Review and Giveaway: TeNeues CoolNotes

Here’s a notebook that adds a splash of color to your life: Cool Notes, from the stationery and art book publisher TeNeues. The folks there were kind enough to send me some free samples to review and share with some lucky winners.

CoolNotes1

First of all, don’t you love the colors? The black notebooks are livened up by contrasting elastics, and other nice shades are available such as green, red, and blue.

CoolNotes3

The size of the pocket notebook is a bit smaller than a Moleskine and most of the other standard 3.5 x 5.5 notebooks out there– this one is about 3.5 x 5″. To me, this is a bit of a drawback, as I really do prefer that golden rectangle ratio, but others may find they like the smaller size. (Interestingly, they’ve just introduced top-opening CoolNotes reporter-style notebooks, and these are closer to 3.5 x 5.5″.)

CoolNotes2

The TeNeues logo is embossed on the back cover. The cover has a slightly smoother texture than some other notebooks, though you have to look very closely to notice any difference.

CoolNotes4

The photos above and below display my other major beef with these notebooks– there is a lot of overhang between the cover and page edges. Why do people do this? I find it really unpleasant, and it’s one thing that Moleskine always seems to do better than anyone else– their pages come very close to the cover edges. But again, this is my own personal prejudice and may not bother others. One other thing to note is that these notebooks have a very nice, neatly squared-off spine.

CoolNotes5

But now we come to the most fabulous thing about CoolNotes– the beautiful endpapers! Crazy colors and patterns that vary with the different color covers and different sizes. They’ve even made the back pocket out of the same pattern! I LOVE this– it’s like having a conservative suit jacket with a bright lining– a fun little surprise!

CoolNotes6

CoolNotes12

Inside the notebook, there’s an extensive info page at the beginning, followed by slightly creamy white pages, which are lined on the front, and blank on the back. The lines are finely dotted, and don’t extend to the edges of the page. This is a nice feature for those who often wish to have lined and blank pages for writing and drawing in the same notebook, but you’ll have to be careful what pen you use, as there can be some show-through.

CoolNotes7

CoolNotes8

CoolNotes9

As you can see from the pen tests below, most pens showed through quite a bit, though the paper feels nice and smooth with all of them and I didn’t notice any feathering. The fountain pen I tried seemed to dry fairly fast, and I also confirmed that the paper is acid free.

CoolNotes10

CoolNotes11

Bottom line: these might not be for everyone, and I personally won’t be using one as my daily notebook. But they’re well made and nicely designed, so if you don’t mind the smaller size, cover overhang and some show-through, the fun colors and patterns make these a great alternative to some of the more staid notebooks out there.

CoolNotes are available in small, medium, and extra-large, as well as new reporter-style small notebooks and City Journals. Suggested retail prices range from $8.95 to $19.95. They’re available direct from the TeNeues website (where they have lots of other great journals too) or at various stationery stores– unfortunately, they don’t seem to have a retailer listing on the website.

But of course you can also try to win one of the 3 notebooks I’ll be giving away to randomly selected readers who enter in any of these 3 ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing the words “CoolNotes” and “@NotebookStories.

On Facebook, “like” the  Notebook Stories page and post something containing the word “CoolNotes” on my wall.

On your blog, post something containing the words “CoolNotes” and “NotebookStories” and link back to this post.

The deadline for entry is Friday January 7 at 11:59PM, EST.

Winners will be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Good luck everyone!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

11 Responses to “Review and Giveaway: TeNeues CoolNotes”

  1. Those are some awesome looking notebooks! They look like the cover hangs over more than on a Moleskine. I love the colors! I wonder how long it will be before Moleskine picks up this idea for their hard and soft cover journals… That would be sweet if I won this giveaway :D

  2. I posted about it on my blog. Thank you for offering this giveaway!

    http://keepingjournals.blogspot.com/2011/01/giveaway-at-notebook-stories.html

  3. Hi! I’ve liked you under Lisa Moreira on Facebook, and twitted about you here: http://twitter.com/#!/LisaAsanuma/status/22405706938327040

    (If you’re wondering about the two names… I just got married. haha)

  4. Wow! I just have to one or two of these. They are way cool. I love journals. I have tweeted. http://twitter.com/#!/quiltknit/status/22295443023073280

    Where I tweeted with two others.

    Thank-you for sharing. Have new pens and Liquid Mechanical Pencil by Sharpie. Ready to write.

    Sherrie Roberts

  5. Tweeted and FB about it ;-D Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. I posted about it on my blog and tweeted about it!

    http://thepen-guin.blogspot.com/2011/01/finals-week.html
    http://twitter.com/#!/AngryNinja224/status/22488187100209152

  7. Funny, one of your big peeves with these is the opposite of my big peeve with most brands including moles…. the cover is too close to the page edges to provide any protection. these look about right, enough cover edges to do one of he most basic functions of the cover…

    Nice.

    G.

  8. Wow these are so cool! tweeted at

    http://twitter.com/pirates13

  9. I tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/#!/JonelB/status/22828616165359616

    I’m gunning for the little ones. I like smaller notebooks, even if you can’t put in as much–they tuck nicely into purses and are good for lists.

  10. I posted it on my blog and on my twitter!

    http://thepen-guin.blogspot.com/2011/01/finals-week.html
    http://api.twitter.com/#!/AngryNinja224/status/22488187100209152

  11. I adore the Coolnotes books!! I’ve been on an eternal search for the best notebook and the best pens. I have my mechanical pencil choice made, but the notebook eludes me!

Leave a Reply