During my recent trip to DC, I stopped in a Barnes & Noble to escape the awful heat, and I came across a great little notebook that I had not seen in any of the usual office supply stores to review. I was hesitant to buy it because I was skeptical of buying a brand that I never saw before, but I am glad I picked it up, it was the Pistachio Recycled Monogram Notebook.
The nice bright orange cover of the Pistachio Monogram Recycled Notebook with the big “I” on the cover certainly caught my attention when stacked in the huge display table at Barnes & Noble. As I said, I was hesitant to buy a notebook that I never tried or even heard of before, but I figured that for $3.95, I didnt have much to lose. The green slip bound on top of the cover peaked my interest when I read all of the environmental claims about this notebook such as:
- 100% Post-consumer recycled paper
- 100% Post-consumer recycled chip board
- Chlorine free processing
- Paper that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
- Printed with soy ink
- Made in Canada OK, that one doesnt count as being environmentally friendly, but to all of my Canadian readers, I have always thought your people were very friendly themselves. 😉
Initially I thought it was cool that there was such an environmental focus on the notebook, but I had a nagging voice in my head telling me that there was probably a big sacrifice in terms of paper quality to achieve such impressive standards. Regardless, I figured Id buy it and find out for sure without jumping to uninformed conclusions.
The notebooks surface area measures 3″ x 4″ so it is a nice compact size, but the most noticeable feature in terms of the size is how thick both the front and back cover of the notebook are. Each of the two covers are approximately 1/16″ or about the thickness of two pennies stacked on top of each other. For anyone who doesnt usually have a surface to lean on when taking notes, the sturdy covers make for a great flat surface to make your writing easier and neater.
Now for the fun part. I figured that when I put ink to paper, I would find fault with the paper in this environmentally friendly notebook, and I couldnt have been more wrong. The paper has a soft smooth feel to it when you hold it between your fingers, and although it does not have what I would call a “BRIGHT” white color, it is not the gray or slightly brown color that I usually associate with recycled paper. Each of the pens that I tried out on this paper performed flawlessly, everything including multiple Uniball Signo pens, fountain pen ink, the Sharpie pen, and liquid ink pens like the Pilot Razor Point and Papermate Liquid Expresso wrote smoothly with no feathering, and surprisingly enough NO bleed through at all. The lack of bleed through was particularly surprising and impressive, you literally cant see ANY ink on the other side of this paper.
I learned from this notebook that you can really get a high quality paper even with hefty environmental criteria imposed in the manufacturing process. I would strongly recommend this notebook if the layout and size work with the tasks that you need to accomplish, and even if it is not perfect, there are other sizes that it comes in, and of course the monogram on the cover comes in every letter from A-Z, so yes, Aaron and Zeke, there are even notebooks for you. This is one office supply review that was a very pleasant surprise.