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Archive for December, 2010

Zequenz Notebooks are available in red and black in 3 sizes.

For those of you love notebooks, check out the newest design in notebooks, from Zequenz. These lovely little notebooks feature curves, and lots of them. The most unique feature is the curved spine, which allows you to open the book completely or 360 so front and back covers touch. A flexible binding allows you to shape the notebook into a curvaceous roll and rounded corners are curved more than most, adding an elegant look to the design.

The flexible, curved binding allows the journal to fold back onto istself.

Rather than including a bookmark that is attached, Zequenz notebook include a small magnetic bookmark that folds over a page (or several) and holds your place.  It is a clever design, but you may find that it is easily lost since the magnet is not that powerful. You may also want to keep it away from any electronic storage devices so it doesn’t damage your data.

Zequenz notebooks are available in:

  • Large – approximately 5¾” x 8¼”
    ruled & squared formats 200 pgs., plain 140 pgs.
  • Medium – approximately 5” x 7”
    ruled & squared formats 200 pgs., plain 140 pgs.
  • Small – approximately 4” x 5½”
    ruled & squared formats 200 pgs., plain 140 pgs.
  • Mini – approximately 3 ½” x 5 ½”
    ruled & squared formats 128 pgs., plain 85 pgs.

2 colors

  • Red and Black

3 Formats

  • Ruled – 70 gsm, lines 7.5 mm spacing in small journal, white paper
  • Squared – 70 gsm, 2.5mm squares
  • Plain – 100 gsm, white paper

The paper inside is white and very smooth. It reminds me a little of Clairefontaine paper, although not as bright or refined. The plain paper is heavier than the ruled paper and would work well for sketching with pens, pencils and markers and will even handle light washes of watercolor without complaint.

Pent test on the ruled paper yielded excellent results. There was no bleedthrough on the fountian or roll pens and the showthrough was minimal. The only ink that bled was the Sharpie permenent marker, which was expected.

The paper performed well with all of the pens I tested and had little showthrough. This test was done on the plain pages. The fountain pen sample smeared a little because I did not allow the ink to dry before writing additional lines.

Pen Test

I had good results with both the plain and ruled paper. The ruled paper performed very well with almost all of my favorite pens, including the fountain and rollerball pens. The only bleedthrough I experienced was using the permanent Sharpie markers, which was expected, but the real surprise was that the Pilot Precise Grip did not bleed through at all. There was some showthrough, but it was not enough to keep me from using the back side of the page.

The plain paper version has heavier paper, so there was even less showthough, but the Pilot Precise Grip had small areas of bleedthrough. I also experienced a little bit of feathering with my $2.00 ink cartridge from a big box office supply store. I can’t say whether the feathering was a result of the paper or ink, but since the rollerball ink had no feathering, I believe the feathering was due to ink quality, not a problem with the paper.

Paint and Marker Test on the Plain Paper

The water-based Tombow Dual Brush Pens performed as you would hope they would. Smooth lines and no showthrough or bleedthrough. The paper, while heavier than most plain paper notebooks, still suffered from some curl when exposed to watercolor paint, but the paint did not bleed through and the curl was minimal.

The paper in the plain Zequenz notebook held up well to watercolor and markers. The paper buckled a bit with the paint, but nothing surprising. There was no bleedthrough of the paints nor waterbased markers, even in the areas of heaviest coverage.

The unique binding enables this notebook to open flat, even when the journal is new.

The curved spine allows you to contort the journal and fold it back onto itself.

Conclusions

If you use fountain pens or other wet pens, you should consider trying a Zequenz notebook. The paper is smooth and bright and you may find that your pen and ink combination will give you satisfactory results.

Zequenz notebooks have more pages than other, similar sized notebooks and have a unique binding that opens flat and can be bent back on itself. If you write a lot, this can help you reduce your notebook consumption.

The curved binding is unique and gives this notebook a distinct personality. This enables it to open flat and be contorted into a variety of positions that are just not possible with other notebooks. If you fiddle with your journals, you may find this a satisfying trait.

A variety of Zequenz notebooks can be found at Amazon.com. Review copies provided to me by the nice folks at Zequenz.

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This month’s carnival, hosted by Kristin at JournalingSaves, has several notebook reviews you’ll want to check out. Thank you, Kristin, for taking the time to share these reviews with us.

Julie (Okami) reviews the Ecosystem Artist Journal on her blog, Whatever. The review features lots of photographs and observations about this beautiful journal.

Nifty posted a great Blackwell Notebook Review over at Notebook Stories. Nifty’s journal reviews specialize in showing us how different pens behave on the paper and other essential information for notebook lovers.

Check out Clement Dionglay’s  Notebook Review: Flower Wow by Daycraft for a look at a floral notebook design.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper using our Carnival submission form. The January Carnival will be hosted by Pocket Blonde. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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For those of you in the US looking for a 2011 Leuchtturm planner, you will have just one choice this year, the Master Book Daily Planner.  According to the distributor, they are in the process of some slight redesign and will be offering the full line of planners for the 2012 planning year.

Leuchtturm's Master Book Daily Planner is large. It measures 8¾" x 12½".

If you must have a Leuchtturm Planner for 2011, the Master Book Daily Planner will be your only choice unless you are willing to order from a non-US vendor.  To help you decide whether it’s right for you, I have put together some information and photos to give you a complete look at the planner. If you think it is a planner you would like to have, email me at Cynthia@journalingarts.com or leave a comment. If I have enough interest, I will stock some at journalingarts.com.

Box-style monthly calendars for 2010, 2100 and 2012 are in the front of the planner.

The Master Book Daily Planner is a big planner. It measures  8 ¾” x 12 ½” x 1” thick and tips the scale at 3.25 lbs. It’s a little large to lug around with you, but it you prefer to keep your planner on your desk, you might find it to be quite useful. The large size gives you large type and well-space lines which is a relief if you have large hand-writing or have trouble reading small text.

A spreadsheet-style project planner can organize your complicated long-term projects.

Typical of Leuchtturm notebooks and journals, the paper is ink-proof, so if you use fountain pens or other wet pens, you will be very pleased with the paper. You won’t have to worry about bleed through, show through is minimal and there is little or no feathering. The paper is heavier than most and appears to be consistent with other Master Book journals, which is 100 gsm., although it is not marked on the planner or the label.

Keep track of holidays around the world with the International Holiday chart.

The planner includes a variety of pages, but not so many as to overwhelm you. In addition to the daily planning pages, you will find monthly calendars for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Vertical planning pages for 2011 are 3-months-per-page and give you plenty of room to plan for the long-term. A 2-page spread includes International Holidays and there is a convenient project planning spread which is designed like a spread sheet. At the end of the planner, 20 plain pages are available for note taking, sketching or pasting memoirs followed by an expanding pocket for stashing things.

Vertical, monthly planning calendars are good for organizing trips and holidays.

The daily planning pages are clean and simple, printed with subtle gray ink. Sixteen spaces represent hourly time slots and have ample room for even the most detailed plans. The hour time-slots are designated in 24 hour time using small text, but the ink is pale, so overwriting the time slots with your own times would be no problem. A large blank area for notes is below each planning area if you need more room. At the bottom of each 2-page spread are 6 box-style monthly calendars, including the past month, current month and 4 months ahead at the bottom of each 2-page spread.

Each daily planning pages consists of sixteen planning slots, an area for notes and 6 months of box-style calendars.

There is a lot to like about the Leuchtturm Master Book Daily Planner if you don’t mind having a big planner. If you try it, you might like it and decide that bigger really is better.

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