pocket notebook

Pebble Stationery Co. Pocket Notebook Review.

IMG_0295.JPG

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.

IMG_0296.JPG

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.

IMG_0297.JPG

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.

IMG_0301.JPG

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.

IMG_0299.JPG
IMG_0300.JPG

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.

IMG_0306.JPG

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

IMG_0303.jpg

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.

IMG_0308.jpg

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.

IMG_0304.jpg

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.

IMG_0306.jpg

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.

IMG_0307.jpg

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.

IMG_0311.jpg

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.

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Atomic Pocket Notebook

IMG_3017.jpg

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.

IMG_3020.jpg

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: Field Notes Coastal Edition Spring 2018

I am starting a new feature on the blog today called the Mid-Week Mini. In this feature I will be sharing my thoughts on items which perhaps don’t need a full blown review but that I still want to talk about.

IMG_2258.jpg

Back in 2014 this blog started with a review of the Field Notes Shelterwood limited edition, so to kick off my Mid-Week Mini I will be talking about the latest Field Notes colors release, the Coastal edition.

Total spoiler: I think this is my favourite Field Notes release for some time.

IMG_2259.jpg

Covers.

The covers are the real selling point of this limited edition. They are a grey-blue that is officially called Neenah Classic Crest Cadet Gray. To compliment the simple cover colour there is foil detail showing a portion of the American coastline. Which portion you get depends on the notebook you’re using. The sea/water element is a blue/green foil that catches the light and changes between the two colours. The reticle grid pattern is used in the sea and fades out as you move to the back cover.

IMG_2261.jpg

The land aspect of the cover has a gold foil with the contour lines differentiating between land and sea. The golf foil catches all sorts of colours and really stands out against the more cool tones. The two foils really compliment each other well and work so well against the muted base colour.

Gold, green, blue and purple!

Gold, green, blue and purple!

There are two sets to this limited edition, one is the East coast of America and the other the West Coast. Each of these notebooks put together shows the entirety of the American coastline.

IMG_2260.jpg

Innards.

The innards is where this edition gets weird and in my opinion loses some of its swagger. It has a reticle grid, which is controversial on it’s own, dots or grids surely? The reticle grid is printed in either a blue ink (coastal blue) or a green ink (coastal green). The colour choices aren’t so much of an issue, their tone however is. If these colours were lighter it would have really made this colors release an instant favourite.

If you’re a Field Notes and pencil user the graphite gets washed out against the grid especially with some harder graphite pencils. Gel ink pens, mine has a 0.5mm, isn’t bold enough and if you use a coloured gel ink its even worse. The only thing worth using in these notebooks is a black ink with a thick line to really make your master plans legible. My go to has been a drawing pen or the Baron Fig Squire.

Blue reticle grid on the left, green on the right.

Blue reticle grid on the left, green on the right.

I tested a number of different writing tools on a double page spread which has the blue and green ink showing. Results are similar however neither grid colour is great.

IMG_2268.jpg

Overall thoughts.

This release is an instant personal top 3 purely because of the covers. Despite my dislike of the innards I love this release. Over the years the way I use my Field Notes notebooks has changed a lot. A few years ago the crazy innards would have really bothered me, but now I don’t care. The cover design wins out.

One more thing...

It’s worth pointing out that if you want to read an excellent, in-depth review from a professional then you have to read Priya’s post at The London Parchment. You get some real insight from someone in the know...go on head over.