Posts filed under Journal

Centralcrafts Capri Handmade Leather Wrap Journal Review

Centralcrafts Capri Journal

Journals are a big commitment. I’ve had this Capri Journal from Centralcrafts for a few months now, but hadn’t cracked it open until recently. Why? I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use it for.

I’ve never owned a leather-wrap style journal - the enclosure didn’t seem like my style. This journal has changed my mind from not interested, to ok I get it. In the case of the Capri Journal, I think the leather is what did it for me. The leather is is soft and smooth on the outside and suede on the inside, and feels fantastic. That translates to the wrap, which makes it two full lengths around the A5 journal, with enough to tuck the excess into the back.

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Cover

The other thing I like about the leather wrap style is that there is not a lot of excess. Yes, there is the flap to ensure it is covered properly, but there is not much border around the journal, which is nice. It’s protected, but not overdone.

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Back

On the inside, the journal front and back is glued directly onto the leather. The backing sheets are thick cover stock, as are the first page in the front and last page in the back to give the journal a solid feel. It’s not a hardcover on the inside, so there is some flexibility.

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Front Cover

One issue I had when first opening the journal was that the glue binding was not clean inside the front cover. It overran the backing and stuck the first eight pages together along the edge. Not a big deal, and I pulled them apart easily, but it was a minor annoyance.

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Writing

Paper specs for this journal are lacking on the product page, but it is nice. They call it fountain pen friendly, and I say I would agree with this assessment. That said, the paper has some texture to it, so don’t expect a glassy smooth page. There was no feathering to speak of, but there was a small amount of bleed and a decent amount of ghosting with all pens and pencils.

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Writing Back

I find the ghosting to be interesting. This is thick, cream-colored paper - I’d say 70# or greater in thickness - and I can see pencil through the back of the page. With the tooth of the paper, pencil is wonderful in this journal, I’m just somewhat surprised that I can see it through the back. I don’t write on the back of the page so it doesn’t affect me, but it did make me say “huh?”

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Lay Flat

If there is one negative about the Capri Journal is that it is not a lay-flat notebook by any stretch of the imagination. I’m not used to having to rely on my opposite hand to hold down the notebook so firmly to get a flat writing surface. I’m spoiled in the fact that I don’t think I use another notebook that requires this.

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Review

So yes, that is a frustration point. But for some reason I can’t put it down. It think it is the look and feel of it. It’s fantastic on both accounts. It’s perfect for drawing pens and pencils, which means it’s an excellent creative space for sketches, doodles, or Da Vinci formulas. That’s how I see myself using it anyway. Sketches, not formulas though.

Centralcrafts Capri Journal Pencil

At £25 (approx. $35) I think it is fairly priced. The quality is definitely there, and you can choose from several different colors of leather covers. Centralcrafts has dozens of other journal styles to choose from as well. My thanks to them for sending this product over for review.

(Centralcrafts provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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Centralcrafts Capri Journal Open
Posted on January 15, 2018 and filed under Centralcrafts, Notebook Reviews, Journal.

The Field Journal Notebook from Tom Bihn

Tom Bihn Field Journal

I was contacted by the fine folks at Tom Bihn a few weeks back wanting to know if I would like to give one of their new Field Journal Notebooks a test run.  Having been familiar with their product line but never having tried one of their products, the answer was of course a resounding yes!  Just from browsing the Tom Bihn website and looking at all of their Made in the U.S.A. goods I was expecting the highest quality product, and I was not disappointed.

After a quick exchange of emails, I had a Cocoa Field Journal on the way, along with samples of the three paper styles that are offered with the Field Journal: Crane's Crest 24# 100% Cotton Paper and Harbor 100 60# from Gray's Harbor Paper in Grid or College Ruled.  Just from feel alone, you can tell this is a well made and well thought out product.  The heavy duty nylon material, zipper, straps, and seams are all nice and tight and scream quality.

From a feature standpoint, the Field Journal is the Swiss Army knife of notebooks.  The list is endless, but here are some of the high points:

-- Front zipper pocket plus rear flat pocket

-- Accepts 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" paper

-- Ring Mechanism can be rotated 180 degrees to accommodate left-handed users

-- Weight: Exactly 1lb

-- Shoulder Strap, Key Strap, Leaf, and TOM BIHN Logo Plastic Ruler Included

(The full specs can be found on the product page)

Tom Bihn Field Journal

As you can see in the photos, I could fit four pens (including a fountain pen and stainless steel Sharpie), a thumb drive, my iPod Touch, and the provided Tom Bihn plastic ruler easily within the pockets on the inside front cover.  The zippers are designed to zip far enough back so the journal can lay flat on any surface.  The handle options are nice as well, with a removable shoulder strap or attached briefcase handles depending on your carrying needs.

From a paper perspective, the writing experience was nice, but not exceptional.  Like I mentioned earlier, there are three stock paper choices - Crane's Crest 24# 100% Cotton Paper, and Harbor 100 60# from Gray's Harbor Paper in Grid or College Ruled - all of which I sampled.  The grid and lined paper are your basic choices.  They both handled my Lamy Nexx fountain pen without issue, and I saw no trouble with bleed or feathering with any other ink types either.  The only real pause is the page isn't as smooth compared to Rhodia or Clairefontaine, but that is also a tradeoff with the environmentally friendly Gray's Harbor (Watch the Gray's Harbor Paper story here).  I also found on the graph paper that the lines faded out from left to right across the page, which you can see slightly in the picture below.

Tom Bihn Field Journal

Highlighter test performed by sneaky 4 year-old

The Crane's Crest is a beuatiful paper, with an ivory color, perforated page, and a little more tooth.  For me personally, it is not my style, but I can see why it would be a popular choice and it was the best of the three samples.  If none of those are your style, feel free to add any standard three-punch 5-1/2 x 8-1/2" paper to your Field Journal, which is a major plus.

Tom Bihn Field Journal

I honestly could go on and on and on about all of the things the Field Journal Notebook has too offer, but the product page on the Tom Bihn website does a great job laying everything out, showing all of the colors, features, accessories, photos, and even a video of this cool product.

Photo of sneaky 4 year-old

The Field Journal Notebook retails for $75.00 at

Many many thanks to Tom Bihn for providing this review sample at no charge.

Posted on November 4, 2010 and filed under Journal, Notebook, Notebook Reviews, Tom Bihn.