Questions from Readers

Here’s a few questions that have come in lately– I need help from all you other notebook lovers!

From Zack:

I really like taking notes when learning. It helps me map out math in my head a lot better than just thinking about it. I’ve been looking for a good large-sized notebook to write in, maybe around A4 sized paper. Can you suggest some? Cost might be an issue, due to being a student.

There are certainly lots of good options for a notebook this size–Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Doane Paper’s large Idea Journal, Whitelines— but they might be a little pricey for a student budget. What’s your favorite lower-priced notebook?

From Park, a similar question:

Hi do you know of any notebooks that WILL NOT BLEED?  I am an excessive notetaker for school and it is extremely vexing when the paper I am using bleeds… Do you have any recommendations of standard sized notebooks that will not bleed? Thanks!

I’m guessing this means an A4 or 8.5×11″ size notebook since this is for school use. Again, Rhodia or Clairefontaine would be good bets, though a bit more expensive than what most students probably want to pay. If you can use something smaller and aren’t worried about price, I’m sure the Hitlist notebook I reviewed recently wouldn’t disappoint!

From Rowland:

I read something a while ago about a ‘notebook’ which opened out sort of Japanese fashion – but into an A3 size – I think they were made and distributed in Singapore.
Any ideas?

I can’t think of any Japanese (accordion fold-out) notebooks other than Moleskine’s, so I’m stumped… below are some more tough ones!

From Rick:

I use a leather-refillable journal for notes, etc, and I tear out used pages, so I am looking for one that has perforated pages to make a clean tear. Do you know of any that are like that?

From Paige:

Hello! I am a high school science teachers, and I want to recommend a notebook for my students for the upcoming year. I would ideally like something like a composition book (where pages aren’t easily removable) that has lined AND blank pages- maybe lined on the front, blank on the back. I will be teaching Astronomy and Earth science, and the notes will be heavy on drawings and sketches, so I want my students to not feel limited by the lines on the page.

TeNeues CoolNotes and Grandluxe Dialogue notebooks have pages that are lined on only one side, but I doubt these are easy enough to find or cheap enough for most high school students, and they’re smaller than a composition book.


Thanks to all my lovely readers for any help or advice you can provide!

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7 Responses to “Questions from Readers”

  1. Borders had the Piccadilly lined and graph journals for oh so cheap, but they are disappearing. Everything else mentioned is almost double the price point.

  2. When I want to both write and draw, I prefer the graph journals. At work we use National Brand lab books, which are hardcover and very nice. They’re a little pricey ($10.99 each at Staples) but very nice.

  3. Well, in answer to Rowland who asked about accordion-fold books that are A3-sized, I have made map-fold books (which are similar to accordions), that open to A1 size!!

  4. For Zack and Park, my favorite all-around, school-type notebooks are the Mead Cambridge notebooks. They come in two sizes, 9 1/2 x 6 5/8, and 8 1/2 x 11. They feature heavy (for a notebook) paper, college ruled, in an off-white color, which helps with opacity. They also have a very stiff cardboard back which makes it easy to use them in various settings. I don’t often see them in stores, but you can order directly from Mead. Here’s a link to the small:

    Here’s a link to the large:

    Miguel Rius notebooks also have pretty heavy paper, but I’m not as crazy about the way they make them multi-subject by coloring the lines and edges (I can’t see the lines on the “green” papges).

  5. As far as the science class notebooks, I suspect pages with different lining per side will be difficult to find. Maybe the best thing for that would be the ‘dot’ ruling pages. That’ll make it easier for the students to graph things too.

    I’m trying to get our campus bookstore to stock up on staplebound Rhodia for my science class, but they’re having a heckuva time finding a source to buy from.

  6. For Paige’s science class wanting blank and lined pages I would recommend looking in primary school, or younger kids section of stores like Staples. I’ve found comp books and stapled books that are meant for kids as story books. Top half of the sheet is blank, bottom have is lined. My college bookstore actually had some comp size by Roaring Springs. I checked their website and theirs are called “Picture Story” books in the catalog and also “Primary Composition”

    I also like Roaring Springs comp books in plain paper. Fun to paste clippings in and draw. They make a graph paper one too. Much cheaper than the harder covered lab notebooks.

    Another cheaper option would be Blue Books, or exam books, but they are not as durable. I’ve used Blue Books with my college students for free write during the term, but I kept them after each class so they didn’t go missing or get torn up.

  7. Re perforated pages, Behance (Action Notes/Action Journal/Action Method) is the only company that I know that makes all the pages in a book perforated for clean removal. Unfortunately, I don’t think they do a journal insert of the kind the questioner is looking for. The Action Cahier is probably the closest. They do have quite a range of other formats, though.

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