Miro has been around for a few years now, but their product lines have evolved since I last reviewed some Miro samples in late 2012. Let’s take a look at another generous assortment of more recent samples sent to me by the company:
Miro’s hardcover journals at first glance seem very similar to many others on the market, but they do offer some nice variations, including colored page edges and different paper weights as seen below.
I’ll be taking a close look at the pocket sized black notebook below. One immediate difference jumps out right away– Miro has chosen to make their pocket notebooks in a 3.25 x 5.5″ size, just a bit narrower than then standard size favored by most of the competition. Beyond that, the exterior of the notebook is pretty typical– small logo on the bottom back cover, but there’s also an additional stamped logo on the spine. The spine is a bit more rounded and soft than most Moleskines these days, which are more squared-off. I like the rounder spine, and I think it can tend to be less liable to tear at the corners. The notebook comes with a barcode sticker on the back, but it peeled off easily without leaving any sticky residue. The cover overhang is pretty typical– a bit more than I would like.
Below, the Miro notebook is shown with a pocket size Moleskine for comparison. The narrower shape makes it a bit more pocketable, though many people may miss the extra writing space.
Inside, you get a logo and a spot to write your personal details. This example also had a small tear in the front endpaper near the spine– it doesn’t affect the usability of the notebook at all but I was a little surprised it would slip through their quality control. The page layout is rather odd– a gap runs down through the lines near the spine on both sides, one line in the middle of each page is thicker than the others, and the top line of the page is dotted. (When I first reviewed Miro notebooks a couple of years ago, they had various options for plain and squared paper but now it seems that most of their notebooks come in lined only, except for the large size being offered in lined or plain.) But the double ribbon marker is a great feature, and I like that they are a bit thinner than usual.
The pocket in the back is a bit different from most of the competition. Rather than an expanding pocket that runs the length of the cover, there’s just a small glued-on corner pocket where you can tuck a few things. And really, just a few– it’s a small pocket with a pretty tight little opening. A full sized pocket would have been more practical, and more attractive, as the current design allows the dark color of the cover to show through the endpapers.
The paper held up pretty well with my usual pens. Show-through and bleed-through were about average– given that I was testing the 100 GSM paper, I would have expected it to perhaps perform even better, but paper weight isn’t everything. Fountain pen users should be very happy, though–both of mine went on smoothly with no bleed-through or feathering.
I also tested the 90 GSM paper in one of the other notebooks (the larger one in the photos below). It’s definitely different– not quite as smooth, not as creamy a color. Definitely more show-through and bleed-through, though fountain pens still worked nicely. One benefit to the 90 GSM paper is that the fountain pens were totally dry when I swiped my finger across them after 5 seconds of drying time. On the 100 GSM paper, they were still wet and smeared at 5 seconds, taking more like 10 seconds to fully dry.
I didn’t do a thorough review on the rest of the products, but they’re a nice variety of styles. Cahier-style stitched spine notebooks with chalkboard designs:
Wooden and felt covered wire-bound notebooks:
You can buy these and various other notebooks at the Franklin Mill website. Some are also available on Amazon, and in various local stationery shops, though unfortunately there is no retailer list on the website.
And of course I’m doing a giveaway for a lot of these extra samples! I’ll randomly select 4 winners from entries received in these ways:
On your blog, post something containing the words “Miro Journal and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this post.
The deadline for entry is Friday July 25, 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. Please allow a couple of weeks for me to check all the entries and determine the winners.