Anyway, I saw some very sweet looking notebooks on Inkoo in their stationery department - Happy Jackson set of 3 mini-notebooks. They were only £4.99 for the set and so I thought I would give them a whirl.
[click on any picture to enlarge]
As I said in my Papio Press notebook review, notebooks fall into four camps:
- functional but not pretty
- not functional and not pretty either (I consider Field Notes to be in this camp!)
- pretty but not functional
- pretty and functional
Basically, as long as a notebook gets a tick in the functional box, I'll buy them again. If they also get a tick in the pretty box, that's an added bonus. There's no repeat purchase if they're merely pretty.
Where do these mini-notebooks fit?
Well, by no stretch of the imagination are they as pretty as the Papio Press notebooks. But, their bright colours and writing on the front are appealing.
|Front of pack|
|Back of pack|
The size of the notebooks wasn't given on the Inkoo site, but they are 90mm x 125mm with square cut corners. For those of you with a Filofax, this is a tiny bit larger than a pocket Filofax insert (which are 81mm x 120mm). They have 24 pages (48 sides) and the binding is sewn.
Two of the notebooks are lined; the other is plain. Line spacing is 6.5mm with a top margin of 16.5mm. The covers have quirky messages on the front.
Inside, the reverse of the cover has a pattern.
|Inside of "Yay" notebook|
|Inside of "I love lists" notebook|
|Inside of "thinky thoughts" notebook|
But, how did they fare on the all important fountain pen tests??
Surprisingly well, to be honest! I had zero expectations as small, cheap notebooks almost invariably fail my fountain pen tests/pen tests to some degree or another, but these stood up pretty well.
General writing feel
The paper was a little rougher and toothier than very smooth papers like Clairefontaine or Tomoe River, but still pleasant to write on. Ink dried quickly and I don't think that left-handers who normally smudge writing would have a problem with these books.
There was some feathering. The Tombow nib didn't produce any but the other two (wetter) nibs did. However, it wasn't too bad - certainly not as horrendous as the "squashed spider" feathering I got with a Peter Pauper book.
There was some show-through but almost none. The worst areas were the reverse of the Pilot V5 (often the case to be honest). The reverse was perfectly usable.
A little more than expected, given how little ghosting there was. All three ink samples did show a very small amount of bleed-through as did the Pilot V5. Naturally there was none with the biro (and very little 'embossing' there either - where the pressure of writing distorts the paper)
|Odd dots of bleed-through|
As the books are sewn rather than stapled, flattability was fairly good. I wouldn't say that they flopped open and stayed open but a little persuasion worked a treat! 😃
Overall, I was nicely surprised by these little books. They are small enough to pop in a back pocket, the writing experience is not unpleasant, they stand up to fountain pens pretty well and the covers are attractive and a little different.