The Nomad Factory Travellers Notebook Review

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The Nomad Factory contacted me recently and asked if I would like to test run one of their Travelers Notebooks. All thoughts in this post are my own.

I wasn’t aware of The Nomad Factory before they contacted me asking if I would like the review one of their Travelers Notebooks. They’re based in the UK with the leather sourced from Yorkshire and the notebooks created in London. It’s nice to see a UK stationery company creating high quality and well considered products.

The Nomad Factory’s take on the Travelers Notebook.

It’s obvious from the moment you open up your package that The Nomad Factory has thought about the presentation and delivery of their leather notebook covers. The product arrives in a kraft box that’s filled with torn kraft paper.

The notebook itself is held in a cloth bag with The Nomad Factory’s branding on the front. This cloth cover is thick and sturdy, moreso than the Travelers Company equivalent.

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The notebook is similar to what you would recognise from the Travelers Company. It comes in the standard A5 slim size. There are three different leather colour options, black, brown and rustic (which looks like a worn brown colour). I have the black one which I have been using for a few weeks now.

I’ve noticed as I’ve used my notebook that the leather doesn’t mark easily. Personally I don’t mind scratches and signs of wear and tear but this leather holds up well with use. Alongside this its also lovely and soft to the touch.

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The elastic with each of the notebooks matches the leather colour. It’s fixed from the spine rather than from the back flap and there are no knots but a clean clasp that means no lumps or bumps from your notebook.

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All of the elastic is secured by a metal clasp that hangs from the bottom of the notebook which almost feels like a bookmark.

Let’s talk paper.

The Nomad Factory notebook comes with three inserts. There is a ruled, grid and plain insert each with 32 pages. This is less that you would normally expect, I think for this size the common number of pages is 64, but the quality of the paper is good.

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They handle most of my writing materials well. I have used fountain pens without any bleed through issues and no feathering that I noticed. The grid lines are a muted grey colour and not too bold and distracting. That’s a big win for me. I did a small pen test also throwing in a few ink and drawing pens to see how the paper held up.

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With the Noodlers Black ink in my brush pen the paper did buckle a little under the weight of the ink and the Copic marker bled through quite badly. Neither of these things are a surprise. All of the other writing tools I used worked really well on the paper.

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How I’ve been using my Nomad Factory notebook.

I have been using this notebook as a catch all. I’ve used the ruled notebook for my morning pages, the grid notebook as my work notebook and I intended to use the plain for doodling but this didn’t really pan out. The cardboard insert holds a few Baron Fig Strategist notecards in there for any throw away notes and a washi tape card.

For a small period of time I did throw in my Superior Labor pouch but this really stretched the leather far too much and made the notebook too bulky. I think three inserts is the maximum this is set-up to handle.

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The Nomad Factory also sent me through a small pouch filled with clips and bookmarks. There were a range of different options and sizes such as book darts, arrow clips, skeleton clips and fish clips, both of which in small and large sizes. I love these style clips. They look good and come in copper, silver and gold and they are so handy. The small pouch is also really handy.

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Overall thoughts.

I really like The Nomad Factory’s take on the Travelers Notebook style leather notebook cover. The leather quality is really nice and it takes being used and thrown around well. The Nomad Factory also offer a few different variety bundles and starter packs which would make great additions or gifts. I think these notebooks are a great Travelers Notebook option and comparably priced with other products you can find online but they include the inserts to get you started. The leather is perhaps a little thin if you’re a heavy user, or someone who needs some sturdiness to their leather notebook cover.

Thanks again to the Nomad Factory for sending me this notebook to review on the blog.

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Atomic Pocket Notebook

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Baron Fig kindly sent me one of their latest pocket notebook Vanguard limited editions, the Atomic, to review here on the blog. Thoughts shared in this post are entirely my own.

The Atomic was the final limited edition release in a wave of limited edition releases from Baron Fig lately. As it’s probably the simplest its the first one I am tackling on the blog.

It’s been a long time since Baron Fig released a pocket limited edition notebook. The Atomic has a light blue cover with an Atomic symbol on the front. As with all things Baron Fig there is more than meets the eye with the backstory to the edition and this one reminds us that small things can still be complex.

 White stitching on the binding 

White stitching on the binding 

The design of this edition is pretty easy going, it has a nice colour and has that ever familiar dot grid paper inside. The Atomic is actually an old limited edition that Baron Fig are now only just releasing (see Jonny from Pencil Revolutions post on the details behind this). The bellyband on this edition even references the original pocket Vanguard name, the Apprentice.

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In one of my previous posts I said that Baron Fig always thought beyond just the simple cover change with their limited editions and found ways to push boundaries. The Atomic felt like it didn’t fit this mould and thats because it’s a Baron Fig product from two years ago.

I really like the fact that there has been a limited edition pocket size notebook from Baron Fig, its been a long wait. I would really like to see some of the experimentation with the Flagship notebooks transferred to the pocket size. Getting all that creativity into a small size will be tough, but that’s surely half the fun.

Thank you to Baron Fig for sending me these notebooks to review.

 Atomic in my Rose Quartz Guardian

Atomic in my Rose Quartz Guardian

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Show and Tell Confidant Notebook Review

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Baron Fig sent me their latest limited edition Confidant notebook to review on the blog. All the thoughts shared in this post are my own.

The latest Baron Fig Confidant limited edition is called the Show and Tell which is a collaboration with dribbble which is apparently a place where designers share the things they are working on.

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The Confidant is a gorgeous purple colour with the interior page layout debossed front and centre. The bookmark comes in the same purple colour as the notebook and the logo/icon is printed on the inside cover.

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The page format is the really unique feature of this limited edition and not something I think I have seen on any other notebook. The top half of each page is blank with the bottom half ruled. This really reminds me of my primary school notebooks where we would draw a picture of what we did at the weekend and below write some commentary around it.

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This is the intention with this page layout and gives this limited edition its name. There is space to doodle your designs, outline plans, draw mind maps and so on and then below a little bit of space to write out some form of description. The layout makes this notebook unique and perhaps limiting to some people, but I love the idea. There are so many interesting ways that you could use this notebook. I am pleased that Baron Fig chose to use the Confidant for this page layout choice. The hard bound covers and the additional pages means you could really use this for long term projects or journaling.

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This limited edition is an example of how Baron Fig are thinking differently with their limited editions and not solely looking at a cover design, they’re considering the whole notebook. This is a great release and a notebook I will really enjoy playing around with.

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If you’re interested to hear how the design came into being listen to the Eureka podcast, episode 14, where they guys discuss how they came to this. Notebook chat starts about 18 mins in.

Thank you again to the guys at Baron Fig for sending me this notebook to review.

My Experiences Holiday Sketching.

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A holiday is the perfect opportunity for sketching. Pretty scenery, plenty of time on your hands, (despite small people) and good intentions.

I have never been that great at sketching while on holiday. I’m conscious of people I am traveling with and wasting their time, plus there is the issue of confidence. However on a recent trip I decided to really try and dedicate some time to sketching elements of my holiday.

Tools.

For this trip I have been using a Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook. I really like the hard back cover of this notebook and the size works really well too.

In addition to coloured pencils and my watercolour palette I brought along my aquwash brush pens, a few Faber-Castell PITT Artist pens and some graphite pencils. These are all thrown in my Superior Labor pen roll.

Alongside these main tools I have a brass bullet sharpener, a Faber-Castell eraser and a penco big clip.

Sketching in action.

For the first time, I have carved out moments during my holiday to pull out my sketchbook and draw. I have been putting the base down in pencil and then inking and painting later on. The idea was the capture as much as I could with pencil and give myself a base to then spend time on later in the day adding the colour.

I’ve used my watercolours a lot during this trip. The Pentel Aquwash brushpens have really made it easy to paint and not worry too much about my tools although my painting still leaves a lot to be desired.

 Watercolours and ink.  

Watercolours and ink.  

I have struggled with using my coloured pencils with the Moleskine paper. The texture of the paper means you don’t get complete coverage on the page which has been a little frustrating and has meant I haven’t used them too much. I think coloured pencils could be my thing so I will try a different sketchbook and really test out this medium.

 Coloured pencils on the left, the rest are watercolours  

Coloured pencils on the left, the rest are watercolours  

I’ve managed to sketch something everyday which I’m really pleased about. It’s made me look at a place I visit each year in more detail than I think I have before.

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Sketching exactly when I wanted to wasn’t always possible therefore I took photos to work from when I had time. It was less about capturing exactly what I saw, more about finding a way to reflect and remember things from our holiday.

 Inking before adding any watercolour.  

Inking before adding any watercolour.  

Final thoughts.

I’ve really enjoyed sketching on this trip. I honestly didn’t think I would do as much as I have, I’ve almost completed half a sketch book. I have found it a little tiring at times with evenings spent inking and painting but overall it’s been great fun. I have caught the sketching bug and plan to sketch regularly and not just be lured in by the exotic holiday scenery, but sketch the local, everyday things I see and pass.

 Oh and here’s me sketching the view.  

Oh and here’s me sketching the view.