Maruman Spiral Note Basic Notebook Review


“Hi Brad,

I’m a student on a budget and am looking for a notebook with paper that will allow me to use all of my favorite pens and is affordable. Can you help me out?


Lots of emailers during back to school season”

Historically, this is one of the harder emails for me to answer, until now that is. The Maruman Spiral Note Basic Notebook is the answer.

There are a ton of variables in the notebook needs for students. One main requirement rarely changes though: They want a side bound notebook. That’s what they have used all their lives, that’s what is available at local office supply retailers, and that is the most functional layout for sometimes limited writing areas students have to work in.

You would think this would be an easy answer, but for the stationery obsessives that are emailing me it isn’t. And it hasn’t been for me either.


Most students with this question are wanting to use fountain pens, and almost none of the readily available store options are going to cut it. The paper isn’t good enough. If it was, they wouldn’t be emailing me.

On the other end of the spectrum, paper that is fountain pen friendly usually comes in a bad format for students - top bound, hard cover, too few sheets, etc. - and expensive on top of that.

The Kokuyo Campus lineup is one I’ve pointed to on occasion. They meet the paper requirements, but are either too few pages or too expensive, depending on which of the many models you are looking at.

I also mention Rhodia a lot because they are more readily available, although not exactly cheap. The top bound nature of the pads isn’t great for students who need to constantly refer to their notes, or who need a more compact notebook.


So back to the Maruman Spiral Note. It ticks nearly all of the boxes students want in a notebook. Side spiral bound, 80 perforated pages, B5 size, high quality paper, and cheap, at least compared to other nice notebooks. I’ll grant that $6 is still expensive compared to the $1-$2 store bought notebooks, but the performance you get from the paper is worth it if you are using fountain pens.

The Spiral Note also comes in lined, grid, or blank, so students can choose the format that is best for them. If these were available when I was in school I would have a stack of the graph notebooks without a doubt. It handled every pen and pencil I threw at it with ease, with the exception of alcohol-based markers. The Sharpie test failed big time. But other than that is was a joy.


I’m having a hard time adding something to the negative column for this notebook. It’s kind of ugly I guess? The basic kraft covers are boring and are bad photo subjects, but at least they are thick and should stand up to heavy academic usage. They are perfect for doodles and stickers though.


The paper quality is the star here. If these 80 sheets of Maruman goodness came as a loose leaf pack it would still be worth the money in my book. That it is bound and designed with students in mind it makes it an easy choice for anyone wanting a better note taking experience.

(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!

Posted on October 23, 2017 and filed under Maruman, Notebook Reviews.