The Freestyle Really Big Notebook Serious Creativity Collection (via Amazon) is a heck of a long name, but is pretty appropriate for a notebook of this size. This thing is no joke with its 800 pages (plus another 18 for the index) and its massive weight of 3.8lbs that makes it easy to mistake this for a phone book….remember those?
To put the Freestyle Really Big Notebook in perspective, the above picture shows it in comparison to the Ardium Classic that we reviewed about a year ago, you can see the Ardium Classic review here. The Ardium Classic measures 9″ x 6.25″ and “only” has 664 pages between its hard cover as compared to the 800+ pages in the Freestyle Really Big Notebook that measures 10″ x 7″ with its soft card stock covers. I find the soft cover a curious choice on a notebook this big, one would think you would want something a little more sturdy since you are going to have this sucker kicking around your bag or desk for quite some time.
In the front cover of the Freestyle Really Big Notebook there is a section for your “Vital Information” like most notebooks have. On the opposite and subsequent 10 pages or so there is an index set up so that you can catalog what you are documenting in the 800 pages of this beast.
Freestyle Really Big Notebook Writing Sample:
So there are a lot of things going on here to point out with the writing experience in the Freestyle Really Big Notebook. The overall story when it comes to writing in notebooks this thick is that you are going to have issues on the extreme left, right, and bottom sides of most right hand facing pages as you navigate through the book. The far right and bottom are tough as a right handed writer because you gradually run out of places to rest your hand while writing on these areas because your hand is elevated over 1.5″ from the surface area of your desk. As you get towards the center pages of the notebook it becomes a little more challenging to write on the portions of each page that are closer to the center binding due to the hump created there from the thickness of the notebook.
These issues aside, the paper in the Freestyle Really Big Notebook seems to handle most inks pretty well on the surface. Everything from the Sharpie pen to some gel ink, and liquid in pens held up pretty well. Fountain pen ink didn’t hold up so well as the Levenger Cardinal Red and Noodler’s Q Eternity both spread a little more than I’d like to see.
You can get an idea from the above picture what the show through looks like in the Freestyle Really Big Notebook, but I have to say it in person it is probably a little worse than this. Unfortunately this is the best picture I can get because this is the biggest notebook ever and I couldn’t get it to fit under the lid in my scanner. The story that this page tells though is that most gel ink, liquid ink, and fountain pen inks are not going to be your best bet here. I would say that if you need this notebook, its worth considering that you will probably only want to use pencil or a thinner ballpoint such as the Uniball Jetstream. Speaking of pencil, you can also see the eraser test that I did on the picture above this last one. The paper does hold up nicely to erasing even the darkest lines without ripping the paper.
Something kind of cool that I noticed about the Freestyle Really Big Notebook is that they are apparently printed in kind of an on demand schedule, unless this is just a coincidence and I ordered mine right after they printed a bunch. But I actually placed my order for this on Amazon on February 16th, the day before the date printed on the last page of the notebook.
Overall, the Freestyle Really Big Notebook (via Amazon) is a pretty unique notebook, and no question its probably one of the biggest notebooks that you are going to find. If size is your biggest criteria in a notebook you cant go wrong here, but take note that the writing experience is going to not only be a little awkward, but you are also going to be limited in your choice of writing implements if you want to write on both sides of the page without too much show through.