Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Review

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

A couple of weeks ago, Susan posted a review of the Find A5 notebook, and I also wrote about the Find Pocket notebook, both of which are produced by Kunisawa.

To round out my own experiences with these notebooks, I have the Kunisawa Find Smart notebooks. These notebooks are a unique offering because of their size. They don't fit a standard ISO paper size, but it's similar to a slim version of a B6 notebook. At only 95x167mm, it's a size that will easily fit in a pocket or pouch, but affords you some extra vertical space for writing. It's about the same width as a standard Field Notes book, but you get an extra inch on top.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook

Another unique attribute of this notebook is the cover. It's a nicely constructed hard cover with an elegant gold-debossed logo on the front. Apart from the company slogan in the inside front cover ("I do not seek, I find") and the additional logo in the inside back cover, there is no other branding on this book. It's delightfully minimal.

The binding is well done on all three books I have. It's a stitched binding that's also glued into a spine and covered with the hardcover. It seems incredibly durable and feels great. The book has no trouble laying flat and closing properly.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Gilding

The notebook also features gold foil on the page edges, but I'm not a fan of gold foiled pages. It does match the front logo foil, so that's nice. If I had the option, I'd go with plain white paper edges over gold foil any day.

Once you open the notebook, you're greeted with some polarizing graph paper. It's a small 2.5mm grid, which can take some getting used to if you don't use it regularly. I don't use it very often, so my eyes struggled to cope with the small squares the first few times I opened the book. After writing for a bit, I figured out the sweet spot for my writing, but I don't prefer this kind of graph paper. I'd rather have a standard 5mm graph.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Graph

Unlike the other Kunisawa notebooks we've reviewed here, this paper is a noticeable cream color. I'm not a huge fan of the color of the paper, as it can alter the appearance of some inks. Again, after using it for a bit, I stopped noticing.

Once I started writing with this paper, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a decent paper, but not as fountain pen friendly as they claim. It can certainly handle a wide variety of inks and pens, but you can kiss the back of the page goodbye. In some instances, there is heavy feathering depending on the ink you use. The show-through to the back page is significant. Depending on the pens you use, the back page won't be useful.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Writing

Despite the "meh" performance, it's a very smooth paper and is pleasant to use. It's comparable to Field Notes paper in how it handles different inks, but it's a tad smoother.

On the Kunisawa website, the Find Smart notebook goes for 1,000 yen (each), which translates to about $9. At this price, I can't recommend the notebook when I know what other options exist in the stationery world. It's a decent notebook, but I'm not sure it lives up to the price.


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Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Paper
Posted on September 19, 2018 and filed under Kunisawa, Notebook Reviews.