Log + Jotter’s New Twist on Notebook Subscriptions

There are many subscriptions out there for stationery goodies, but only a handful focus on just notebooks. The two well-known ones are Field Notes and Write Notepads, who both use a quarterly model to produce and distribute thematic pocket notebook three-packs. Dapper Notes also has a single, bi-monthly notebook subscription.

A new player from my home state of Ohio, Log + Jotter, is joining the fray with a few new twists in the subscription model landscape. Key features:

  • Open-ended monthly subscription ($5 U.S. / $6.50 int’l for either notebook style, or $8.50 U.S. / $11.50 int’l for both styles)
  • Twelve themes per year (versus four with Field Notes/Write, six w/Dapper Notes)
  • Style choice:  either classic (logo on cover) or graphic (thematic), or you can get both
  • Page layout choice:  graph, dot grid, blank
  • Notebook size:  3.5″ x 5.5″
  • Made in America, limited run (only available to subscribers; no available extras)

I like their model a lot, but it may not be for everyone. For someone like me with a lot of pocket notebooks that I don’t use quickly, getting one notebook per month versus six per quarter is a fun approach and one that means I’m more likely to use the one-a-month newcomer. Log + Jotters are thus easier to work into the rotation and enjoy. They are more expensive per notebook, however, when you compare a full year against either Field Notes or Write (per notebook:  L+J $5 per, Field Notes $3.23 per, and Write $3.33 per), but the difference is pretty small.

The production quality on the Log + Jotter is good. The covers are printed in multiple colors on all sides, with front inside cover (above left) sporting an inch ruler, notebook info, and an interesting knowledge section unique to each issue. Back inside cover (above right) has a centimeters ruler, a unique-per-issue challenge, and current-and-next calendar blocks. Cover stock is not as heavy (80#) as other pocket notebooks, but usable and the weight is subject to change, depending on a month’s theme. Two staples secure the 40 inside pages (60# text), which for my sub are dot grid. A provided insert (at the left in the top image) does multiple duty as an intro letter, bookmark, or sheet backing if you write extra firmly.

So how is the Log + Jotter notebook in use? Both graphite and fountain pen feel good. No smear on the graphite (all samples rubbed after writing) but not much tooth to the paper if that’s your liking. Fountain pens wrote well too, with just a bit of feathering that results in slightly wider nib work than a paper designed for fountain pens.

The image at the right shows this in a comparison with NockCo’s DotDash cards. There is no show-through on the back side using my needlepoint or fine italic cursive. Broader nibs would likely show through a bit, as they will on most any paper less than 70#. As a heavy fountain pen user, I will use those with the Log + Jotter and be fine about it. It’s a bit better for fountain pens than Field Notes 60# paper, but not as good as with Write’s paper. Other than my Write or Story Supply, I don’t use fountain pens with my pocket notebooks , but I’m good using them in the Log + Jotter pocket notebooks.

I like this model’s one-per-month approach and the makers have put a lot of thought into the theme and extras in the text, so clearly it is a labor of love. How can any notebook nerd not get on board with that!

For subscription information, visit Log + Jotter. The notebook reviewed was my own purchase and not a review sample provided by Log + Jotter.


Der Zettelwirt! Great Paper & Innovative Form

The ever-generous Stuart Lennon of pocketnotebooks.co.uk dropped one of these little gems in a recent order and I’ve been enamored ever since playing with it.


Before we get into the full story, let’s wrestle with that name:  Der Zettelwirt. I typo’d my first translation attempt (zettlewirt) revealing “the warping host.” Hmmm…can’t be right…correct spelling provides “the note host.” Makes more sense.

Der Zettelwirt is a small, user-fillable sturdy cover using a rubber-band top binding system that I’ve seen once before in some notebooks out of the Hamilton Wood Type Museum back when Field Notes’ Two Rivers was first released. The pack comes with about a dozen pages loaded in the sturdy cover (material is the same as that used for waist-labels on jeans) plus a fat stack of spare pages. A user can thus load up as many or as few as they’d like to carry, a cool feature that I can see has some practical uses.


IMG_3551 2

I liked the concept, the materials, and the paper took anything I threw at it (excerpt Sharpies…they bleed through nearly every paper). There is only one downside I see to these, and even that, depending on the type of stationery nut you are, may or may not matter. More on that below.

Der Zettelwirt nerd-specs:

  • Size:  3″ x 4-1/8″ (7.4cm x 10cm) – A7
  • Cover: Top fold-over, water- and tear-proof cover
  • Binding:  Rubber band around page block and back cover, secured by side notches in both pages and back cover
  • Page count:  64
  • Paper weight:  90 g/m² (~60#)

IMG_1695_REVISEDDer Zettelwirt is, I think, a great note pad to carry with its variable page count and small form factor, but it’s not inexpensive. At roughly $10 US for the cover and refill pack, it’s about twice the cost per square inch of page as a Field Notes, so it won’t appeal to everyone, but for those who like something unique, it could find a home in your shirt pocket, or with the soon-available desk stand your desktop too!

Currently available to the U.S. through pocketnotebooks.co.uk. Internationals can get them through pocketnotebooks of course, and also Offlines, the maker’s site.