Normally I’m skeptical about any new notebook because I’ve been burned a few times, but I bought this immediately when I saw that our friends at MOO offering a new notebook. I’ve purchased business cards from MOO several times before that were amazing, and the quality of those cards assured me I’d probably love their notebook too. I can happily report that the MOO Notebook is even nicer than I had anticipated. The good news too is that they are on sale still, for only $13.99 plus shipping, and the more you buy, the cheaper they are as well. You can see them on the MOO site right here for more detail.
As you saw in the first picture, the MOO notebook comes in a nice cardboard storage slipcase. When you pull the notebook out, its got a nice dark grey book cloth cover that has some heft behind it. You can also see that there is a standard grey ribbon page finder, and some not so standard green pages right there in the middle. These 16 green pages laid between the other white ruled pages are there for you to doodle and scribble away on when your meetings get boring.
Here is my favorite part of the notebook, its the lay flat Swiss binding and how it works. In order to really nail the whole “lay flat” thing, the binding actually doesn’t attach to the inside center of the cover. It instead attaches to the back cover allowing all of the pages to lay flat as you flip through with almost no additional pressing on them. The performance of the lay flat binding comes through strong regardless of if you are on page 3 or the MOO notebook or page 153. Its probably the most well done lay flat binding I’ve ever experienced.
One thing that I really appreciate about any product is when the branding is subtle. It doesn’t get much more subtle about the MOO logo on their notebook. The logo is stamped on the lower center portion of the back cover and has no additional color added.
In a moment of admitted stupidity, I was confused when I came across this “thing” in my new MOO notebook. With a few seconds to think about it, I realized it was a little pocket that you can stick onto the inside front or back cover of the notebook. As you can probably glean from that last sentence, the MOO notebook does not have a back cover folder like many other similar notebooks. Personally I don’t often use those folders so for me it isn’t an issue.
I chose to stick the card holder on the front inside cover of my new MOO notebook. I like the idea of sticking maybe a debit card and ID in there and being able to travel pretty lightly. The pocket is open on the right and top side and sealed on the left and bottom sides. Personally I would have liked it better if it was solid grey instead of polka dot.
MOO Notebook Writing Sample and Features:
For reference, the ruled white pages are 100gsm Kristall white paper and the green pages are 135gsm Colorplan Park Green. Rulings are .25″ and although not shown in the scan are a soft grey. Each page also has a blank circle on the bottom right corner for numbering or checking off.
There is a laundry list of great features in the new MOO notebooks as you can see in the writing sample above. The pages ARE RULED in this new MOO notebook, but just not showing up well here. The rulings are light grey and about .25″ apart with a .25″ margin on the left and right edges of the page. This first writing sample was done with a Pelikan Souveran M805 Stresemann in Anthracite (pen Review here) with a medium nib using Noodler’s Q Eternity ink. This ink laid down nicely on the smooth glare free pages of the MOO notebook, although there were some tiny hints of feathering, but only if you look really closely. Dry time came in at two seconds which is really nice, but Noodler’s Q Eternity is a fast drying ink.
The next writing sample in my MOO notebook shows a variety of inks and some pencil too. I saw tiny hints of feathering with the green Pilot Precise V5 in my testing. The blue Kaweco cartridge didn’t show any feathering. Each of the pens dried around the 1 to 3 second mark which is nice, but you can see the Kaweco ink didn’t fare as well. The pencil eraser test came out well too. Using light, medium, and dark weights with my Palomino Black wing, the eraser removed each cleanly with no damage to the paper. Of course this has as much to do with the eraser itself as it does with the paper.
MOO Notebook Review Summary:
Overall I really like this notebook, especially at the sale price right now. The quality of the manufacturing and the clean design elements are about as good as it gets in the world of notebooks. I cant say enough about the performance of the lay flat binding, it just works better than any I’ve seen before. If I were to quibble and look for an area for improvement, I would like to see the paper be slightly more fountain pen friendly. Although I would have no problem using my fountain pens in the MOO notebook, I’d enjoy it even more if there was a way to reduce the fairly minimal show through on the back of the pages that I saw with some darker inks. This is definitely a notebook that you will want to get your hands on, especially with the current 30% off deal going on at MOO right now, so give it a try and if you don’t like it you can blame me, but I might think you are crazy. (buy via MOO for 30% off)