Posts filed under Maruman

Maruman Mnemosyne A4 Project Notepad Review

Maruman Mnemosyne A4 Project Notepad Review

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

In my mind, the Maruman Mnemosyne products are the epitome of high-quality stationery in the office, but you don't need a fancy office job to benefit from the great features of this notepad. Look at all the space you have to work on the page with this Mnemosyne N187A Project notepad! With exceptional paper quality, equally exceptional build quality, and an accessible price, this large pad is an exceptional value.

Let's start with the specifications. This notepad is an A4-sized (12.4 x 8.3 inches) top-bound book with 70 pages of smooth 80gsm paper. The specific variant I'm using is the 5mm graph paper with a section at the top for the date and some notes on the subject or title. The front of each page is filled with the light-gray graph lines, but the back of each page is blank, allowing you some additional options if you need to write on the back or plan out some larger diagrams without the graph lines getting in the way. The top is bound with staples and glue, and each page is perforated along the top for a perfect tear-out each time. The front and back of the notebook is covered with a lightweight cardstock, and the front cover has some pre-made folds to make folding the front back an easy task.

Maruman Mnemosyne A4 Project Notepad

When first using the notebook, the first page is a single yellow piece of paper that contains some Mnemosyne branding. After tearing this sheet out, there's a small, thin line of yellow above the perforation line. This line adds a really nice pop of color at the top of the page for the rest of the notebook's life, and I really appreciate Mnemosyne's attention to detail and decision to make this first page a pleasant yellow color. It really goes nicely with all the white and black that this notepad exudes.

Maruman Mnemosyne A4

Writing in this notepad is exactly like writing in any other Mnemosyne notebook — the paper is the exact same, and that's an excellent compliment. The paper is smooth with very slight feedback, and it takes fountain pen inks perfectly. I've never had any issues with feathering or bleeding, though the 80gsm paper does show through more than I'd like. It's not quite as nice as Rhodia or Clairefontaine paper in this respect — much closer to the normal Leuchtturm paper — but it's still an excellent paper. Just note that if you tend to use the back pages of notepad paper, you should stick with smaller nibs and drier inks with this paper. But, if you just want to use the front sides of the pages, you can use any ink and pen combination you like with no fear of anything bleeding onto the next page.

Maruman Mnemosyne A4 Writing

The large size of this A4 pad also provides plenty of space for writing, sketching, brainstorming, mind-mapping, and anything else that lends itself well to large area thinking. I've really enjoyed using this pad to take notes and think out ideas. The top-bound legal pad design also fills a certain niche as well, since most legal pads are pretty bad when it comes to playing nicely with fountain pen inks.

Overall, the Maruman Mnemosyne N187A project notepad is a fantastic notepad that features smooth and resilient paper, a strong binding with perfect perforations, and a classy and strong cover that keeps a low profile. This notepad fits in well across the board, no matter your use. At around $17, it's still a pretty good value considering the level of quality and number of sheets. As long as you like graph paper, this will suite you well. If you want something other than graph paper, you'll have to look elsewhere, unfortunately. There are also several other size and format options in the same line, so be sure to check those out if this A4 notepad isn't quite your bag.

(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!

Maruman Mnemosyne A4 Review
Posted on August 14, 2019 and filed under Maruman, Notebook Reviews.

Maruman Sketch Bag Review

Maruman Sketch Bag 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!)

My recent trip to New Orleans was the first time my husband and I have ever traveled without our kids. To celebrate not having to carry diapers and car seats through airport connections, we decided to pack as lightly as possible. Our five-day trip would include everything from riding pontoon boats through swamps, to 5-star, jacket-required dining. With that kind of wardrobe variety, minimalist packing can be a bit tricky, but we were determined--no checked bag, no suitcase, no wheelie-that-won't wheel--nothing for the overhead bin that just gets checked anyway because (surprise!) your flight is oversold. Just a backpack each. A challenge, yes, but it can totally be done, if you have a good backpack.

Maruman Sketch Bag Front

The Maruman Sketch Bag is a good backpack. It was the perfect travel bag, and it is now my official journey bag. I have four more trips planned over the next three months, and I know I won't need anything but this backpack for all of them.

The first thing I noticed about the bag is that it is extremely light. The fabric is a PU-coated nylon that's so thin it almost feels like tissue paper. The structure of the bag is created with thin, light foam. It feels fragile, but it's not. I did not go easy on this bag--I was actually curious to see if it would tear, so I put it through plenty of abuse, but it doesn't even show a scratch. My return flights from New Orleans were not nearly as minimalistic as my flights there (heh), and I can tell you that you can cram this bag full of cans of chicory coffee and books and drag it out from under airplane seats, and (somehow) it holds up just fine. The only downside to that ultra-light fabric? Sometimes it gets caught in the zipper. It doesn't happen if you're careful, and it's a small price to pay for a bag that's light enough that you can fill it full of books and still lift it.

Maruman Sketch Bag Inside

This backpack has an excellent balance of small and large pockets. There's one main large compartment that's great for clothes (or books). Inside that main compartment is one large pocket and two small mesh pockets. Behind that is another large compartment, this one with some foam padding for a computer. The specs say it will fit a 15" laptop, but you could totally fit a desktop computer in there if you wanted to. It's roomy. Or, you know, more books. On the front of the bag is another large zipper compartment with two small pockets inside and one pen pocket. And on the front of that is another small zipper pouch, great for fast-access items. On each side of the bag is a drawstring pouch, fit for an umbrella and water bottle. And on on the side facing your back is yet another padded, medium zipper pouch, perfect for valuables and small electronics. I did use a Lihit Lab bag-in-bag and a few NockCo cases for some extra small-item organization, but I do that even in my everyday purse.

Maruman Sketch Bag Straps

The straps are well padded with foam and very comfortable. There is a sternum strap with a buckle, as well, to help support the weight of all those books. It can be adjusted by width AND height, for which I am very grateful. I'm quite short, so I often can't use a sternum strap. It was very nice to be able to make use of this one.

The only time I had any difficulty with the bag at all was trying to get it out from under the seat on the smaller plane on the way home. When stuffed totally full, it barely fits under the seat in front of you, and I may have had to remove the floatation cushion on my seat to get it out. This is, of course, a fault of the ridiculously small seating space of the airplane and not a fault of the bag--but a travel issue nonetheless. It's possibly also the fault of whoever decided to buy that many books on vacation, but whatever.

Maruman Sketch Bag Side

I'm very happy to have what I feel is the perfect travel bag. And I'm already planning what to pack for my next trip--to the Chicago Pen Show! I hope to see you there! And speaking of packing books, I'll have copies of my novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, with me to sign and sell at the show. Hit me up if you're interested! And feel free to find out how many will fit in your backpack. If you've got a Maruman Sketch Bag, you could have them all and then some--just remember that your seat cushion can be removed in case of water landing or book overload.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes. This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.)


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!

Maruman Sketch Bag Bottom
Posted on April 11, 2019 and filed under Maruman, Backpack, Bag Review.

Maruman Cover Note B5 Notebook Review

Maruman Cover Note B5 Notebook Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

The Maruman Cover Note is a B5 size notebook (176 x 250mm/6.9 inches x 9.8 inches) inside a black leatherette cover. The cover looks quite classy, with a textured surface, the words “Cover Note” embossed on the front, and gold-colored metal corner protectors.

Gold Corners.jpg

The notebook itself is cardboard with thread binding. Two ribbons in black and red are sewn into the book as bookmarks. The notebook contains 88 pages.

Maruman Cover Note B5 Notebook Cover

Each page has a large upper section for titles. The remaining lines are 8mm apart and are printed in light gray ink.

The paper is ivory colored and is 78gsm, but it’s unclear what kind of paper it is. Is it cotton? Tomoe River? Linen? Wood pulp? I couldn’t find any information about the paper content.

Maruman Cover Note B5 Notebook Lines

Unfortunately, the paper is definitely not fountain pen friendly. First, I wrote my calligraphy alphabet with an Opus 88 fitted with a Regalia Labs Crossflex nib. The ink is Montblanc Corn Poppy Red. Not only did the ink bleed through the paper, the individual letters feathered as well.

Maruman Cover Note B5 Notebook Alphabet
Bleed Through Opus 88.jpg
Close Up of Letter.jpg

Next, I tested the paper with various pens and inks. All the fountain pen inks bled through the paper. The only pens that did not exhibit any problems were gel pens and brush pens.

Ink Testing Page.jpg
Bleed Through Various.jpg

Except for Montblanc Corn Poppy Red, the other fountain pen inks didn’t seem to feather, at least not as noticeably.

Close up of word.jpg

I copied a quote from Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary using my Montblanc 149 inked with Kobe Mikage Grey. The ink didn’t feather and writing on the paper was pleasant. But, once again, there was significant bleed through.

Devils Dictionary Quote.jpg
Devil Close Up.jpg

As much as I like the way the Maruman Cover Note looks, with its classic black cover, gold corners, and ribbon markers, the notebook paper inside is not at all impressive. I cannot recommend this notebook for fountain pen use. However, it appears to handle gel pens and brush pens adequately. Usually, I am impressed with Maruman products, but the paper in this notebook is a major disappointment.

You can purchase the Maruman Cover Note from JetPens for $25.50.

(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!

Bottom Image.jpg
Posted on February 1, 2019 and filed under Maruman, Notebook Reviews.