gotten my hands on. Alas, these are hard to come by in the US at a reasonable aka competitive price.

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  • 4 months later...

To add a brief update, I printed a page using the free PDF downloads and tested it with the Whitelines app, and while it all worked as advertised there's a noticeable flaw (probably due to the color filtering algorithms averaging colors?) where the app shows much wider lines and feathering even if there is none on the paper. The extent of the line spread in the image varied but was present on most of the lines that I drew and tended to be worse in areas with more lines closer together such as writing lines of text. This is tolerable in a generic notes backup app but makes this a non-starter for diagrams, equations, small handwriting, or anything where you really need clear lines, so while I'm keeping this around as a possible solution I'm not going to go out of my way to print whitelines paper or find whitelines notebooks when I can get clearer results easily by running my notes through a document scanner.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've really wanted to like this paper, but it hasn't worked well for me.

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