Sunday, 21 October 2018

teNeues Cool Diary 2019 Weekly diary review

I've been umming and awwing about what to use in 2019 (see here for latest witterings) and bought myself a small diary to use in a Field Notes size Traveller's Notebook. The one I bought is a 9 x 14 cm TeNeues Cool Diary weekly diary (that is how the capital letters go in the label...). I got mine in blue, but it comes in a variety of colours.

It arrived the other day, so here's my review.

The cover is a hard cover with nothing more than 2019 in silver on the blue on the front and the teNeues logo on the reverse. The cover is soft-touch synthetic. I'm not a huge lover of that, because I'm trying to reduce my plastic/non-recyclable purchases, but it's understated and fairly classic. That said, I'm in two minds over just removing it altogether, because it takes up thickness in the binder and the pages of the diary don't need protecting if it's in the TN cover.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

What diary to use in 2019?

I know... it's barely October! And I don't normally have things planned hugely in advance, but we have just booked our summer holidays for 2019 and I'm feeling a bit twitchy that other than scribbling them down on the 'forward planner' bit I've created on the inside cover of my current diary, I have nowhere to put them down! I don't even have a wall calendar for 2019 and I'm sure magazines (like Country Living etc) have included them with the magazines by now.

Anyway, it's got me thinking about what to use for 2019. I currently have three options, though I may throw in a fourth just for shits and giggles.

1. Keep going with my standard-size Traveller's Notebook
2. Move to my B6 Traveller's Notebook
3. Move to a Field Notes size TN
4. Go back to using a Filofax

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Poach My Lobster Notebook Review

Many thanks to Stu from Nero's Notes for sending me this notebook to try out. This is my honest review of the notebook.

Recently, I've been shifting away from the A sizes of notebooks (A4, A5, A6 etc.) and turning more often to the B sizes (B5, B6 etc.). B5 (176 x 250 mm or 6.9 x 9.8") is an excellent size for me for writing/planning books and B6 (125 x 176 mm or 4.9 x 6.9") is a great size for a handbag-notebook. The notebook by Poach My Lobster is 128 x 202 mm, or pretty much exactly 5 x 8". Although not a true B6 size, it's a pretty good size for my bag.

The corners are rounded and the paper is glued in (making the flattability score for me pretty low).

The label on the back said the following:
128 pages of Fedrigoni Arcoprint Edizioni Avorio 1.5 100gsm
Cover printed on G. F. Smith's Colorplan Claret 270gsm with buckram embossing
Books Good Enough To Eat™: designed in London, printed in Italy, made by Poach My Lobster.
The pages are blank throughout.

The Cover:
I really like the cover. There are a variety of covers available (see the full listing on Nero's Notes here). I was sent the one with the quote about wine. The colour is a dark red (my crime-writer-brain is saying the colour of dried blood, but I realise that might not be a selling point for everyone 😄). It's a sturdy enough cover that the pages are protected, but not solid or heavy. And, it doesn't appear to contain plastic (though the notebook did come shrink-wrapped in single-use plastic that I almost opened an artery trying to remove). The logo of a lobster on the back is the only branding on it.

The Paper:
The paper is lovely to write on, both with fountain pen and also pencil. It's quite toothy, so calligraphy nibs may catch a little, and the paper is matte and so there isn't much sheen to fountain pen ink (though there is shading). I quite like the fact that the paper is blank as it means I can write in it and also sketch in it (yes, I do sketch occasionally - hence the wide array of pencil tests to come!). As this is more likely to be an 'out and about' notebook (as opposed to one used for planning, or for writing books), this makes for a good combination as I can scribble down thoughts and ideas, but I can also do sketches and drawings. If you prefer lined books because your writing stays neater, rest assured that a line-card shows through pretty well, to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Pen/Pencil Tests:
As you all know, these can make or break it for a notebook with me. The pens I currently have inked would present quite a test to the paper (and many a notebook would have failed abysmally!).
This paper sailed through. No sign of any feathering, absolutely no bleed-through and absolutely no show-through, either. 'Pen Tests' was written with my Pilot Parallel pen with 1.5 mm nib - almost everything fails with this, even Clairefontaine at times! This paper - absolutely fine. No feathing or even a hint of show-through, despite the fact it's a wet pen! The paper was a little too 'grabby' for my Rosetta Mosaic, and for the Parker Italic (though almost anything except Clairefontaine is too grabby for that little pen!). Beautifully smooth with my bamboo pen (bought as cheap as chips from eBay and one of my absolute favourite pens - always writes beautifully and is so easy to rinse out!).

The pencil tests were great - there is enough tooth in the paper to make sketching fun (no slippy-slidey shiny stuff!). I'm actually really looking forward to drawing in this wee book.

Pen tests (apologies for low exposure - it's Scotland!)
Reverse of the page - no show-through or bleed through
Pencil tests

I am very impressed. The paper is fabulous, the cover great (and quirky) and the size just right. The only thing I'm slightly less happy about is the low flattability. Maybe I'll just have to be a bit more brutal with it, but it currently does not lie flat.

Thanks again to Stu for sending me this. As I say, all views are my own and reflect my honest opinion of the book.

You can get these notebooks from Nero's Notes - click HERE to go to the full range.