Stationery

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.

 

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Stationery

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.

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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.

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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.

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Stationery

NYC Stationery Crawl

A few years back, I did a stationery crawl in New York City with a starting list of 26 places to visit. Lots of exhausting fun and a bit of sadness that many of the great stationary and art supply stores of yesteryear were gone. Click on the image to jump to Google Photos for a browse through three days of intense stationeryness (including a celebrity sighting!). Enjoy! ​

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Stationery

Green With Envy No More

At last fall’s Columbus Pen Show I visited the Franklin-Cristoph booth, my first time handling and playing with their fountain pens. I lusted after the emerald-green P66 and thought “someday.” Although the temptation was strong that day, especially after spending some time with their test pens, most notably the Masuyama fine cursive italic nib, I resisted committing.

Someday, as we all know, eventually shows up. Last week I ordered and received my long-anticipated emerald-green P66 with, you guessed it, the Masuyama fine cursive italic nib (despite the photos, I opted for the steel, not the gold, nib; the reputation of these steel nibs is pretty strong). The pen came with a small, leather zip case which I really like using. I’m not usually one for a case, preferring to drop the pen in a shirt or pants pocket and go about things. But this time the case is really speaking to me. For starters, it’s fairly small, so not a burden to carry. For another, and by purpose, the P66 has no clip, so the case is a useful protector.

This pen is a writer for me, as in, long sessions of journaling or free writing. To that end, I wanted a lighter, smaller than usual pen and the P66 is both of those. Additionally, I’ve always dislike feeling cap threads where my fingers rest above the nib, and the Franklin-Cristoph’s have an ingenious wide-thread capping system that puts these threads out of fingertips. The P66 is a very good feel and heft, posted or not posted.

I did pause in ordering the emerald green over the ice models, whose rough inside clear barrels make for dazzling effects interacting with the wondrous ink colors. I read one review where the author admitted he’s spent about as much time the first two weeks with his F-C ice just staring at and rolling the ink around to see the effect! I have enough distractions when I write, thank you, so decided that was not (yet) a good idea for me. Not saying whether my next F-C won’t be an ice model, but for this primary writer my love for the emerald-green color won over.

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Stationery

Papio Press Notebooks: Whimsy and Fun!

I stumbled on to this line at pocketnotebooks.co.uk during the owner change and at the time, they were the only notebooks they had! Now he’s restocked from the U.S. sources, but more interesting to me is he’s starting to carry some very cool European notebooks. At the time I was intrigued with the Papios and ordered three packs to check out!

These A6 notebooks are designed and printed in the UK, and spec out at two per pack, 300gsm covers, 48 80gsm recycled paper insides (in each pack one is blank, one is lined). I did a quick writing test and was pleasantly surprised considering the recycle paper spec which usual means meh on writing response. Fountain pen ink did pretty well with very minimal feathering, although my 1.1 Lamy nib was a bit messy, but it’s a pretty wet writer and few papers contain it! Graphite was great with no smearing though. The inks did show through some, but again, recycled paper that isn’t heavy so expected (and not that bad). I’ll be quiet now and you can enjoy the pictures. You can check out Papio Press’ site, or order through pocketnotebooks.co.uk.

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Stationery

Waverly’s Uncommon Commonplace Tartan Notebook

It’s unusual for me to stumble upon a new notebook line that is intriguing and compels me to buy it. Despite having so many notebooks that I’ll likely never get around to using, I stumbled upon a line that touched my 1/8th Scottish heart in a big way: the Waverly Tartan Cloth Commonplace Notebook.

My recent foray back into Moleskines Blends with the fabric covers paved the way for my new Waverly. I’ve never been a fan of vinyl or plastic covered notebooks, preferring the feel of something more…real. Even though my sub-clan (Guthrie) is not represented in the wide range of tartans Waverly covers these pocket notebooks with (and larger sizes), it’s still a high ooh-factor to feel and use this notebook covered in “genuine tartan cloth” as the extensive info sheet included with these states.

Here is the exhaustive list of features and extras with these little Moleskine Kilters* (Killers!):

  • Edge-painted page block
  • Ribbon marker, color-coordinated elastic band
  • Back pocket
  • Last eight pages perforated
  • Blank on left side, lined on right side
  • History of Tartan info sheet including Waverly’s history of book printing in Scotland, and a clan map of Scotland
  • Bookmark card on the notebook’s specific tartan
  • Back cover inside pocket (ala Moleskine) but with a horizontal slit for cards, bus token, etc.
  • 80gsm cream paper
  • 176 pages
  • 3.5″ x 5.5″

On graphite and fountain pen test the paper did well. It’s not heavy, so there is some show through, but the ink laid down crisply with no feathering. There isn’t a lot of finish to the paper, so the FP nibs have a lot of feedback, but not unpleasant. I’d call both FP and graphite use quite suitable for use.

I will definitely pick up some more of these after I use up my small supply of Moleskine Blends and this Waverly. These are available direct from Waverly Books, their store on eBay, or on Amazon in quiet the variety of tartans. (No Guthrie, alas! Bummer.)

*Props to John Campion in the Erasables Facebook group who countered my “Moleskine killer” comment with a more apt “Moleskine kilter” retort. Well played!

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