It's probably hyperbole to say that ring binders have changed the world, but is it, really? They've certainly changed the school supply world, and the basic technology is so simple and effective that they themselves have remained almost unchanged for as long as I've been around. As with any technology, if you can't improve it, make it smaller. The Maruman Into-One Mini-Sized Binder is the perfect example of a classic product made useful in whole new ways just by making it wee.
The binder has a flexible polypropylene cover with a light texture. It's very light and thin, so it keeps the binder's profile slim enough that it can fit in a back pocket. The spine is held together with rivets to the ring plate. The rings are plastic and have a pinch-to-open mechanism. They work well, though I worry about the durability of the clear plastic. The binder lies perfectly flat when open. The cover does bow a bit when lying closed.
For being so small, it holds a surprising number of sheets. The paper is available in 5 mm grid, lined, scrap paper, or drawing paper. As with other Maruman papers I've tried, it behaves very well. It's smooth, holds a crisp line of writing, and doesn't allow for feathering or bleed-through. The paper is strong enough that it doesn't tear away from the rings easily, so I've had no trouble with pages falling loose. The sheets are slightly larger than a 3 x 5 card. They'd make great flash cards or study notes.
There are also card and zipper pockets that fit into the binder, much like those for Traveler's Notebooks. And with the different papers available, these could easily be a customizable journal or planner system. I've been using mine primarily for making lists and writing down reminders--like a commonplace book where I can decide how much of each sort of paper I need. It's like an auxiliary planner. A place to dump my raw brain data before I organize it into my actual planner.
I think this is a great little product. I love being able to customize my notebook and the small size makes it easy to carry around. I can scribble down an important address, grab a stamp from the pocket, and store the post office receipt all in one place. Oh, hey, that's probably why they call it "Into-One". I love it and I'll get good use out of it until one of my kids steals it.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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