Review: Mead Journal from WalMart

I picked up this Mead notebook after a tip from a reader, who had noticed that they were available only at Wal-Mart. Though Mead is obviously a major brand that is available everywhere, it would appear that Wal-Mart asked them to come up with an inexpensive Moleskine-ish notebook that they could offer as an exclusive. I don’t have a Wal-Mart near where I live, but I was able to stop in one on my travels and find one of these to review!


The first thing I noticed was that this notebook is very much like the Markings notebook from Target that I used a couple of years ago, due to the cover material and the stitching around the edges.



Once you take off the paper band, there is no branding at all on the exterior, but inside you’ll find a space to write your name, and the Mead company info on the inside front cover.



Otherwise, the features are pretty typical– ribbon marker, elastic closure, and a pocket in the back. It has the nicer reinforced fold, rather than the all-paper pocket you find on the Piccadilly and a few other notebook brands.


The Mead notebook opens pretty flat, though it was a bit stiff from being new. Though I’ve always suspected that the Markings notebooks and the Guildhall notebooks and now this Mead notebook might be identical other than their branding, this notebook definitely does not bend all the way back like the Guildhall does (see the review at Black Cover). Hopefully it won’t split from its covers after being used, as my Markings notebook did.


Another key difference that distinguishes this Mead notebook is the color of the lines within–they’re brown! The paper has a creamy color, and the brown lines make the page seem very warm compared to the cool grey lines found in the Moleskine shown behind in the 2nd photo below.



As for the paper, it’s fine– all my pens gave a nice, smooth writing experience without any feathering, though I would say there was a little more show-through than average. The paper is acid-free.



I paid $5.99 for this notebook and I’d say it’s a great value compared to other brands. Wal-Mart didn’t have much stock when I was there, so I don’t know if they offer squared or unlined versions or other sizes, but this size and style also came in a black cover. If you don’t mind buying yet another made-in-China product at Wal-Mart, this notebook is well worth a try.

9 thoughts on “Review: Mead Journal from WalMart”

  1. There seems to be a good generic notebook out there used for branding. Hobby Lobby’s brand of notebooks are great–they come in sketching (lighter paper) and watercolor (heavier paper) and unlined (my preference.) They are really reasonable. Maybe they are related to these Meads. Be interesting to know.

  2. Squee! You’ve just discovered the best kept secret in notebookland! Yes, I’m a big Wal-Mart Mead fangirl. I’m about to finish my third book and purchase a fourth. You are correct that these are exclusive to Wal-Mart. I’ve scoured the internet and can’t find them anywhere else.

    Somewhere in the middle of book #2 I caught fountain pen fever and switched from gels and rollerballs to fountain pens. The paper is deceptive. It looks thin and cheap but will handle the wettest, juiciest writers without feathering or bleedthrough. Yes, there is some showthrough, but once the opposing page is filled with writing the showthrough disappears.

    I have unfilled Molys, Webbies, and Black-n-Reds on the shelf, but I’m going back to Wally World for another Mead. The only thing these Meads lack compared to the name-brand journals is advertising.

    They do offer both squared and lined versions in three sizes (4×6, 5×8, 7×9) The selection will vary from store to store. My local store has only black ones.

    Whooda thunk that one could find an inexpensive, quality product on the shelves at Wal-Mart???

    (Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with Mead or Wal-Mart.)

  3. I talked with Mead customer service a few months ago. They said these notebooks are exclusively for Walmart. I have been using a squared pocket-size one. I’m on page 57 of 192, and no falling apart yet at all.

  4. Mead is one of my favorite brands, but I mainly use them only for school supplies. Although I did buy my two cousins each a journal from Mead at Walmart, I have never actually used them myself. I prefer journals I buy from Barnes & Noble or other places. My favorite is leather-bound, but I’m open to other bindings as well. I have also experimented using composition notebooks and wire-bound school notebooks, but I find these to be less journal-ey.

  5. I’ve checked these out a Wal-Mart, and the thing I like about them is that the ruling is closer to regular college rule, not the narrower Moleskine rule. The one thing I don’t like about them, and which keeps me from buying one, is that on every specimen I examined at the store, the open edge of the cover was curling up, sometimes quite a lot. I don’t know what was causing this — maybe the band is too tight for the covers and kind of squeezes it out of shape? In any event, I dislike this effect so much it’s a deal breaker for me, which is a shame ’cause otherwise they would be great little notebooks.

  6. Hi, well I have to say that I’m a big fan of Mead, I usually I use for collegue and it’s a kinda dificult to find here in Colombia, there is only a place called “Panamericana” is a store about books and stationery, very nice but I didn’t know about this beautiful type of notebook!, it’s a great option.

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