I hate to share stuff thats hard to find/buy online, but when I found this Figurare Concept Flow Notebook it really jumped out at me as an item I had to review. I did some checking around and I can’t even find this notebook on the usual sites like Amazon or JetPens, so apologies in advance for that. I was able to grab this at the Kinokuniya store near my office in NYC where they have a huge selection of great Japanese stationery items. If you are ever near the Bryant Park area, I highly recommend you check out the store.
The idea behind the Figurare Concept Flow Notebook is that it is set up for a single page view where you can draw up a diagram or map of something and provide some notes about it on the side. The image above shows a sketch of an “Ecology Vehicle” with some notes all around it in Japanese, I found it kind of funny that the words “Ecology Vehicle” are the only ones in English. The area where you see the sketch of the car above measures 6 1/2 inches across by 6 3/16 inches high. The ruled note taking section to the right measures the same height as the empty box, but is only about 4 1/2 inches wide with 6.5 mm ruled lines.
The headers of each section are pretty straight forward. There is a Date, Title, and Page Number section across the top. Below that is an “Input” section for the drawing or sketching area and a blank area to the right where you can title the writing section anything you want. Its a pretty straight forward setup on this A4 (11.75 inches by 8.25 inches) with its nice orange card stock cover and dual coil binding at the top.
Since I’m not really in the business of designing “Ecology Vehicles” I put the Figurare Concept Flow Notebook to a much different use. I’m always thinking about different layouts for the website here, so having a nice notebook layout that supports a mapping out of the current sections of the site and with space to take notes on each of those sections is a pretty helpful thing for me. The photo above shows that the paper in the Figurare Concept Flow Notebook is actually pretty fountain pen friendly. The writing sample here was done with my Pelikan Souveran M805 Stresemann fountain pen with its medium nib and some nice Pelikan Edelstein Topaz Ink. The ink performed nicely on this paper, with no feathering, bleeding or show though on the other side.
The top of each sheet of paper in the Figurare Concept Flow Notebook has a micro perforated edge that attaches it to the double coil binding. Although the micro perforations rip cleanly, it is sometimes tough to rip them because the strip of paper between the perforations and the coil is so thin that its easy to rip the paper from the coils instead of separating it along the line instead. Obviously not a huge deal here, but I did find it a little frustrating in ripping this sheet off. Overall its a great notebook although if I would really like ot see it have more than just the 40 sheets that it comes with because I feel like if you are doing design work, you will go through plenty of iterations that could end up requiring many more sheets of paper before you get things right. This notebook is probably great for any designer, engineer, new product development person, or marketing person that is involved with new product design or conceptualization.