Posts filed under Kokuyo

Kokuyo Buncobon Dot Cover Notebook Review

Kokuyo Buncobon Dot Cover Notebook Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

These sweet little Kokuyo Buncobon Dot Cover Notebook is designed to resemble Japanese paperback novels--a charming paper cover, the perfect A6 palm-of-your-hand size--with an additional eye for usability.

The notebook measures 4.1" by 5.8" and will fit in your favorite A6 notebook case or cover. It does come with a paper cover over the plain cream cardstock, and then another plastic cover over that. I found the plastic cover to be crinkly and irritating, so I set it aside fairly quickly. The paper cover has a pretty dot pattern, and it stays on with a folding flap that also serves as the notebook's index. The paper cover isn't terribly durable, though. And considering the generous page count and the fact that the book will probably be in use a while, an additional cover might not be a bad idea.

Kokuyo Buncobon Dot Cover Notebook

The cover itself is softcover cardstock with blue tape binding. The binding is glue, and it claims to lie flat, but I found mine needed a lot of training to even come close, and then I worried about whether the binding would hold together after such abuse. I prefer sewn bindings, but this one is working well so far.

Inside the notebook you'll find 70 sheets of 5mm grid 70gsm ivory paper. The paper has a bit of texture and tooth to it, but in a crisp, pleasant way. It's surprisingly good paper for a notebook with a large number of sheets and a price tag under $5. It held up well with most pens. Not Sharpie, of course, but everything else did very well. There's a touch of show-through with a very wet, dark rollerball, but the fountain pen did great.

Kokuyo Buncobon Dot Cover Notebook Color Coding

A nice feature of this book is its searchable function--there are spaces along the side edge that are designed for color coding that will be visible from the fore-edge, so you can flip to the section you need with ease. Combined with the index, it's a powerful little organizational tool. And it's got a sweet wee ribbon bookmark, too.

These are fantastic little notebooks. Not perfect, no, but the compromises are fair and worth it for what you do get. I love that there are enough pages to see me through a larger project, and that I can use my fountain pens, all without making my wallet weep. I think these would make great bullet journals or planners. They'd be wonderful for class notes. Perfect for novel research! I may use mine as a travel journal for an upcoming trip. Needless to say, it's a versatile book and very impressive for the price. Kokuyo knocks it out of the park again.

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


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Kokuyo Buncobon Dot Cover Notebook Writing
Posted on March 7, 2019 and filed under Kokuyo, Notebook Reviews.

Kokuyo Tack Memo Sticky Notes Review

Kokuyo Tack Memo Sticky Notes Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The category of sticky notes isn't an overly large one, even in the big box realm. Post-It notes are the name brand, and they have several sizes and colors to choose from. Every big box retailer has their own brand of similar products, but the paper quality of these items usually ranges from "meh" to "just okay." Since there aren't an abundance of options, the lackluster paper quality just has to suffice when you need a sticky note.

These days, there are a few more options available in the stationery world if you want sticky notes, and I've recently been trying out the Kokuyo Tack notes.

Kokuyo Tack Memo Sticky Notes

The notes I'm using are 75x100mm in size and they have yellow paper. They're a little wider than the "standard" Post-It note, but I think that's a good thing. There's plenty of room for jotting out quick notes and lists to stick on the wall or fridge.

The main perk of these sticky notes are the paper quality. They're much better than the paper most sticky notes use, which means you can use fountain pens in moderation. I say "in moderation" because this isn't Rhodia or Tomoe River paper. It's better than your standard Post-It note paper since it doesn't bleed and feather like crazy, but it's not supreme. In my experience, some fountain pen inks do great, but others smear easily due to the coating on the paper. If you do a little testing and determine which inks work well with the paper, you should be all set. Of course, given the coloring of the paper, your inks will look a little different than on a white paper, but that's normal.

Kokuyo Tack Memo Sticky Notes Writing

Now, another important feature of any sticky note is the strength of the adhesive used on the back. Post-It notes are regarded as having the perfect amount of stickiness that also tends to hang around after several re-sticks of the note. With that baseline set, I'm happy to report that the Kokuyo Tack notes are adequate in this measure. They aren't Post-It note quality, but they're darn close. The adhesive is strong and pliable, giving you plenty of chances to move the note around without worrying about it falling off after a few hours. Even with the breeze of a fan flowing across, they stay put.

Kokuyo Tack Memo Sticky Notes Sample

The Kokuyo Tack notes come in the 75x105mm size shown here, but they're also available in 74x52mm. Along with the two sizes, there are also several color options, like yellow, green, blue, and pink. The larger size will run you just under $5, while the smaller size costs about $3.

These Kokuyo Tack notes are affordable, colorful, and work really well. If you want sticky notes that handle fountain pen ink better than most, these are a great option.

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


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Kokuyo Tack Memo Sticky Notes Wall
Posted on January 9, 2019 and filed under Kokuyo, Sticky Notes.

Kokuyo Shellbro Pen Case Review

Kokuyo Shellbro Pen Case Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

Kokuyo has another new model for their lineup of innovative pen cases: The Shellbro, a horizontal zipper case that opens like a clamshell. It has a high capacity and interior mesh pocket, but I don't think it lives up to the same design standard as some of the other Kokuyo cases available.

To be fair, this is a perfectly decent case. It does the holding pens thing just fine. But we have a million options for decent pen cases, so when I ask myself "why would I pick this one?" The answer is, I probably wouldn't. There isn't anything about it that stands out, either in terms of innovation or functionality. Some of Kokuyo's other cases push design boundaries and explore some new pen case frontiers (sometimes even too far, in my opinion), but this case doesn't have that same excitement.

Kokuyo Shellbro Pen Case

The case is made of lightweight polyester canvas that comes in both muted neutrals and bright colors. There's either a contrasting or matching zipper that opens from one back corner to the other. The top opens and stands upright fairly well as long as there isn't something too heavy in the interior mesh pocket. When open, it's a lovely trough of pens with a mesh pocket above. The layout and capacity does mean that you'll have to dig to get to pens on the bottom--not everything in the case is visible. The case holds a LOT of pens, so the ones on the bottom will be well buried.

Kokuyo Shellbro Pen Case Inside

A downside to the construction is that the mesh pocket doesn't really contain items that well, so they can easily slip out as the case is carried around, and then those items swim around in the pool of pens. A large or heavy item, like a roll of washi, may weigh the pocket down too much so that the lid of the case doesn't stay open on its own.

Kokuyo Shellbro Pen Case Pocket

The zipper does have a double tab, which is nice, but the zipper itself feels a bit fragile, with shallow teeth and very thin fabric. It would hold up well enough with gentle use, but I don't think it would last long in a middle-school student's backpack.

While this case didn't win me over, there are a lot of other great cases from Kokuyo, most of them a buck or five cheaper than this one.

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


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Kokuyo Shellbro Pen Case Zipper
Posted on December 27, 2018 and filed under Kokuyo, Pen Case.