Book Block Original – Custom Notebook Review

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Notebooks are not something that are hard to find. There’s such a massive variety of brands and products around these days, that finding a notebook that suits your needs isn’t something that’s particularly difficult. However, there are those times when you want something custom, something unique; either to give as a gift, or keep for yourself.

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Tomoe River Handcrafted Letterpress Notebooks from JustWrite

Tomoe River Paper Handcrafted Notebooks Review

This post would not have been possible without the help of JustWrite

Time for a break from inexpensive pens and pencils from JustWrite, and onto some premium level notebooks with Japan-made Tomoe River Paper. These notebooks are the result of a collaboration between JustWrite and Olive and the Volcano Letterpress, meaning they are exclusive to JustWrite. Not only that, but they promise to deliver on a few lofty goals.

The first is an unbeatable writing experience for fountain pens, with silky smooth textured paper, high bleedthrough resistance, and no feathering. Alas, this is a goal many supposed “fountain-pen-friendly” notebooks have often failed to achieve. The second objective is to deliver this performance in a package that is thin and light, owing mainly to the thinness of the paper. 52gsm is the quoted weight value (note: Rhodia is 80gsm, copy paper is 70gsm), and this initially left me extremely skeptical of whether or not this paper could deliver on both these promises at the same time, as normally these two things would cancel each other out.

As it turns out, not only does this notebook range keep both promises, it does so in an exquisitely presented package that is certain to knock other brands like Field Notes and Moleskine clean out of the park.

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Monsieur Notebook A5 Leather Bound Notebook Review

Monsieur Notebooks A5 Leather Journal Review Photo


The pen is my Platinum President in blue with Parker Penman Mocha ink

Recently Monsieur Notebook got in touch with me to tell me about their company and what they do. After reading their story – just a couple of guys wanting to make awesome notebooks – I thought hey, this is the type of brand I can support. Monsieur Notebook is based in the UK and is run by Ed and Tom, two chaps wanting to get superb notebooks in the hands of creative people such as yourself, and heck they convinced me enough to give them a try!

I’ve been negative towards Moleskine notebooks for a very long time. They’re expensive, cheaply made, and low quality for the price you pay. Monsieur Notebook (I’ll call them MN from now on) are aiming smack bang at the Moleskine crowd with their line of leather (yes, REAL leather) notebooks in a variety of sizes and shades.

So they sent me a free sample to try out, but that got lost in the mail. They sent another out! That got lost too. Maybe my postman is stealing the notebooks for himself, but in any case they simply weren’t arriving. Rather than wait for ages for another to MAYBE arrive, I went ahead and bought one from Notemaker for a couple of reasons:

a. I really like MN’s brand philosophy and the way they do things.
b. I just finished university for another year and haven’t bought a notebook in a while!

So yeah, now I have one of their leather bound notebooks in my hands. This one is A5 size, which is my perfect compact notebook size, in red dyed leather (again, REAL FREAKIN’ LEATHER).

My next post will be a comparison between the MN and its closest competitors (in my opinion), the Moleskine and the Rhodia WebNotebook. I’ve been looking for another suitable alternative to Moleskines, how does MN stack up?

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How To Put The Enjoyment Into Your Everyday Mundane Tasks (On the Cheap!)

For the past year I have been on a course of self-improvement in the way I do things. Whilst people will preach that you should eat healthy, exercise more, sleep earlier, and stay in school, those things are a given.

What if you could just make everything you do something to look forward to. That’s what I have been attempting to do. Let me explain.

Self improvement is a continuous process – we are always trying to achieve more than we already are. Well, most of us. I’m kind of on the fence. Not quite productive and amazing in every facet of life, but I like to think I am in some! I bet a lot of other people are in the same boat. However no matter what you’re good at, there are many things you aren’t good at, and consequently don’t enjoy.

What I discovered recently is that I was taking a lot of those things and attempting to get good at them, or at least make them fun!

Enough Philosophical Crap…

OK, onto the point of this post. I will give you three examples of things I previously disliked, or didn’t do all that often, and how I’m working to make them enjoyable, regular parts of my life.

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VIDEO: Introduction to Rhodia

If you don’t know already, I’m crazy about Rhodia. They’re simply the best when it comes to notepads, notebooks, paper, whatever. You’d be doing your work a disservice by not recording it on quality paper, and Rhodia has a price/quality ratio that is hard to beat!

In this video, I go through the different types of products that make up the Rhodia line. Keep your eyes peeled for future videos where I go into each product in depth, but for now also check out my post on Rhodia Bloc Pads.

Review + JETPENS GIVEAWAY: Disposable Fountain Pens

Intro Photo

Although most people think the best fountain pens can be found in the $100+ range, there’s a price bracket way, way below that often, but shouldn’t, get ignored. Disposable fountain pens aren’t exactly common, but a few brands sell them because some people simply don’t want to fork out anything over $5.00 for a writing instrument, but enjoy using a fountain pen. Now the term “disposable” is loosely used, as many of these pens can be refilled one way or another. That word simply refers to how inexpensive they are.

The main contenders today can all be found at JetPens, a site you all should know about (and perhaps love!), and are available for under $5.00 each. I’m here to show you which one is best, from the view of a fountain pen enthusiast, but also from the view of a ballpoint user looking for a cheap entry point into fountain pens. I’ll compare each of them with each other, more expensive pens, and the common rollerballs and ballpoint pens you often see on people’s desks. Let’s go!

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