I had a chance to check out tons of different notebooks at the stationery show and there were a few unique ones that really stood out from the rest so I thought they deserved a little attention here. They might not be as innovative as the products from my last review, but one thing that I always appreciate is a product that is in its own subtle way somehow unique, and I think all of these notebooks have their own way of being subtle but still standing out in their own ways.
The first notebooks are from Sandy Waltuck (@PAPERooT) at PAPERooT.com who I mentioned in my first post about the Stationery Show. She takes ordinary Moleskine notebooks and sews very unique covers and designs onto each of them. Sandy has a strong focus on making sure that all of the materials used in her covers and other products are as environmentally friendly as possible. When I got to look at the notebooks up close with the covers sewn directly onto them, I was impressed by the quality of the work that goes into these. If you are someone who wants to keep a special notebook that will stand out from the crowd but at the same time doesnt scream, “Hey, look at me!” then I think that the PAPERoot notebooks are for you.
I have seen other covers and covered notebooks like these that use leather and other expensive materials, but I think that these versions by PAPERooT as good or better at dressing up your Moleskine, but at a much better price. If you want to take an even more subtle route, they also offer notebooks that are not completely covered, but instead have a small image sewn onto them as you can see in the photo below.
If you are looking for something to set your notebook apart a bit from the rest, I think the products that Sandy offers through her site are a great option. Again, the quality that goes into the work on these notebooks is quite evident, and you wont regret it if you pick one of these up for your special note taking or journaling needs.
MakeMyNotebook is a great looking notebook that is hand made in the size, style, color, filler paper, and binding of your choice. Additionally, these notebooks are all hand made and hand silk screened with recycled materials, and assembled in the US. The sample design above comes from their site that was set up for the show, however there is also an Etsy site where they offer their product. The one thing that to me really made these notebooks stand out was the thick and sturdy stock that they used for the covers. I dont have a picture of the cover, but imagine having a notebook thats got a cover made out of something that is the same thickness a clipboard. The extra thickness of the cover is subtle, but it certainly is nice to have a notebook that comes with a nice sturdy backing so you dont always need to find something to lean on when you are writing.
Swing Design had a nice selection of notebooks and other related items, but something that really jumped out at me was their Wander Journal. As a guy, it can sometimes be hard to find a masculine or even just slightly non-feminine journal, but the Wander Journal leaves no doubt that this is a guys journal. The smooth chestnut-colored leather mixed with the hand woven grass textured material towards the spine give the journal a rugged yet dignified look. Another nice touch on this notebook is that the clasp is a magnet that requires little to no effort to open or close…for some reason, the thought of not having to deal with a little unmanageable snap to close the journal makes this much more masculine and appealing choice for me.
Again, these are just some really simple and basic notebooks and journals, but that are done very well. I often times find myself looking at office supplies to review and thinking that the people behind them are trying too hard to be everything to everyone, its refreshing to see these three products that do a really good job of keeping things simple, but also providing great quality for the value. I know these are just some quick and high level write ups of these notebooks, but I am hoping to have at least a few of these items in hand to sample and review at some point.