For the longest time I have been meaning to review some of the Field Notes Brand items, and for whatever reason I’ve just never gotten around to it…until today. I finally picked up one of their notebooks, the brand new Field Notes Steno Pad that came out a few weeks ago.
The Field Notes Steno Pad measures 6″x9″, and as the name kind of implies, it is specifically designed for the unique style of short hand note taking called Stenography. On the inside cover of the Field Notes Steno Pad, there is a brief history of the art of stenography, along with actual examples and a translation of stenography. Also on the inside cover, you will find some additional space for your personal information, and a list of helpful abbreviations.
On the back inside cover of the Steno Pad, you will find a ton more useful information such as time zone maps, two rulers, a key to some standard units of measure, the distance in miles from each planet to the sun, lists of some hard to spell words, a “hobo symbol guide”, a list of places with great names such as Meat Camp, NC…and a few other humorous lists of things that you should check out. Also, worth mentioning is that the front and back covers are both a nice sturdy 60 point chipboard, held together with a double coil binding that allows the pad to fold over flat on itself.
Now that you have the scoop on the outsides of the Field Notes Steno Pad, lets take a closer look on the inside. The 6″x9″ bright white paper is Gregg ruled with 5/16″ spaced lines that are what Field Notes calls Double Knee Duck Canvas” which is basically a nice light brown color of soy based ink. You will find 80 pages of this 70lb paper inside the steno pad, with each of the two bottom corners being rounded.
Based on my writing experience with it so far, it is quite a nice paper to use with most pens. I kept with all green inks because that just felt right for use in a Field Notes pad, and I used a variety of Fountain Pen ink, gel ink, Sharpie pen, and liquid inks to test it out. All of the pens wrote very smoothly on the paper, and other than a few very minor spots with my Pelikan M205 with Pelikan Edelstein ink that resulted in some show through. The Pelikan also saw a hint of feathering on the paper, but for me it was not enough to be of any distraction or concern.
As you can see in the writing sample, all of the inks dried very quickly, with 2-3 seconds being the longest time. The Sharpie Pen and the Pelikan actually dried the fastest at about one second. Personally, I’d have no issue using this as an every day notebook if I needed this size and format. I really like the simplicity and utilitarian design of the Field Notes brand, and their steno pad falls right in line with the rest of their products. Be sure to check back soon if you like these because I will be doing a Field Notes Steno Pad giveaway shortly, but if you can’t wait, head on over to the Field Notes site to pick some up for yourself.
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