Curt Roper has lived out a fantasy many of us have: he designed his perfect fountain pen friendly notebook, and manufactured it so he could not only have a lifetime supply, but sell it to others too! Let’s take a look at the sample Hitlist notebook he sent me:
I like the design– the cover is solid black except for the tasteful Hitlist logo, and a white strip at the edge with spaces for a subject and date. This is a great idea– since the notebook is staple-bound and doesn’t have a spine, this edge makes it easy to scan through a pile of them to find the notebook you’re looking for.
The other unique feature of this notebook is the little notch at the top of the front cover, which is meant to hold the clip of a pen in place so it won’t slide off.
Another claim of this notebook is that the cover stock is tear-resistant. I can’t say I’ve ever before tested a notebook by trying to tear the cover in half, but I did try pretty hard to rip this one, and produced nothing more than a little rough spot in the edge. This baby is tough.
On the inside front cover, you get a space to write your contact info, and a little blurb on the notebook’s back story.
I also noticed that the staples on the spine are perfectly aligned to the printing of the cover. Nice attention to detail. The edges are very cleanly cut, so it feels like a high-quality product.
The bright white, unlined paper inside also lives up to its promise of being extremely resistant to ink bleeding or showing through. It has a nice smooth, “hard” feel to it and all my pens worked beautifully. Even the dreaded Super Sharpie showed through very little. The paper is quite thick at 148g, so even at only 32 pages, the notebook bulks up in line with other cahier-type books that have higher page counts.
My only beef with this notebook is the taller page size– call me crazy, but I really prefer 3.5 x 5.5, rather than the slightly elongated 5.75 height of the Hitlist. But that’s just me.
Here’s the specs from the Hitlist website, which is currently the only place to buy these:
• Size: 3.5 x 5.75
• 32 blank pages of fountain pen friendly patented 148g archival quality acid free paper.
• Super tough tear resistant cover.
• Easy access subject and date area along spine.
• “CTF Dock” to show off your pen!
• Hitlist pocket notebooks come in packs of 5 held together by a long lasting silicone band.
They are made in Canada, so pricing is in Canadian dollars. At CAN$24.95 (plus shipping) for a 5-pack (with lower prices available for buying multiple packs), these are a bit more expensive than most– the closest comparison in terms of quality might be the Doane Paper utility notebooks, which are US$9.50-10.50 for a 3-pack. But the Hitlist notebook does turn things up a notch in terms of the paper. I think this is a great product, and I hope he is able to expand his distribution and product line– perhaps a hardcover version? Lined, gridded and dot grid versions? Other sizes and colors? Bring it on!