Posts filed under Mark's

Mark's HiBi Weekly Notebook Review

HiBi Weekly Notebook Review

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

The Mark's HiBi Weekly notebook is a small spiral notebook that spreads your entire week on a single page, making it easy to plan events and tasks for each day. Unlike a lot of weekly or daily planners, this one features a wide landscape orientation, and also sports a back cover that allows the notebook to stand up on its own so you can easily reference the planner on your desk.

At 8.3 x 4.6 inches, it's a familiar size. It's a bit smaller than an A5 notebook, which makes it easy to store and transport, but also allowing enough room on the page for an entire week. While it's great that the full week is available on every page, that's where this notebook causes me trouble. Due to the small size, I've had trouble using the notebook since I don't normally write super small. Even if I do write incredibly small, there still isn't much room for me to add meetings, appointments, and tasks for each day without everything feeling incredibly cramped. At first glance, it looked like a great format. After using it for a week, I was a bit disappointed.

HiBi Weekly Notebook Writing

For me, the functionality was a flop, but what about the build quality? The notebook features a top-bound twin spiral ring that seems rugged, but can be difficult to turn pages without getting stuck. The chipboard that makes up the front and back covers are incredibly strong, and I have no doubt they'll stand up to a great deal of abuse. The kickstand on the back cover is a novel idea, but it does add bulk to the notebook when it's closed and laying flat. If you're using it to stand up the notebook, it works great.

HiBi Weekly Notebook

Once you get to the paper, the build quality starts to decline. The paper has a smooth feel that's pleasant to write on, and it's thin without feeling fragile. I also haven't seen any feathering when using different pens on this paper, which is a good sign. However, the show-through on the opposite page is significant. Even with a micro-tip gel pen, there's almost too much show-through to use the back page. And since every page has a front and a back, that poses a significant problem. The Schmidt P8126 and fountain pen inks caused the most show-through, but the only option that hasn't caused some sort of show-through is pencil. I was disappointed by this attribute of the paper, because it's pleasant to use if you discount the show-through property.

HiBi Weekly Notebook Show through

Unfortunately, this notebook didn't mesh with my daily routine or writing style. It could potentially be fixed by removing a lot of the lines that create the feeling of cramped writing space, but fitting seven days of information on a single sheet is always a tall order. This might work great for some people with specific use cases, but it just didn't hold up for me. That, together with the paper quality and problematic spiral binding, ultimately makes this notebook difficult to recommend unless you can think of specific uses that will suite your needs.

The model used in this review is orange, but that color isn't currently available on JetPens. Today, they offer blue, pink, and yellow, and each notebook is just under $10.

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


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HiBi Weekly Notebook Standing
Posted on October 3, 2018 and filed under Mark's, Notebook Reviews.

Mark's Hibi Ballpoint Pen Review

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(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.)

Sometimes I buy stationery because it's cute, and for no other reason. Sometimes that works out for me, but more often I end up disappointed. The Hibi Ballpoint pen is definitely one of the cuter mistakes I've made.

Ballpoints are my least favorite of the pen families, but there are times when that's just the tool required for the job. And when those moments happen, I want the ballpoint I'm using to at least be a fun one. So when I saw these lovely Hibi pens, I decided to give one a try. I love the wood body, the sleek profile, and the vintage-feeling colors. I think the branding on the pen body is charming. It looks both modern and timeless. In the looks department, it's a total winner.

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The wood body feels good in the hand, though I question its durability. It's nicer than picking up a cold metal pen. It's also very lightweight, so there's less chance of hand fatigue if you're filling out a lot of paperwork. The barrel is a bit narrow, so those who prefer thicker pens may find it uncomfortable to hold. I like the slimness, as it can be easily stowed in any pen sleeve or even inside the spiral of a notebook. Between the wood, weight, and slimness, it feels more like a pencil than a pen.

The clip is sturdy metal with a good amount of spring to it. It's well anchored at the top, so I don't worry about it bending or breaking. The click button has a good bounce and click to it, but the button screws off easily, and there is a tiny spring below it that could be lost or broken if it comes undone in a bag. And the looseness of the button means that it rattles when you're writing, which is a bit annoying.

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The pen is refillable with an Ohto No. 175 NP refill. The ink itself isn't a very deep black--it's a bit of a washed out grey. The needlepoint is .5 mm, but it feels finer to me, perhaps because it's such a dry ink, and the tip itself is very scratchy. The metal cone at the tip unscrews to access the refill (held by another spring).

Overall, I like looking at this pen, and I like holding it. But writing with it is unpleasant. Both the construction and the refill work against it. So does the price tag. If it were a $3-5 pen, I'd say I got my money's worth of enjoyment out of it, but I think $11.25 is too much for this.

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I haven't learned my lesson, of course. I'll buy the next cute pen, too, and find a use for it, even if it's not great. This pen lives by the kitchen calendar, where its fine tip can write in the small squares and its ballpoint ink suits the glossy paper. It's put to good use. But I don't think it suits the brand's motto of being an "everyday tool".


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!

Posted on November 30, 2017 and filed under Mark's, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.