Remake Mini Notebook – Cool Retro Style.


Remake notebook
I saw a picture of this notebook at Notebookism, and decided to order one.

It’s great! It’s a heavy duty cardboard cover, with sewn pages from a variety of reused paper sources, heavy on the graph paper and accounting styles. It fastens with a rubber band.

I keep a Zebra mechanical pencil clipped to it, which makes the notebook very usable.
Remake notebook
As a pocket notebook, it’s more portable than almost any alternative I’m aware of. It’s not for writing several paragraphs, but it’s great for jotting down an address, or a film or train schedule.

Remake notebook Remake notebook
Remake notebook Remake notebook

I love the way it pays homage to the paper working tools of the past – several types of composition, graph, and accounting paper.

Link: Remake Etsy shop

Nightjar Books found paper notebook


Nightjar Books found paper notebook
This is a notebook made from found and reused paper. It’s an absolute delight because of the whimsical paper choices – the pages have surprise bits of poems and illustrations.

Nightjar Books found paper notebook Nightjar Books found paper notebook
Nightjar Books found paper notebook Nightjar Books found paper notebook

There is a downside – it falls into the category of being so nice that you don’t want to use it. And since it’s one of a kind, it won’t be possible to replace it. I admit that I haven’t yet marked it.

Although I bought this at a local craft fair, Nightjar have an Etsy store where you can see some of their products.

Fabriano Classic Artist’s Journal


Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal
Fabriano is possibly the world’s most distinguished paper mill, with roots dating to the 13th century. It created the paper that Michelangelo and many other greats used.

One of their many current products is the Fabriano Classic Artist’s Journal, a paper journal with various formats. All are 192 sheets of toothy, mould-made (Ingres) 90 g/m2 paper.

I have the small version (12cmx16cm) with twelve alternating sleeves of white and cream paper. Alternately, there is a version with the twelve sleeves each a different colour! These journals are very nicely made. There is also a larger 16cmx21cm version.
Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal
They seem expensive, but they’re actually in the same range as the Moleskine, which tells me that one of these brands is overpriced. Guess which?

Felt tip pen, charcoal, pastel, and chalk all lay down very nicely. The tooth of the paper loves these media.
Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal
Overall, it’s a great product, and I’m looking forward to trying the other formats.

Exacompta Bloc Faf – Retro Office Excellence


The Exacompta Bloc Faf
The Exacompta Bloc Faf is a cool retro inspired pad of paper held together with real metal bolts and washers. People just adore this pad of paper when they see it. It has a mid-20th century styling (think Perry Mason and Della Street) while being incredibly sturdy and useful.

It stays put on a desk, with the underside having five rubbery feet. A bloc of two hundred sheets is deposited on two metal spokes, and held in place with a metal bar and two washers. The metal does corrode a bit over time.
The Exacompta Bloc Faf
It will definitely get double-takes in an office – yet it is in no way fancy or overdone – just great design.

A nice “upgrade” I recently discovered is that it can take quadrillé (graph paper) refills! I’ve got one waiting to jump into service.
The Exacompta Bloc Faf
Recommended without reservation!

Behance Action paper

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The intriguing Behance box.
This isn’t just paper – it’s Action paper!

Behance offers a variety of notebooks and pads that embody the company’s three point “Action Method” – capture actions, keep a backburner, and file reference items. Here, we’re going to focus on the paper.
Behance Action Book.
Behance is nice enough to offer a downloadable PDF file of the Action pad if you want to scrutinize the format, or if you’re sitting on a stockpile of inkjet cartridges and want to try and print your own.

I ordered two action books, three large action pads, and two small action pads. These were in a mixture of orange, grey, and turquoise.
Behance Action Book.
The packaging is nice. You will certainly know that you’ve bought a premium item! The products are very stylish.
Behance package.
The wire coil notebook, embossed “Action Book”, has a felt-like surface – quite unusual. After a bit of use, I also notice that it’s a bit of a fingerprint magnet.
Behance Action Book perforations.
The perforations are a pleasant surprise. One line near the coil allows tearing away the sheet for placement in a binder. And on the other side of the holes is another perforated line – for when you just want your piece of paper.
Behance Action Book Grid.
The notes area has a dotted grid. The entire backside of the page is this dotted pattern. I like it. It looks like it could even be useful for working on visual mathematical ideas, such as topology and knot problems. Behance makes another notebook whose paper uses just this dotted paper – the “Dot Grid Book”.

The paper itself is stated to be an 80lb weight – much thicker than most notebooks. This is something I like – the feeling of a piece of paper actually having some weight. What I noticed right away is that the paper has quite a “tooth” or three dimensional texture. I’m not sure what sort of coating it might or might not have.
Behance Action Book.
This tooth was so noticeable because I had trouble writing on it. My fountain pen didn’t seem to want to adhere. I’ll have to try denser inks another day. Pencils also seemed to skate the page, again not really adhering, and being quite smudge prone. Softer lead grades seemed a bit better. A ballpoint – my Bexley Multi-Max – also seemed to skirt the surface. I’m not a regular felt tip user – but this seemed to be the paper’s sweet spot. No problem at all, works perfectly. I would suspect gel pens would also do well.
Behance Action Book.
The right hand side has eleven colour sections for “Action Steps”, and one grey area for the “Backburner”.

The small action pads are all business – just action items on the front, and the dot pattern on the back. The large pads have the Action Book format.

It may be a great organizational tool. At worst, it’s an expensive and beautiful looking to-do list.

I have given a few away, and they have been very well received. The notebooks and pads are definitely a unique and compelling product.

Unfortunately, the purchase experience was diminished as shipping took a full month, and despite what appears to be very careful packaging, the notebooks arrived with dented corners.

Would I recommend them? Absolutely, especially if you write with a felt tip pen.

Whitelines paper


Whitelines Package
Can dark rules on white paper really impair both reading and writing? Is white paper harsh on the eyes? Do you want to avoid lines in photocopied pages? Is there an alternative?

It’s a fairly bold statement to claim a fundamental improvement in writing paper, but that’s what the Swedish stationer Whitelines asserts. They sell notebooks and pads of paper in a faint gray colour, with the rules in white.
Whitelines Wirebound Notebook
I ordered a selection of products with square ruling (a.k.a. “graph paper”) – wirebound A4 and A5 notebooks, stapled A4 and A5 composition books, glued A4 and pocket notebooks, and A4 and A6 paper pads. Shipping from Sweden to Canada took an astonishingly quick three days. They have their organizational act together!
Whitelines mark
All the products share the same paper, a bit thinner than I would have liked, patterned front and back with the white grid on a gray background. There is also a mark, “Whitelines Patent Pending”, on every sheet of paper.
Whitelines Pad
So how is it? Nice, very nice. Ballpoint, fountain pen (a medium nib Lamy with Montblanc ink), and pencil work well, though the paper is thin enough to show through anything dark.

Is it easier on the eyes? If you work in an office with overhead flourescent lights and computer monitors everywhere, probably anything might be easier on the eyes. It’s really hard to say – it is certainly pleasant enough.
Whitelines Glued Notebook
There is also a more subtle effect – the lines are there, but less prominently than on regular paper. It could be true that it is a less distracting structure for some.

One thing I’m ambiguous about is the amount of branding, though it’s a nice bright orange, and it doesn’t impair using the paper.
Whitelines Composition Book
Would I buy more? They’re a lot of fun, which I think would be the deciding factor. After using them for a while, I might choose a preferred format (so far I’m using the A5 composition book the most) and get a personal stash. Of couse, something else might come along in the interim.