The first time I saw any of the doane paper products was when I started reading the great pen reviews over at the pen addict site where it was being used as a the standard paper for all of the writing samples. The unique design of the graph paper + standard ruled lines jumped out as being a pretty good idea to me, and I was able to think of a few instances in past jobs where it would have really come in handy. They offer two options for their paper, one is an 8.25″ x 11.75″ writing pad with 50 sheets of 20lb stock writing paper, and the other is the 3.5″ x 5.5″ 48 page notebook composed of 80lb text stock. Both notebooks have the same grid + ruled line layout with a grid size of .125” (.3175 cm) x .125” (.3175 cm). Each of the options come in packs of 3, and the cost is $9.95 for a pack of writing pads, and $9.50 for a pack of notebooks, plus any shipping and handling charges.
I have been trying both the writing pad and the notebook with various types of pens and ink, and I was happy to see how well the paper handles. I have used the uni-ball UBR-300 .5mm gel refill, the uni-ball signo bit .18mm pens, and a Lamy Studio with an extra fine nib and Noodler’s Tiananmen and Noodler’s Borealis Black inks. So far each of these has performed very nicely on the doane paper pads with no feathering, or bleed-through, and they seem to dry quickly also.
Regardless of the type of pen (or pencil) or ink you decide to use with the doane paper, it is really the design and layout of the paper that is the critical factor. There are plenty of scenarios that one could conceive where having the flexibility to have both regular ruled paper and graph paper at your fingertips would make for much more practical and efficient meetings and note taking. I can imagine how helpful it would be to have this paper when brainstorming about layouts for web pages or powerpoint presentations, or if you are tying to visually represent some data as charts or graphs, while at the same time still having the ability to revert to regular note taking because of the available ruled layout.
I highly recommend giving this paper a shot if you find yourself wanting the flexibility of going between graph paper and regular ruled paper without needing to carry individual notepads with you. I can also say that the customer service that I experienced when placing my order was excellent. Due to the fact that I was multitasking (ie. not paying attention to the person I was talking to on the phone) when I placed my order, I mistakenly placed two separate orders for the same thing, and within about 15 minutes I had an email in my in-box from Chad Doane explaining that he noticed the duplicate order and he had refunded the money immediately and would hold off on finalizing the order until he heard from me to make sure that I had everything I needed. After a few quick email exchanges, my order was finalized and in my hands within a few days. For under $10 you really have nothing to lose in trying one, or both of these products. If you really don’t want to spend any money trying the unique layout of doane paper, they also offer a free download of 8.25″ x 11″ or the A4 size. Basically, you have no excuse to not try it and hopefully our Doane Paper review helped you decide that it is worth checking out.