Write and Draw. Verbalize and Visualize. Organize and Improvise. This description embodies the function of the Revolver journal, but it omits the most obvious feature of the journal; the ability to turn inside out, revealing another side of its dual personality.
My initial response to this concept was that it was a bit too cute, but as I worked with the journal, I found it to be a capable notebook that has some features that make it unique. I was surprised by the quality of the recycled paper and found it to perform as well as the Ciak journal on the pen tests.
The Reversible Covers
The Revolver journal is designed to function like the Jacob’s Ladder toy. If you open the journal, placing the front and back covers together, you can open it again from the inside by splitting the spine and a brand new cover will be revealed. Each Revolver journal includes two different colored covers, so you can change the outer appearance whenever you see fit.
The Revolver in this review is the Little Blue and it revolves back and forth from blue to black covers. When the blue cover is selected the pad of plain, sketch paper is on the left and the ruled paper is on the right. The reverse is true when the black cover is selected and the ruled paper is on the right and the plain paper, the left. Regardless of the cover color, there is a magnetic closure on the long, open side of the journal that completely covers the open edge. Convenient? Yes, but could cause a problem if you are keeping it close to recordable media such as USB drives, discs or digital cards.
Easy to Customize
The cover texture is smooth, and I found it perfect for embellishing. I added some metallic marker swirls to the band across the middle of the cover with excellent results. The marker adhered well and is now a permanent part of the cover, resistant to scratches and bumps. Permanent markers also work well on the Revolver’s cover and would be a great way to add a custom design.
The pocket-sized Revolver journal includes two permanently-bound pads of recycled note paper, one lined and one ruled. Each pad consists of 32 leaves for a total of 64 pages. The white, ruled pages each contain 21 olive-green lines that are spaced 6mm apart. There are no margins at the top or the bottom. The texture of the paper is similar to the texture of a sketchpad and feels porous. Each notepad opens flat, making writing or sketching easy.
Pen & Ink Test
Please note that you may get different results using your pens than I did with mine. A lot of variables can come into play here including pen type, ink type, pressure used, nib style and environmental conditions, etc.
The pens I tested are:
- Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen, 0.5 mm point
- Sensa Ballpoint Pen
- Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
- Tombow Fountain Pen with Medium Nib
- Tombow Pixie Ballpoint Pen, 0.7 mm point
- Pilot Precise Grip Fine Point Marker
- Tombow Dual Brush Pen, Fine Point
- Sharpie Ultra Fine Marker
The paper in this journal was an excellent performer regarding bleedthrough and showthrough, very similar to the Ciak notebook. It was receptive to wet writers and is fast drying, which is great for fountain pens and rollerball pens. There is more tooth to the paper than the Rhodia and Moleskine notebooks, but I think this is part of what makes the paper so agreeable to wet pens. The paper also produced heavy lines and rendered the strong, bright colors. The Sharpie Ultra Fine permanent marker did bleed through, but this was expected.
When using my fountain pen, the ink sank well into the paper and the dried quickly. There was minor tonal variation, but overall the ink color was intense. I liked the way my fountain pen wrote on this paper and found it satisfying the way the paper accepted the ink. I did not experience any bleedthrough with my Tombow Fountain pen and only one raised area on the back when using the Tombow Ballpoint pen.
Sketching & Drawing
The texture and color of the paper are ideal for sketching. I used pencil, charocal, water-based marker, pastel and ink without any bleedthrough or showthrough. The only showthrough on the paper was from the Sharpie Ultra Fine marker. Overall, I was very satisfied with the surface of the paper for sketching and drawing.
I also used watercolor, which caused the paper to buckle, even after it had dried. The paper is thicker than the paper in a similar Moleskine journal, but thinner than that of a Ciak notebook, so I only recommend it for sketching and drawing or general note taking.
- Dual Personality Has 2 Different Cover Options
- Includes Both a Ruled and Plain Notepad
- Notebooks Open Flat
- Magnetic Cover Keeps Journal Contents Safe
- Crafted From 100% Recycled Paper
- High-Quality Paper Handles a Variety of Pens, Pencils, and Artist Mediums
- Cover Material Is Easily Customized
- Space in the Spine for to Slide a Pen Clip
- Available in 2 Sizes and a Variety of Color Combinations
- Magnetic Closure Can Cause Damage to Discs, Digital Cards and USB Drives if too close
- Hard Cover and Sharp Corners Aren’t Comfortable in a Back Pocket
- 2 notebooks Side-by-Side Might Feel Awkward at First
- Unsure if Paper is Acid-Free
If you want a unique journal that can do double duty, the Revolver is worth a look. The combination of both lined and plain pages gives you the opportunity to write, draw, verbalize and visualize all within the confines of a small notebook. The paper is of good quality and can handle a variety of pens, pencils and ink. The novelty of changing the cover color may wear thin after a while and you may find yourself sticking with just one color after time, but even so, the notebooks inside will serve you well for most of your note taking needs.
I can’t help but imagine how well this format would work for a planner and notebook combination and wonder if they have this in the works for future editions. I guess for now, I can only imagine how nice it would be.
Revolver journals were provided for review at no charge by Ellen from Revolver Bound Books. You Tube video is copyrighted and was used in this article with the permission from Revolver Bound Books and Journals.