Instagram is one of my favorite tools for discovery of new and interesting products. It is where I first stumbled on the ridiculously cool Pilot Kakuno and, more recently, where I found a curious notebook with a curious name: JAWNS.
JAWNS is an acronym meaning Journal for All things Written Needed and Sketched. An all encompassing name for an all encompassing notebook, JAWNS tries to cover it all with the number of features they pack into a 3.6" x 5" notebook. I think they succeeded.
The first thing that caught my eye in the early images I saw was the use of two credit card slots inside the front cover. While that idea isn't exactly new and novel in leather memo book covers, it is less frequently seen built into a paper cover notebook. JAWNS uses 80 lb. Yupo cover stock to handle the added wear and tear the cover gets. If Yupo sounds familiar, it is the same water and tear proof paper used in the Field Notes Expedition Edition. The JAWNS cover is going to hold up well to daily use.
That's good, because the front card pockets are only the beginning. The inside back cover contains a single full-length utility pocket for larger paper notes, receipts, stickers, etc. While that is standard fare in many notebooks, the money pocket across the insdie back length of the notebook is a cool addition. Before I dropped my singles in there I assumed it would be a full-depth pocket but was pleasantly surprised that it was only half-depth, meaning your bills are easily accessible as if they were in a bi-fold wallet.
When it comes time to jot down your innermost thoughts, international flight changes, or make a depression robe shopping list, the uncoated 50 lb. triangle grid paper in the JAWNS notebook gets the job done. It's not fountain pen friendly as evidenced by the writing samples, but handled everything else (except the Pilot FriXion) well. The rollerball and liquid ink pens were the best, with my Kuretake Mangaka 02 Purple getting the call for the handwritten portion of the review.
In talking with Daniel, the co-founder of JAWNS, simplicity and freedom drive the design behind the brand. That shows through in this limited all-white design, with cool added touches like embossed stamping and an edition card with specs like manufacture date and edition run. Future editions will include varied cover styles, designs, and colors.
Where does the JAWNS brand notebook fit in this great big world of paper at our fingertips? At $12 each it isn't cheap but it provides high utility. For urban warriors bouncing through the city or travellers looking to lighten their load it is ideal. It is a notebook begging to be used and carried daily with the inclusion of the card pockets and money pocket. Leave the junk behind and simplify with JAWNS.
Big thanks to Daniel and JAWNS for providing this review sample free of charge. Daniel has also offered up a discount to all Pen Addict readers for 15% off at checkout by using the code PENADDICT. The offer expires on 3/28 so get on it if you want to give JAWNS a try.