Posts filed under Behance

Behance Action Cards Review

Behance Action Cards - Anyone try these yet?

I am huge fan of index cards or note cards as an idea capture tool. We have all used basic index cards from the office supply store, and recently I have started to test out some of the premium brands like Levenger and Moleskine. The 3x5 Behance Action Cards are the latest to hit my desk - are they the best of the bunch?

The Behance Action Method was designed to be a productivity and project management tool, and while I am not a practitioner of the method, I can appreciate the thought and creativity put into it. The main difference between the Behance cards and all of the other cards I have tested out is that one side of the Behance card is dedicated to Action Method input. The colored side of the card has eight defined sections to add Action Steps, along with a date/title header strip across the top.

Behance Action Cards Review

Flipping the card over gives you the open index card format you are probably used to in the form of a dot grid pattern. Behance uses the dot grid across all of their product lines, so if you are familiar with any of their other products, this is the same.

From an ink standpoint, the Action Cards held up very well to everything I threw at it - including a TUL Ultra Fine Permanent Marker. The cards are made out of 80lb. cover stock, and while that isn't the smoothest paper, I had no issue with any pen I used. The gel and ballpoint inks really popped off the card, and the ink in my Lamy Safari EF didn't bleed at all.

When I compared the Levenger and the Moleskine note cards, there were things I liked and disliked about both. I can't say there was anything I disliked about the Behance Action Cards, but I am not sure about the Action Method side yet. I see the usefulness, I just have to see if it fits me.

You can pick up 30 cards packs of Action Cards directly from Behance for $5.00. I grabbed mine from Amazon for $5.95 since I was shopping for other goods and took advantage of the free shipping. No matter where you buy yours, I think you will enjoy them.

Posted on July 11, 2011 and filed under Behance, Index Card.

Behance Dot Grid Cahier Review

Behance Dot Grid Cahier Cover

Aside from the plethora of pens I have laying around to review, I have so many notebooks that I am running behind on. Bryan got that ball rolling for me last week, and I am picking it up this week with the Behance Dot Grid Cahier.

This is one of those notebooks that grabbed me the first time I saw it online and I knew I would have to pick some up. My wife bought me a two pack this past Christmas from Barnes & Noble (I'm not sure they even stock them anymore), and I have been very happy with it so far.

Behance Dot Grid Cahier Ink Samples

One of my favorite things about the Dot Grid Cahier is the size. Most notebooks in this category (Moleskine Cahier, Field Notes, Doane Paper Utility Notebook) are 3 1/2" x 5 1/2". The Behance model checks in at 4"x6" and for regular every day use I like that size better. I still use the Doane as my back pocket notebook because of its size, but the Behance gives just a bit more writing room overall.

Behance chose to use 60lb New Leaf 100% recycled paper, which I had never used before, but it does a nice job. It is not as smooth as Rhodia paper, but it handled every ink I threw at it nicely. Gel and ballpoint inks were the best, while the liquid ink pens had a slight bit of soak into the page, but didn't bleed or show thru too badly.

Behance Dot Grid Cahier Writing Sample

What I haven't been able to figure out yet is how to approach the dot grid layout. Being the huge fan of regular grid paper that I am, the dot grid is visually appealing to me, but doesn't feel as functional. When I write, I get the feeling that I am lost on the page. I can see a ton of uses for this though, but I couldn't personally use it for straight journaling. To do lists, brainstorming, or what it is intended for - the Behance Action Method - would be nice fits though. It is a notebook definitely worth giving a shot.

Posted on June 6, 2011 and filed under Behance, Dot Grid, Notebook Reviews.

Review: Action Cahier by Behance

ActionCahier-1The Action Cahier by Behance in its packaging glory.

I recently went to Montreal, Canada, which has a very strong French influence, which means CLAIREFONTAINE. Anyways, besides loading up on Clairefontaine notebooks, I also visited a particular stationery store called Papeterie Nota Bene. Located near McGill University, this stationery store is perhaps the best stationery store that I have visited in that it has a large variety of... well... stationery. (Not so much in the pens department, but they do carry the full line of Diamine and J. Herbin inks.) I had a wonderful experience and highly recommend anyone who is visiting Montreal or from the area to go acquaint themselves with the store. Regardless, among the many things that I purchased there, I also got these Action Cahier notebooks by Behance. I saw these online and was particularly interested in them because the idea behind them reminded me of the Rhodia Meeting Books. They also look pretty nice from a design stand point, as their slogan seems to be "Designed by and for creative professionals." While I don't fit really into  this category, it was quite appealing.

ActionCahier-2Unwrapped and back of packaging with logo sticker.

The Action Cahier is part of the line of Action Notebooks by Behance, which follows their Action Method that aims to increase the productivity and efficency of indivuduals (particularly "creative or non-creative" individuals).  It's kind of a nice idea and such, but it really just seems like you're paying for a product to help you organize yourself that looks pretty when really you can use anything (and I got sucked into it). While they have the Action Cahier, they also have an Action Pad (think desk pad version) and Action Notebook (their fulfledged version with an extended layout). Anyways, back to the Action Cahier.

ActionCahier-3The spread. Looks nice, right? It doesn't lay flat, though, which is somewhat expected.

The Action Cahier is a collaboration between Behance and the green oriented NewLeaf (100% ecofriendly and recycleable!). It comes in two color schemes, blue or orange; I got the orange because that's all that what they had at the store at the time. As I said previously, the design is pretty nice. On a spread, you see that one side has their designed boxes and checkboxes and such for you to put your "actions" (aka to do list) and on the other side you have basically a dotpad for you to "put info on how you implement your ideas." There is also a nice, usable back pocket. While the boxes are nice, I feel as if I am always in a situation of find it really hard to fill them all up or have enough boxes for my actions. However, I love that the back is a dotpad because you can have structure but freedom when drawing diagrams and such. Each page is also perforated so you can just tear out the sheet and stick it somewhere else, which is convenient and thoughtful. However, I somehow wish that you wouldn't have to turn the page to elaborate on your ideas and could just use the left side. Of course then this is a problem with perforation, but yeah, just wishful thinking. This is not the largest problem of the notebook.

ActionCahier-5Writing sample on one sheet of paper (back on left, front on right).  The quality of the paper is pretty good, except for the waxy layer on the front side of the sheet making it unfriendly for fountain pens.

I tried a variety of instruments to test the paper of the notebook, and it's great on all writing instruments I tested, except fountain pens (well, the ink of the fountain pen that I used). It seems as if the paper has some kind of waxy layer on the top or something as to make it really not want to absorb the ink from the pen (at all; although it appears fine, this dried for like.. 8 days). There is also some "bubbly" effect for fountain pen ink in that the ink did not want to interact and spread on the paper so much it'd rather interact with itself and form mini droplets on the paper. Additionally, there was very mild bleed through on the back side with the fountain pen. So, fountain pen users should beware! However, the waxy layer does not seem to be present on the back so if you want to be stubborn and buy this and you are a fountain pen user, you can go crazy on the dotpad (although most fountain pen users would go for Rhodia I'd imagine). Besides this, the paper has a nice feel to it and is substantial (aka not like the Moleskine Cahiers). The waxy-ish layer seems to add to the design in that perhaps the papers are meant to be ripped out, and the waxy layer can thus protect whatever you are writing or the integrity of the sheet itself.

ActionCahier-4The back of the notebook has "New Leaf" and "Behance"(not in focus) embossed.

While the Action Cahier looks aesthetically appealing (and can therefore make you look really cool by using it - I can imagine an artsy hipster using this if they decide that moleskine is not unique enough, haha), it is not worth its value in my opinion because of its inability to take fountain pen ink on the front and confinement due to the  premade boxes (it's actually a bigger problem for me than it seems). While I've never used a Rhodia Meeting Book before, it seems a lot more useful and practical in that there is more space to write and you don't have to confine your ideas to 7 boxes and the like (the Rhodia Meeting Book seems to overlap in function with the Action Cahier). I'd expect that the quality of the Rhodia Meeting Book is different in that it can take common fountain pen ink, as well. The Rhodia Meeting Book seems to accept more flexibility for people with tons on their to-do list. However, what I do like about the Action Cahier is, if the purpose of the cahier includes ripping out each sheet, the design is very thoughtful. The size is small and convenient, the perforation allows for the easy of tearing, and the quality of the paper gives increased durability. 

I got this for 9$ at Papeterie Nota Bene, but apparently they sell it for 7$ at the Behance website. Not cheap for the student budget. Other products of their Action Method line can be found on Amazon.

Posted on November 1, 2010 and filed under Amy, Behance, Notebook, Notebook Reviews, Notebooks.