Thursday, 9 February 2017

Happy Jackson 3 mini notebooks - review

I know - I don't post anything for ages and then there's a massive splurge. It's called "I finally finished editing the bl**dy book!" - check out my author blog at for what I've been working on.

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.

Pen test

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.

No feathering
Some feathering
Some feathering

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.

Some show-through

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.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm....I shall ponder. Excellent review as ever Dr F.