Friday, January 27, 2012

Notebook Review: Miquelrius Eco Notebook, or How do I celebrate Handwriting Day

After much debate, I decided to do a notebook review to honor the Handwriting Day.  It might not be an official holiday, but for a person who truly enjoy stationery and beautiful handwriting, it may as well be a little celebration.  (Maybe I should buy something to go along with it... haha)

I first encountered Miquelrius notebooks while in college.  After corresponding with many of my German penpals, I became fascinated with grid papers, so when I found the leatherette cover Miquelrius notebook, I just had to buy it.  It was a grid notebook!  It attracted attention  as well as compliment in classrooms.  Yes, I felt like a cool kid in the class for once.

Due to all the move around and changes in life, I forgot about this dandy brand until the day I meandered in college bookstore.  I found this simple and modern design notebook interesting.  As I was rummaging through my memory, I realized it was by Miquelrius, the brand I came to like years back.  It also came with a cool modification:  it is made with recycled material.

This particular notebook I picked up is a 4-subject notebook.  It has a very durable plastic covers that can withstand the beating in a college backpack, yet it is still portable.  Instead of having a tab page that delimits each subject, it is color coded in olive green, berry red, ocean blue, and hunter green.  It is ideal for a classroom setting.  I used this one to classify all the recipes that I have gathered during the year.


I wonder why there is a maple leaf on the cover, given that
Miquelrius is a Spanish company.
If you enlarge the picture, you can see speckles of glitter on cover.

Back cover

Some of you might start to frown at this point, since the binding of this notebook is in spiral.  I had the similar hesitation when I first saw this notebook.  As I start to flip the pages, the spiral does not obstruct with the page turning.  I have had this notebook for at lesat three years now, as you can see tin the above picture, the spiral has not warped out of shape.  The spiral is definitely sturdier than the ones on conventional spiral notebooks.  It also does not curl the edge of the pages.

The color of the pages is between ivory and off-white.  In the picture below, you can see how the pages from Eco series compare to regular Miquelrius.  These pages are definitely not Rhodia or Clairefontaine 80 or 90g paper, but they are still relatively smooth.  When comparing to regular Miquelrius notebook, the pages from the Eco line appears creamy in color.  The pages, however, do not feel as rough as some other recycled paper available in the market.


Nice grid paper.  The rule does not disrupt the writing.

The last page of the journal.  The pages turn nicely.

Now you can see the color difference between the Eco and regular
Miquelrius

Regular Miquelrius journal page

  How does it withstand the whole arsenal of ink and pens I have?  Let us take a look:

Test page #1

Some bleedthrough for some fountain pen inks.

Test page #2

Bleedthrough still.  More apparent on Sharpie.

Does the bleedthrough get to the next page?
No, it does not!

My general impression from paper that is made with recycle materials is that it has difficulty handling fountain pens and inks; it can only handle gel roller or ballpoint.  These Eco pages outperform my expectation.  As you can see, it handles most inks very well.  One of the exception is the line done by Pelikan Duo.  Since it is with broad nib (i.e. it writes wet), so you can see the minor feathering around the lettering.  One note to be made is that I tested out most ink with a glass dip pen; thus the ink flow is not as modulated as regular fountain pen.  In general, Eco take fountain pen quite well.  It will even allow writing on both sides.  As long as you use a fine or medium nib, this notebook will be able to handle it.

All in all, this is a fairly priced notebook, with good tolerance to various type of pens.  If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find it at Barnes and Noble, as well as Miquelrius's website.

Since this post has also marked the 100th post of this blog, I would like to obtain feedback from you.  What types of review/ post would you like to see more of?  How I can improve these entries?  All comments and suggestions are welcome!

4 comments:

  1. I have tried two different notebooks by MiquelRius now - one similar to this eco one here but with regular, non-recycled paper, and then the small soft journal with 70 g paper which I believe is thinner than their other papers (the color coded ones). I am a big fan of both so far. I notice the eco notebook seems to have a shiny/sparkly type cover.... and recycled paper?! I gotta find one of these to try! I think these notebooks are great for the price - better than Piccadilly even (I'm sorry Piccadilly fans...)!

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  2. I see Miquelrius as a goo alternative to Moleskine (sorry to the Moleskine fans out there!). The former is generally cheaper than the latter too. Plus, Miquelrius is generally friendly to fountain pens (I believe that is one of the selling perks they are going for too). I am running out of proper excuses to buy more notebooks, but Miquelrius will definitely be my top choice, besides Rhodia and Clairfontaine.

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  3. Common grid paper always remind me of laboratory notebooks. If only the grids were bigger, then they would be able to replace those thin Japanese school note books.

    Have you ever tried dot paper? I'm thinking of using some. I don't write straight so some guidelines are necessary. However, I find ruled paper a bit restrictive when doodling. Dot paper seems like a good compromise between ruled and blank paper, yes?

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  4. The paper I used to test out my inks is the dot paper. Grid paper is great, but it could get in the way of lettering, depending on how obvious the grid is. I like grid paper because it somehow made my writing a bit neater than it is (better than ruled paper). Doodling in grid and dot paper is kind of fun.. fill the boredom during meeting. :)

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