Tag Archives: recycled paper

Review: Papier Tigre Notebook

Papier Tigre is a super-cool French brand of office supplies, including recycled notebooks that I’d seen online but never encountered in person, so I was very excited when NoteMaker in Australia gave me the opportunity to review a free sample.

The notebook I received has a lovely composition book look to it, but with a twist. The spine is taped, but the cover has a large mottled color pattern, as if a traditional composition book had been magnified and colorized. The notebook is smaller and in slightly different proportions than a composition book, measuring 15x21cm.

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The front cover has a box where you could write your name or the subject of the notebook. The back cover has a gold-stamped Papier Tigre logo.

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Inside, you get 3 signatures of paper, each in a different shade– light yellow lined pages, grey lined pages, and lighter grey plain pages. The cover and inside pages are made of 100% recycled paper, and you can see the colored fibers in the paper.

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The sewn signatures are glued into the spine so the notebook doesn’t quite open flat.

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The paper is pleasant to write on– not as smooth as some, but it has a nice softness to it. Based on the feel, I expected there to be a lot of bleed-through but there wasn’t– very slight bleed with a couple of pens, but the Super Sharpie bled much less than usual. Show-through was better than average. The paper reminded me of the Leonardo notebook I reviewed several years ago.

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The notebook I received is available at NoteMaker for a little over $15 USD. Other designs and sizes are also available.

If you are thinking you can’t afford the shipping to order from an Australia-based online retailer, think again: right now NoteMaker is offering Free shipping for International orders (delivery outside Australia) for any purchase over AUD$199. And if you think that sounds like a high minimum order, think again– it’s only about $150 USD at current exchange rates as of this writing, and they have so much drool-worthy merchandise– notebooks, pens, pencils, office accessories, bags– you will have a hard time spending any less!

Review and Giveaway: Resketch Sketchbook

Resketch got its start as a Kickstarter campaign. I missed it at the time, but the makers were kind enough to send me a sample to review.

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The concept is simple: a spiral bound notebook/sketchbook made of reclaimed papers of various types. Each one is slightly different, with papers of various weights, colors and designs. Mine seemed to have some survey maps, blueprints, and pages from an art class brochure, among other things.

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At intervals throughout the notebook, there are pages called “creative prompts,” where you are given a quick exercise such as “listen for three interesting words… now draw them together as a new thing.”

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I really like the sketchbook– at 100 pages, it’s nicely thick and sturdy, and the 7×9″ size is a nice balance between compact and roomy. It’s nice to know they are using paper that would otherwise go to waste, or perhaps be recycled in a more energy-consuming way. And I enjoy the surprises you get throughout– a non-blank page can be a great way to inspire creativity. The company also has plans to try to provide sketchbooks to low-income art students. You can buy the sketchbooks for $16.99, as well as a smaller notepad version in $9.99 3-packs, at their website.

I didn’t do any pen tests on this sketchbook, as there’s so much variety in the paper types used. So this pristine sample will be passed along in a giveaway to one lucky winner! Enter in any or all of these ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing “@resketchbook @NotebookStories”, and follow @NotebookStories and @resketchbook.

On Facebook, “like” the Notebook Stories page and the Resketch page and post something containing the words “Resketch” on the Notebook Stories page.

On your blog, post something containing the words “Resketch” and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this post.

The deadline for entry is Friday February 6, 2015 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.

 

[UPDATE 2/3/15: Whoops, I accidentally associated this with the Letternote brand when I carried over their name from my last giveaway. I’ll honor all entries that mention Letternote too but the post has been updated– Resketch and Letternote are not affiliated in any way!]

Review and Giveaway: Miro Journals

The kind folks at Miro sent me a jumbo pile of journals to review, a selection of which appear below. They have some interesting points of difference with other products out there on the market, so let’s take a look.

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Miro has 4 product lines– two are wire-o bound with different types of cover materials– “canvas” and “soft touch.” Then they have stitch-bound utility books, and softcover journals.

First, the utility book. They come in 3 sizes, in black and white, and in lined, squared, and blank pages. They are very similar to Moleskine Cahiers, Field Notes, or Doane Paper Utility Books, but instead of the standard 3.5 x 5.5″ size most people use, these are 3.25 x 5.5″, which might be a nice alternative if you’ve got narrow pockets you slip your notebooks into. The small book has 68 pages, which is more than Field Notes and Doane’s 48, but the same as a Moleskine Cahier. Miro utility notebooks are sold in 2-packs, for $4.99 for the small size, which is a good value vs. the competition.
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The design is simple and attractive– a paper band around the set, contrasting stitching on the spine, and a subtle stamped logo on the front cover. There is no inner back pocket on the small notebook, though the larger sizes do have one. The last two pages of the notebook are perforated– I was surprised they didn’t perforate a few more pages than that.

Inside, the paper has a smooth, slightly “soft” feel, with grid lines in a light grey dot matrix. They are a bit wider than the lines on some other notebooks. It felt good with all my pens, though the carbon ink fountain pen feathered a bit. There was a bit more show-through and bleed-through than average.

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Let’s also take a look at the Journal. Every journal comes packaged with a bonus utility notebook, cleverly tucked into the paper wrapper.

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They are referring to this as a softcover journal, but I first saw it as a hardcover– I guess it’s actually kind of a hybrid– rather than hard cover boards wrapped with the outer material, the cover seems to be a thick multi-layer material that is reinforced enough to be stiffer than most softcover notebooks, though it still has some flexibility to it and it opens flat. The outside has a smooth texture without any fake-leather grain. My favorite feature is the dyed edges, which match the elastic and ribbon marker. Pages stick together slightly at first, but come apart easily.

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The ribbon marker itself is a bit chintzy– it was all crumpled on the example I received, and the only thing attaching it to the notebook is a small sticker on the inside back cover, which was easily loosened. This really is unacceptable in my opinion– one slight tug and that ribbon is gone. The pocket on the inside back cover is also a bit more basic than other brands offer– it’s just a paper slot without any gussets.

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The Journal comes in black and white, with 5 different accent colors for the edge and elastic, and 3 different sizes. Unfortunately, only lined pages are available. The small size is 3.25 x 5.5″, 192 pages, for $9.99– again a very good value, especially when you factor in the included utility notebook.

Both the Utility notebook and Journal are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and it’s acid-free.

The Miro notebooks are a nice addition to the variety of products out there. We need more colored edges! And hopefully they’ll update the way they’re attaching their ribbon markers. If you want to check out Miro in a store, you can consult their list of retailer locations. Otherwise, jump in and enter my giveaway! I got quite a few samples so I will select at least 3 lucky winners (as of writing this post, some of the samples are in my office, which I can’t get to because of the Hurricane Sandy power outage, so I forget how many samples I have!) You can enter in the following ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing “@remembermiro” and “@NotebookStories”, and follow @NotebookStories and @remembermiro.

On Facebook, “like” the  Notebook Stories page  and the Miro page, and post something containing the words “Miro notebooks” on the Notebook Stories page.

On your blog, post something containing the words “Miro notebooks” and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this post.

The deadline for entry is Friday November 9 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
And please remember to check my posts on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of the winner.