It’s always fun to review new products that are just hitting the market. Papernotes is one such brand, started in November 2013 and based in the Philippines. They sent me two of their Classic Series notebooks to review:
The brand has launched offering these medium size notebooks, in 6 colors, all with lined pages. The details, from their Facebook page:
– 128x260mm notebook
– 160 lined sheets
– 100gsm woodfree paper
– smyth sewn binding
– back pocket
– pen holder
– elastic closure
I was very happy to get the grey and orange colors, which are both quite attractive. The packaging is nicely designed, with an interesting twist to the standard paper wrapper: this one has a little slot that allows the pen loop to stick through. It’s a nice way to ensure everything stays aligned and the pen loop is shown off, though it does make it a bit tricky to slide it off the notebook without having to tear the band.
These are softcover notebooks, with a slight overhang to the cover. It’s notched at the top and bottom so the elastic closure won’t dent it. I always prefer that covers not stick out over the edges of the pages, but at least it’s pretty minimal here.
Once you open the notebook, you get a fun surprise: patterned endpapers! It’s a really nice touch. The first page has the brand name and a place to write your personal info. The notebook has lined pages throughout, with a wider margin at the top and bottom. The sewn binding felt slightly stiff when first opened, but allows the pages to lie pretty flat. The ribbon marker is nicely color coordinated, as is the cloth used in the sides of the expanding back pocket.
The paper feels good to write on, about as smooth-feeling as a lot of other notebooks I’ve tested, but better than average in terms of show-through and bleed-through. The Lamy Safari fountain pen beaded up a bit at first– I’ve had some issues with this pen in other tests too, and am not sure if it’s just extremely sensitive to greasy spots on the page or just doesn’t like certain papers or what. I’m not sure anymore whether the problem is the notebook or the pen! I rarely use it other than for pen tests, so sometimes it may just be that it takes a little while to start flowing smoothly.
All in all, I quite like this notebook. It feels solid and well-made, with some nice design elements that show attention to detail. I hope they’ll expand their offerings to other sizes and blank and squared page options, as well as broadening their distribution beyond the Philippines. They offer sales online via their Facebook page, though the ordering process is a bit manual– you send them a message, they reply confirming cost and payment details, and you pay via local Philippine banks or PayPal. The price per notebook is 299 Philippine Pesos, which comes to US$6.66. The cost increases to $7.50 if you are using PayPal, but that still seems quite reasonable for a notebook of this size and quality. Shipping is extra, and I don’t know what the charge would be to deliver to other countries.
Now for that giveaway! The brand-new orange Papernotes will go to a randomly selected winner from entries received in the following ways:
On your blog, post something containing the words “Papernotes” and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this post.
The deadline for entry is Friday April 4, 2014 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
And please remember to check my posts on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of the winner.