Posts filed under Notebook Reviews

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover with Monthly Schedule Book Review

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover with Monthly Schedule Book 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!)

It's time to plan your plans! Planning your planning! It's planner season!

Confession: It stresses me out. Because I know what I want. And I know what works for me. And they are not the same thing! I usually cave and buy a complex, ambitious planner system at the beginning of the year, stick with it through April, and then things gradually deteriorate until about... oh, now... and then I spend the rest of the year with just a monthly spread and a lot of lists.

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover Review

I started this year with a Hobonichi Cousin, last year with a Weeks, and the years before that with complicated and over-decorated bullet journals. Starting last month, I switched to a plain, slim grid notebook that I drew my own monthly spreads in and I've been keeping notes and lists in the back half of the notebook. Not long after I set that up, this Apica Monthly Schedule book arrived, which is the exact same layout as what I had designed for myself. I know that this layout is all I really need to know where I need to be and when. Yes, the squares are small. But days are short! So, if I run out of room in the square, I've also run out of room in my day. You might be surprised how much I can fit in a square, though. I can still thoroughly overbook myself in this small space.

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover Interior

This faux leather cover has an interior fold that the schedule book slides into. It can hold two slim A5 notebooks, or one notebook and a memo pad, or one thicker A5 notebook. It has an interior card pocket, two ribbon bookmarks, an extra back pocket, and a pen loop. The stitching is neat and sturdy, so it should stand up to the wear and tear of holding a planner, though I do find that the faux leather can warp over time with use. The pocket slits tend to stretch and lose a bit of integrity after a while, so I'm not certain if it can manage a year of daily use.

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover Calendar

The cover doesn't need to be for the schedule or planner. It can hold any of the Apica A5 notebooks. Or nearly any A5 notebook, for that matter, as long as it isn't too thick. It's a decent cover, but it didn't blow me away, especially for the $25 price tag. There are a lot of better covers out there for less cost, in my opinion. When this arrived, it was the bonus schedule book that really got my attention.

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover Writing

The schedule book itself is a thread-bound soft cardstock cover book in A5 size. It begins with a yearly overview page. I've never really figured out what those are for, so I typically leave those blank. Then, there are sixteen monthly spreads, all unlabeled, so you can start and end on any month. The monthly pages have a lined list along the left edge of the page for tracking tasks. After the monthly spreads, there are 15 pages of 5mm grid paper for notes and lists. The paper is fantastic. It's smooth, acid-free, and takes even the most broad and inky fountain pens without so much as a feather. The only pen that bled was a Sharpie fineliner.

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover Paper Back

It's certainly not a life-organizer. It won't have all the details of my comings and goings, or the minute breakdowns of my goals and plans. But it's the perfect place to keep the crucial info handy, and it's all I need to carry with me to make sure I don't double-book anything as I go about the day. I know it's all I need, because it's all I use for a good quarter of the year. The cover and schedule set is $25 on JetPens, and the schedule itself is only $3.80 for the A5 size. Yes, I can have all the planner I need, with some of the best paper out there, for under $4. I don't need a $50 planner.

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover Back Cover

Of course, I'll end up getting the big fancy planner, anyway. I always do. It never fails. And even if it doesn't help me organize my life better, at least it helps me get excited about the start of a new year. And when it all gets to be too much, I have this simple but effective tool to keep me going through what promises to be another busy year.

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


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Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover Debossed
Posted on September 12, 2019 and filed under Apica, Notebook, Notebook Reviews.

Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition Book Review

Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition Book 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!)

Leuchtturm1917 has long since made their reputation as a fantastic notebook company with quality construction and excellent paper, so I always have high expectations for any variation on their recipe that they introduce. My expectations are in good hands. While their recipes may be a bit bland in the sense that there is very little aesthetic variation, so far I have always been delighted with even the smallest adjustments to features and functionality.

Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition Book Contents

This new Softcover Composition Book has all of the important legacy Leuchtturm features, like an index, numbered pages, and the expanding back envelope, but it also comes in this B6 size, similar to American composition books, which makes them ideal for fitting into bags and briefcases while still providing enough page surface for substantial note-taking.

Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition Book Pages

With 121 numbered pages, I think these are the perfect classroom notebooks. The soft cover also adds to the portability. It's lighter and easier to carry and fit in pockets than the hardcover notebooks, but still has enough structure to act as a writing surface when necessary. The last eight pages are also perforated, so they can be easily torn out if you need to write something to turn in or share with a colleague or classmate.

Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition Book Notes

The notebook also has the elastic closure band, lay-flat sewn binding, and two ribbon bookmarks that add to the convenience and usability of the book.

Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition Book Back Page

Of course, the most essential feature is the quality of the paper. This notebook has 80 gsm acid-free paper that is labeled "ink-proof" because of how well it stands up to liquid inks of all kinds. I used this notebook for a work conference and took copious notes all with fountain pens. While there is some show-through with darker inks, it's not enough to interfere with writing on both sides of the page, and there was never a hint of feathering or bleeding. I even wrote a bit with the wettest pen I own, with a broad nib, freshly filled--and it still handled it like a dream.

Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition Book Ink

The softcover notebooks are available in other sizes as well, in lined, plain, or dot grid pages, and in a multitude of fun colors. I think this notebook is easily my number one recommendation for a notebook for students and I'll definitely be stocking up when it's my own turn to return to the classroom.

(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.

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Leuchtturm 1917 Softcover Composition
Posted on September 5, 2019 and filed under Leuchtturm, Notebook Reviews.

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.