Posts filed under William Hannah

William Hannah Intentions Pages Review

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

Early in September, I began thinking about what planner I wanted to use in 2019. I’ve been using the Hobonichi A5 Cousin (review here) for several years now, and although I love it, I wanted to use my William Hannah A5 notebook more (review here). I thought about replacing my Hobonichi with the William Hannah notebook, so I ordered a set of calendar pages and something new called “Intentions Pages.”

William Hannah paper is amazing. It’s super thick (100gsm) and luxurious. There’s almost no show through, even with the wettest inks.

However, when my calendar and Intentions Pages arrived, I immediately discovered a problem. I couldn’t fit even one month of daily calendar pages and Intentions Pages in my notebook. The paper is just too thick! I like to have an entire semester’s worth of daily and monthly pages in one calendar for work, and my William Hannah couldn’t hold that much. So, I ordered another Hobonichi to use at work.

But, I immediately fell in love with the William Hannah Intentions Pages. What are Intentions Pages, you ask? Well, the Monthly Intentions Pages help you think through your goals for each month and to reflect upon them when the month is over.

The front page asks you to consider the following things:

  • This month’s goals (what and why?) - There’s plenty of room to write five substantive goals in the spaces provided.
  • What will I do more of this month? - Here you can write down a list or a paragraph of things you’d like to do more, which I think is an excellent thing to contemplate at the beginning of each month.
  • What will I do less of this month? - This is also a helpful question. I always find that I waste too much time doing things that don’t contribute to my goals or that take away from my happiness.
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The next two pages provide a monthly grid where you can write important dates. There’s also a daily tracker at the bottom of the pages.

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The back page asks the following reflection questions:

  • How would I summarise the month? - A large portion of the page is devoted to this question so you can write out your thoughts in paragraph form.
  • What will I do differently in the future? - The rest of the page challenges you to think about what needs to change in the coming days and months.
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Daily Intentions Pages provide a guide for thinking through your goals, evaluating your mood, and contemplating other questions each day.

The front page has the following items:

  • A box where you can record the day’s “Happiness Level.” - You can either write down your mood or draw something to represent your happiness level in this box. I do this at the end of the day.
  • Check boxes to record meditation, exercise, and reading or learning (daily practices that all of us could benefit from, though I’ve been terrible at finding time to exercise or meditate this fall).
  • The remainder of the page lists the following items to consider at the beginning of each day:
  • I am grateful for
  • A positive from yesterday
  • Yesterday I learned
  • A creative or positive idea
  • A thought around one of my goals
  • Today’s critical action
  • Two further key actions
  • A stretch target for today
  • My intention for today
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The back page provides a checklist for your critical action, key actions, and stretch target. There’s also room for the following:

  • Random Thoughts
  • What did I learn today?
  • A thought for tomorrow
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I put my Monthly Intentions Pages at the beginning of the month followed by a month’s worth of Daily Intentions Pages. This much fits perfectly into my William Hannah notebook.

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I’ve been doing Intentions Pages since September, and they’ve helped me to track my mood, record what I am grateful for, contemplate creative and positive ideas, record what I’ve been learning, and analyze how I’m progressing on my monthly and daily goals.

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This fall has been one of the worst semesters I’ve ever experienced. We had major cuts at my university, and many of my friends and colleagues lost their jobs. In addition, my mentor of many years died. So, I had to deal with more grief and stress than normal. The Intentions Pages helped me work through my rollercoaster thoughts and emotions and also reminded me to record grateful, creative, and positive thoughts each day. This was really good for me because many days I didn’t feel positive or grateful, but when I dug down deep, I could find things that brought me a tiny bit of cheer.

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I recorded my mood in terms of weather, because I discovered using a weather metaphor was easier for me than trying to come up with words to describe my mood each day. I have to admit that most days this fall were gloomy, often with thunder and rain. But, there were some sunny days as well.

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Even though I was disappointed that my William Hannah notebook didn’t work out as my daily calendar, the Intentions Pages were a wonderful surprise. I journal regularly, but the Intentions Pages provide me with a structured set of questions and prompts that I work through every day. My William Hannah notebook sits next to me on the side table in the living room where I drink my coffee each morning and cuddle my kitties in the evening. I’ve been pretty faithful recording my intentions each day, and I think it’s benefitted me greatly.

You can purchase William Hannah A5 notebooks at William Hannah. Intentions Pages come in monthly (£8.00=$10.00 for 2019) and daily format (£10.00=$12.70 per 50-day pack).

(I purchased my William Hannah notebook and Intentions Pages with my own funds.)


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Posted on December 21, 2018 and filed under William Hannah, Notebook Reviews.

The William Hannah Pocket Notebook: A Review

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

Long ago I reviewed my first William Hannah notebook--an A5 notebook in Agave and Petrol. I still adore that notebook, and I’ll be posting an article in November describing how I’m using it with the new Daily Intentions filler pages.

Because I love my A5, I decided to purchase a William Hannah pocket notebook in Whiskey and Kingfisher.

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It only took about one week for my new pocket notebook to arrive from England. One thing I absolutely love about William Hannah products is the exquisite packaging. My pocket notebook arrived in a sturdy cardboard box with a hinge opening.

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Inside, my pocket notebook was wrapped in William Hannah tissue paper.

The three pocket notebooks that come with the order were also neatly packaged in textured card stock.

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I realize it’s just packaging, but there’s something special about the care with which each William Hannah product is presented. You can tell that someone (namely David Round, the owner) lovingly hand wrapped each piece.

The pocket notebook, like all other WH notebooks, is beautifully designed. The leather on the outer cover is smooth and gorgeous. The stainless steel WH button adds a touch of flair to the cover, and the stitching is immaculate. The William Hannah England imprint is subtle and tasteful.

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The leather is luxuriously thick and soft to the touch. Not only is there an outer and inner leather cover, there’s also a suede lining.

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For a pocket notebook, the William Hannah is pretty large, measuring 150mm (H) x 105mm (W) x 29mm (D). So, while it might fit in large pockets, it probably won’t fit in most shirt or pants pockets. I carry it in my backpack.

Inside, you’ll find two slots for cards (credit or otherwise). In addition, there’s an elastic pen holder which is removable, though I don’t know what you might put in its place.

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Along with the notebook, you choose three pocket notebooks measuring 90mm x 140mm (3½ inches × 5½ inches). Each one has a textured card stock cover in a variety of color choices. In addition, you can choose from plain, lined, grid, and dot grid paper. I chose a lined notebook in Tabriz; a grid notebook in Cobalt; and a dot grid notebook in Mandarin.

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William Hannah paper is amazing. It is a beautiful, pure white paper, and it is thick (100 gsm). Although I love Tomoe River paper, there’s something to be said for good, thick, white paper if you don’t want any show through.

I tested my notebook with fountain pens, and the paper held up beautifully. I encountered no bleeding or snagging, and the tiny bit of show through was too minimal to photograph.

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I also did swabs. Once again, the paper performed perfectly. Even with thick swabs of ink, there wasn’t enough show through to photograph.

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I practiced some calligraphy with Sumi ink, and the paper handled that easily.

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Finally, I tried various writing instruments from rollerballs and ballpoints to highlighters and a Sharpie. Only the Sharpie exhibited show through, but that’s to be expected. And, honestly, I was surprised how little of the Sharpie ink /bled/ through the paper.

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William Hannah notebooks are extraordinary. Nevertheless, there are a couple of weaknesses.

First, William Hannah notebooks do not have a closure system. This is not a deal-breaker for me, as I mainly use my A5 at home and keep my pocket notebook in my school backpack. However, this is, perhaps, /the/ main (if only) complaint people have about the WH notebooks. I tried using an extra elastic from one of my Travelers Notebooks as a closure. It’s a potential solution, but I think it mars the beautiful simplicity of the notebook.

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Second, the pen loop is fairly small. Even though it’s elastic and will stretch to accommodate thick pens, you have to keep in mind the limitations of the notebook’s size. Thick pens make it more difficult to keep the notebook closed, and long pens can extend beyond the notebook’s borders. I decided to keep my Caran d’Ache Nespresso Ballpoint Pen in my WH Pocket Notebook. It’s the perfect size and length.

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I’ve not found any notebook that comes close to the quality of William Hannah’s products. Of course, you do pay a premium for these notebooks. My pocket notebook was 79 pounds (approximately $102 plus shipping from England). I think it’s totally worth the price, considering the quality of the leather, the craftsmanship, the many color choices (both for the outer cover and inner suede lining), and the excellent paper in the pocket notebooks.

(I purchased the William Hannah Pocket Notebook with my own funds.)


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!

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Posted on October 5, 2018 and filed under William Hannah, Notebook Reviews.

The William Hannah Notebook: A 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.)

I first saw a William Hannah notebook on Instagram and was immediately entranced. The supple leather, metal accents, and industrial-strength rings got my undivided attention. So did the price.

I am a hoarder of notebooks. I love the smell of paper and all the different notebook designs available these days. It is hard for me to settle on just one notebook–and why should I? I am currently using a Hobonichi Cousin for my calendar, a Nanami Seven Seas Notebook for my journal, a half-dozen Word notebooks for various things, and a passport-sized Traveler's Notebook for my purse. Then there's my Baron Fig (blank, so far) and a trove of other notebooks sitting on my shelves for which I've yet to find a purpose.

Why on earth would I need another notebook? Well, who doesn't always need another notebook? Besides, I figured that having a British-made notebook with buttery leather and lovely paper would inspire me to write poetry. I have a poetry thesis coming up, so I need to get more poems written. That's what my William Hannah Notebook is for . . . though I've yet to write even one poem in it. I have managed a calendar page.

I originally planned to get the whiskey notebook with the kingfisher interior. But when I went to order my notebook, there was a lovely color called agave. I ordered that. I expected it to take up to two weeks to receive the notebook, so I was amazed when it arrived in five days. The packaging is fantastic, as you would expect from a British company. Everything is wrapped in William Hannah paper.

The notebook is inside a sturdy outer box that opens like a book:

There is a card inside with your receipt and a handwritten note:

The person who packaged my notebook included some extras for me since I was ordering from America:

  • A sampler packet of all the different sorts of paper you can order with your notebook.

  • A packet of additional lined paper ("To maximize shipping costs to the US").

  • A card with extra hardware in case I want to remove the pen loop.

The notebook itself is a simple design. It is made from one thick piece of leather with a suede interior. They offer many different colors. I chose agave which is a beautiful teal. You can even order custom colors if you wish. Both the outer and inner covers are stitched in a coordinating color of thread.

The leather is luscious. It smells wonderful and is so smooth it makes you want to stroke and hold the notebook all the time–which is weird, and people will stare at you, so you might want refrain from this in public. Because the leather is so soft, it is prone to scratches and scrapes. But these will add character to your notebook as it ages.

The only decoration on the front is a William Hannah pin made of steel with the initials WH engraved on it.

The pin screws on, so you can opt for a pen loop, which is what I did. I'm not sure I will make use of the pen loop, though, since I rarely carry just one pen with me. I may remove it and go back to the simple pin.

My Lamy 2000 in the pen loop

My Lamy 2000 in the pen loop

The only other decoration is the William Hannah logo engraved on the back.

I wish the notebook had a closure system of some kind, for example, a loop that could be used with the pin. This isn't a deal breaker, of course, but I do like to keep my notebooks closed when not in use or while I'm carrying them.

As stated above, the interior of the notebook is lined in suede. I chose the petrol color for the interior, but the agave notebook can also be paired with lime or fuchsia suede. I would like the option to have pockets sewn into the interior for cards and other loose items.

The discs are made of 303 gauge stainless steel. These babies are meant to last and will not tarnish. They are sewn in place and are sturdy.

The discs don't open and close like a three ring binder. They are solid rings. Instead, the paper is cut to fit the rings, and you can easily remove paper by pulling from the upper right downward. To insert paper, you simply press the pages onto the rings. What is wonderful about this system, is you can arrange and rearrange pages in any order you want.

The 100gsm paper is magnificent. It is almost as thick as index cards and is smooth–no grainy stuff to clog up your extra-fine nibs. When you order your notebook, you also order paper, and you can configure it in any combination of 60 pages (or more, if you wish). They offer plain, lined, grid, and dot-grid paper. You can also choose templates for to-do lists and/or weekly calendar pages. You even get to pick the ink color for your pages. I chose 50 pages of lined and 10 pages of dot-grid in petrol-colored ink.

I tested the paper with several different inks.

The only one that didn't do well was MB Toffee in my Cross Concord nib. Admittedly, this is a super-wide, wet nib, and the ink feathered. All the other pens and inks worked perfectly on this paper.

Only the MB Toffee ink in my very wide Cross Concord nib feathered

Only the MB Toffee ink in my very wide Cross Concord nib feathered

The paper has a little bit of show through, but absolutely no bleed through, even with the wettest inks. I did some ink swabs with some of my most saturated colors, and not one bled through.

The ink shows through the paper slightly, but there's no bleed through at all

The ink shows through the paper slightly, but there's no bleed through at all

My only complaint about the paper in the William Hannah notebook is that it isn't perforated. When you pull sheets out, you wind up with a side that has snaggy edges, like spiral notebook paper. If the pages were perforated, you could remove these easily, and that's important for those of us who are OCD about smooth paper edges. I'm a professor, okay? I hate snaggy paper.

A William Hannah notebook starts at £95 (=$137.54 at the current exchange rate). A pen loop is an additional £6, and shipping is £17.50. Bespoke notebooks start at £120.

Paper refills are £5 for 50 pages and £9 for 100 pages plus shipping. You can buy an Atoma punch and use your own paper. However, the punch costs £139 at CultPens, so it's quite an investment. I couldn't find any American retailers who sell an Atoma punch.

The William Hannah notebook is an expensive purchase. But I think it is worth every penny. The care that went into its creation is obvious. It is configurable to anyone's taste, and the paper is outstanding. The William Hannah notebook will last a lifetime.

Pros

  • The William Hannah Notebook exhibits top-quality workmanship.
  • It is configurable with multiple options for printed paper, including templates for weekly calendaring and to do lists.
  • The ring system is sturdy and allows you to arrange and rearrange pages.
  • The notebook lies perfectly flat when open.
  • The leather is pure bliss and comes in many different colors. You can even create your own bespoke notebook.
  • The 100gsm paper works well with any sort of pen or pencil, but it is especially good for fountain pen users.

Cons

  • This is a very expensive notebook.
  • The notebook does not have inner pockets nor is there a way to keep the notebook closed.
  • When paper is removed it has snaggy edges.
  • Refills can get expensive because of the exchange rate and shipping from England.
Posted on June 17, 2016 and filed under William Hannah, Notebook Reviews.