pocket notebook

Field Notes Summer 2019 Release: National Parks Review

National Parks is the latest seasonal release from Field Notes created in conjunction with Fifty-Nine Parks. This edition is made up of three three packs with nine illustrations dedicated to Americas National Parks. This seasonal edition is utterly beautiful.

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To compliment the individual cover designs, each notebook has a different coloured card stock, mainly in pastel shades. They compliment the designs nicely, but they’re also really pretty colours.

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The usual Field Notes inside cover information has the addition of information on the National Park the book is dedicated to. Field Notes have included general knowledge style information on previous seasonal editions and it’s a nice touch. It gives you a chance to learn something while enjoying the notebook.

Information on the illustrator who designed the artwork is also included in each notebook. I have spent a bit of time down Instagram rabbit holes looking at these artists work.

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A few differences from the Field Notes norm.

This is the first edition where we see the Field Notes logo repositioned in order to support the cover design. Yosemite National Park from Series A and Rocky Mountain National Park from Series C have the focal point of their artwork to the top of the notebook. I am glad Field Notes didn't sacrifice these two notebook designs because they are beautiful and I am sure the stag has become a fan favourite.

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This edition doesn't include the normal belly band. As an alternative there is a sheet of kraft card stock including miniatures of the designs included within the pack and some general knowledge on all nine parks.

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My feelings on this edition.

This is the first Field Notes I have bought in some time and the first edition I felt compelled to snap up since Coastal. My infatuation with these little pocket notebooks has waned this year. The slightly odd format and design changes dampened my excitement around the seasonal releases and I got a bit tired of it all.

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And then came National Parks. I snapped up Series A and Series C. Honestly two packs were still too many but I just couldn't resist the artwork. I have used the Acadia National Park book from Series A. This is my favourite by far. I am currently working my way through the Great Smokey Mountains because the bears are just too cute. The little one reminds me of Brother Bear.

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Overall thoughts.

For the past few months I have been using passport size notebooks enjoying the marginally smaller size. But the National Parks designs are beguiling that I can’t stop looking at them. I have been pining after the Wilco x Field Notes limited edition in a similar way. Field Notes working alongside some interesting illustrators feels like its given these little notebooks new life. It’s got me excited about the brand again and I am interested to see what the next seasonal release brings.

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2019 Travelers Notebook Review: Part 2.

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This is the second part of my Travelers Notebook review, the first part of which can be found here. Today I am sharing how I use each of my Travelers Notebooks and plenty of photos.

My Travelers Notebook Journal.

Since I started with my first Travelers Notebook (the brown regular notebook), I have worked my way through most of the different leather options. Over time the notebook I have come to love the most is the black Travelers Notebook which I have paired with the red elastic for a little pop of colour.

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The format of my Travelers Notebook journal remains unchanged most of the time. I keep two refills, the first being the weekly + memo refill. I have spoken about this in many blog posts so I won’t repeat too much but this is my mini, decorative journal and I use this refill everyday. It’s a long standing love affair.

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The second refill is the one which is a little more fluid and changes depending on what I am doing. Most of the time I have an insert dedicated to little notes and journal entries to my son. I use this as a way of remembering the small details while he is growing up, adding a photo, little conversations and momentos from things we have done.

At other times, such as when I travel, I replace this with a different insert to use as a catch all for information when on the move. I am about to do a little travelling so I will be using the cream Travelers Company refill. I love the cream MD paper and I am looking forward to giving this new refill a test run. This refill will be a place to doodle, add some travel journalling and jot down any silly and interesting snippets of information.

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The way I use my black Travelers Notebook means it holds a lot of emotional value for me. It’s a marker of my life and for that reason is my most cherished notebook.

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My everyday Travelers Notebook.

The passport Camel Travelers Notebook is my everyday carry notebook. For some reason the passport size feels like the most stable Travelers Notebook I use and I adore the Camel edition. I have been really tempted to get this in the regular size as well, but so far I have resisted.

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My set-up is pretty simple for the passport size. I usually have two notebooks in here, a daily to do notebook full of scratchy handwriting and a sketchbook in case I feel like doodling while on the move.

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The to do notebook is usually Baron Fig pocket notebook. I have blogged a lot about how much I like Baron Fig products and their smaller pocket notebook size works perfectly with the passport Travelers Notebook. At the moment I am using a ruled notebook, I am all about those sweet lines.

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Recently I have started carrying a Travelers Company passport sketchbook to ensure I have the opportunity to sketch and doodle at any time. So far this ideal scenario is partially working. If I need a lighter carry everyday I remove this notebook as it’s not essential.

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Finally I have a Superior Labor wallet in the salmon and blue colour which compliments the notebook nicely. This holds a few spare cards, some stamps and sometimes some lose change.

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I really love the Camel leather colour. The leather is softer and picks up marks than the black, brown or blue Travelers Notebooks that I own. As this is my most used and journeyed notebook you can see the evidence of this with scratches, a looser elastic round the middle and friction marks on the reverse of the notebook where my Superior Labor wallet has marked.

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My work Travelers Notebook.

My final and newest Travelers Notebook is the Olive edition that I bought on a trip to Amsterdam. I use this for work and I use just one blank insert. This Travelers Notebook is purely functional but I found the size works well and it sits within my bag without taking up too much space.

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Travelers Notebook leather differences.

When you have used several different Travelers Notebooks, purchased over a number of years, you notice some subtle differences between the leathers. This is understandable and part of the charm. The older Midori branded Travelers Notebooks have a more finished and smoother feel to the leather.

With the more recent additions such as the Camel and Olive notebooks the leather is softer, it marks easily and has a texture. I love this finish to the leather and I love the way it changes with use. I am not precious about keeping these things ‘out-of-the-box’ new.

Overall thoughts.

The Travelers Notebook is a specific notebook system in a specific size format. The slim profile isn't ideal for drawing and I have found if I use these notebooks for long form journaling then I fly through the refills. However as a tool and a repository for notes, information and small journal entries I think the Travelers Notebook works perfectly.

The charm of the Travelers Notebook comes in the longevity of the cover. The marks that it picks up, the way the leather changes over time and becoming more supple is all part of the appeal. There are very few paper related goods that can be used for such long periods of time. The refills keep the Travelers Notebook feeling fresh and new and different and the customisation options that are available, with a little bravery, make this notebook system utterly charming. The

I think the Travelers Notebook system will always be part of my writing set-up. As long as I can get inserts then I will use this notebook. I think I might start to get a bit creative, as I have several of these covers and explore with paint, perhaps try embossing on one of the notebooks. The personalisation and the memories that these notebooks hold is wonderful.

Pebble Stationery Co. Pocket Notebook Review.

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Pebble Stationery Co. sent me a pack of their pocket notebooks to play with and review on the blog. All thoughts shared in this post are my own.

Notebook design.

The Pebble Stationery Co notebook is 3.5 x 5.5”, (think Field Notes in size). There are two notebooks in a pack with 52 GSM white, dot grid, tomoe river paper. To protect the thin contents the Pebble Notebook has a thick grey textured cover with an embossed, and a little large, bit of branding in the bottom right corner of the notebook.

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The inside cover is a fresh blue colour with space for personal information, should you wish to fill this in. I always like this feature in notebooks. Not only is there a fail safe if I misplace one, but it helps me keep track of my notebooks and their contents should I need to reference them in the future. On the inside back cover there is some information on Pebble Stationery Co.

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As the paper is the super dreamy tomoe river paper you get 80 pages in a very slim profile notebook. The dot grid is subtle with a small light grey dot. On the right hand edge there does appear to be one dot missing in the sequence. This could be a quirk specific to this print run but it did catch my eye.

And finally the corners of the notebook are rounded off nicely which helps with the wear of the notebook. There aren’t any damaged corners here.

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Paper performance.

Part of tomoe river papers charm is the fact that it handles fountain pens so well and is really thin. As expected the paper in the Pebble notebook takes ink well. The nib or rollerball glides over the page giving you a really nice writing experience.

Pencils and tomoe river paper aren’t a natural fit. They work fine but the enjoyment level is lower.

One small thing I found with the Pebble notebook is the ghosting is quite prominent. It feels more prevalent than other tomoe river notebooks I have used in the past. Inspired by Fran Meneses YouTube videos I recently started working my way through the Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and I have been tracking each album I’ve listened to, and if I liked it in my Pebble notebook. I have purposefully used different writing tools to test out the paper and the ghosting with everything other than a pencil was obvious.

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Overall thoughts.

It is nice to see more pocket notebook options available in the market. It has felt like there is a gap when it comes to high quality papers that work with fountain pens in a pocket notebook format so it’s great to see Pebble Notebooks solving that problem. The design and style is really simple and makes it feel like a classic notebook.

Thank you Pebble Stationery Co. for sending me these notebooks to use.

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Mid-Week Mini: Field Notes Three Missions Summer 2018 Colors Edition

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The Field Notes summer limited edition this year is called Three Missions and is centred around a space theme. This edition is different in that it features a photograph cover, similar to America the Beautiful and Campfire editions.

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Each notebook features a different American space mission photo on the cover which has a glossy shiny feeling to it. The front shows a photograph of the shuttle, or a specific moment from the mission. The reverse includes the information on that mission and some interesting facts. Internal cover stock is a really nice light blue shade which compliments this edition nicely.

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The books show the progression of the American space race, from orbiting the earth with Mercury, walking in space with Gemini and then walking on the moon with Apollo.

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The paper inside is the standard 60#T paper in white with a really nice subtle grey ruling for the grid paper. The paper performs like many of the recent Field Notes limited editions working really nice with pencils, gel pens and ballpoints. Fountain pens not so much.

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My feelings on this edition are mixed. I have been using the Mercury because I liked the lighter cover colour but these photograph covers are not really my cup of tea. I can see the appeal and I am sure lots of people, even the non Field Notes enthusiasts, will snap a pack of these up.

I do like the feel of the covers with the ‘aqueous coating’ that makes it feel a bit more hardwearing. The paper is nice and I have been using my notebook with a Blackwing 54 a lot and the pairing is really nice.

I would say from the releases this year, as part of my subscription this has been my least favourite. They are more likely to be a notebook I will share with others and give out, rather than keep and use for myself.

On the extras that came with this edition, the build it yourself space crafts and a decal, these were great additions. Mine sadly did not last in the hands of a 2 year old. They were quickly ripped up. I found them fiddly to put together, but its a really cool addition especially for the space lover in your life.

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Finally, the video that compliments this release is probably my favourite yet. The fact they actually sent one of these models into space is crazy, but then thats the Field Notes crew. If you haven’t watched the video, or read the accompanying blog post go and check them out.