These notebooks are all blank, calm, and satisfying. All three have attached ribbon bookmarks, elastic bands to hold them shut, and pockets in the inside back cover to tuck ephemera into.
SketchyNotebook (bottom left photo above) comes with thin sheets of printed plastic to place behind the page you’re writing on, as a guide for navigating the blank space. It starts with the templates intended for graphic designers (squares, triangles) and journalists (horizontal lines, vertical lines; not sure what this has to do with journalism), which is cool, but where it really dorks out is all the other templates they make: filmmakers get storyboards, mobile app developers get iPhones, interior designers get perspective grids, fashion designers get shoes, and so on. Sketchy opens completely flat, so you can write all the way to the gutter, and the perforated edges let you neatly remove the finished page. SketchyNotebook, from Taiwan, is offered in a variety of sizes, as the prize of a Kickstarter campaign, which ends November 5, 2016. The planned ship date is February, 2017.
What is it about the Quo Vadis Habana notebook (bottom right photo above) that makes it so pleasurable to use? Maybe it’s the paper, cream-colored and thick, the smoothest paper I’ve felt in a notebook. The rounded corners give it dignity, and the sewn binding suggests durability. The Habana is made in the USA, with certified sustainable paper.
The paper in the Flexible Notebook (middle photo above), from the Spanish company Miquelrius, is thin and white, so white, the whitest of white. The cover of mine is in a eye-soothing subtly mottled blue. Unlike the heftier Sketchy and Habana, the Flexible‘s cover is, as you might guess, flexible, and the binding is sewn; you can bend the front cover out of the way while you write on the right-hand side (or the other way around, for lefties).
You may wonder about ghosting, bleeding, and other inkly topics; there are so many variables when it comes to pens and writing that there isn’t room to go into them in this review. I prioritize notebooks over pens; I recommend getting any of these that catches your eye, then finding the pen that works with it.
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
Quo Vadis Habana Journal
9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
$27 Buy a copy on Amazon
Miquelrius, 5.25 x 8.25
$14 Buy a copy on Miquelrius
SketchyNotebook Series: Creative’s All-In-One Notebook
$18-$28 Buy a copy on Kickstarter