It’s no secret that I use a lot of pocket notebooks and also have a healthy stock of them. I always have one or two with me as they are portable and perfect for jotting down notes on the move. Due to my love of pocket notebooks I want to try any brand that I can get my hands on to make sure I am using the notebook that best suits me and make sure I am not missing something.
Today’s review focuses on the Calepino Pocket Notebooks that originate from France. I had known about Calepino for some time and wanted to try out a local European branded notebook. In this review I will be focusing on the No. 1 ruled notebooks however my thoughts and comments can be applied to any of the standard line-up grid options.
The Calepino notebooks come in packs of three and are enclosed in a lovely envelope design that matches the cover of the notebooks themselves. For a three pack of these notebooks you will pay around £7.95 making it a fairly similar price to other brands on the market.
The design of the Calepino pocket notebooks is subtle. They have a kraft cover made from recycled paper stock. Each different grid option gives you a different colour on the cover of the notebook to help differentiate between them. The lined notebooks are red, blank is blue and grid is green. The only outlier to the standard line-up is the dot grid notebooks which have a white and silver cover stock. The inside cover includes space for you to include your personal information, when you started the notebook etc. and all in French.
The paper stock in the Calepino notebooks is really nice and what sets these notebooks apart from their counterparts. Each notebook comes with 48 pages of 90g paper which is heavier than alternatives such as Field Notes. The lined ruling is the same red colour that appears on the exterior of the notebook.
I have been using a range of different pens and pencils in these notebooks to test out the paper stock. Pencils are lovely on this paper. The paper has some tooth and can chew through your graphite but it’s a nice pairing. Fountain pens also fare well although with some of the broader nibs there is a degree of feathering. Gel pens, ballpoints and rollerballs have no issues on this paper. It seems that with the Calepino notebooks you are able to use your preferred writing instruments without too many issues making it a notebook suitable for all.
Calepino Limited Editions
In addition to the standard line-up of Calepino pocket notebooks they also have limited edition notebooks that you can purchase directly from their website. They usually come with a number of extras which makes them quite a bit more than the Field Notes and Word Notebooks limited editions. You seem to only be able to order these direct from the Calepino site itself and the print runs are very small, the latest only having 150 copies. Some of these designs look great but the high cost means I have never been tempted to try out one of the limited edition sets.
Where I stand
Whilst I enjoy the Calepino notebooks I don’t feel as attached with this brand as I do with Field Notes notebooks and the passport sized Midori notebooks. The Calepino pocket notebooks are a solid choice and worth a try. The paper stock is the big seller allowing you to enjoy numerous different writing tools that other pocket notebooks don’t give you. I find that if I want to use my fountain pens more for daily use I reach for a Calepino notebook, however otherwise there are other pocket notebooks I use before the Calepino pocket notebook.