The Stalogy line of notebooks have earned a reputation for being a minimalistic alternative to the Hobonichi Techo planner. The pages have an unobtrusive, grey 5 mm grid that serves as an excellent guide, but can easily fade into the background if needed. There are subtle date and hour markings along the page edges that are also easily ignored if you want to use the notebook for something other than a planner or journal.
The paper is very similar to the Tomoe River paper of the Hobonichi, with the same thin, onionskin quality and remarkable liquid ink resistance. The only ink I tested that had any bleed-through was the Schmidt rollerball refill. (If show-through bothers you, you may not enjoy this paper--nearly everything showed a little.) I've heard good reports about the use of watercolors in the notebooks as well. Markers bled through very easily. The paper is slightly more textured than Tomoe River, but it's still a bit too smooth for pencil, I think. The graphite tends to smear.
The cover is a soft cardstock. The A6 size is available in black, though the A5 comes in several fun colors. The binding feels stiff at first, but after a little bit of training (bordering on abuse), it breaks in nicely and will lie open flat. It has smooth rounded edges. It feels good in the hand--the proportions and materials feel inviting and make me want to sit down to write. It's a difficult quality to describe--but I think you folks understand.
This book can be a bit too minimalistic at times, though. If you do want to use the date and time marks, you might need to squint to see them. It also lacks any kind of pocket, bookmark, or index/info page. The 368 pages are okay for covering a year's worth of records, but leave very little spare for notes, contacts, or important info. If I were carrying this as a planner, I'd need at least one other notebook on me to pick up the slack.
As a planner, it's the absolute most very basic of planners--but it's a swell notebook. I really enjoy writing in it. It reminds me a bit of the Nanami Paper Seven Seas notebook line. The Stalogy cover and binding are not quite as nice as the Nanami notebooks, but I love the different sizes Stalogy offers. I'm excited to have found a new source for notebooks with a gazillion pages of fine, fountain pen friendly paper. I'm looking forward to trying other sizes, and hoping for some of the brighter colors in the A6 size.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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