I’m not sure how many of you are aware, but Australia Day is coming up on January 26th, and I just so happen to have been given some cool office supplies from the folks at Marbig who is actually an Australian office supplies company. I thought this would be the perfect time to review them to help celebrate the holiday with our Australian friends.
The first two notebooks you see pictured above are the Marbig A4 with clear case zip pocket on the front, and on the right is a 250 page 5 subject notebook. As you can see the clear zip case notebook has a clear zipper closure pocket on the front that is good for storing all kinds of pens, clips, CDs, flash cards, papers, rulers, and any other tool you can think of that you might want to have with you. It is made of what seems like some pretty sturdy clear plastic, and it is secured to the notebook through the coil that holds all of the pages and the cover together. You can also see that the bottom right side of the plastic cover has a cut out in it that allows you to write on the paper behind it. You can put your name, the subject for the notebook, the date that it was used, or any other unique information to help you identify your notebook.
Inside each of the single subject Marbig notebooks, there is a short page divider that snaps on and off of the coil binding to act as a bookmark for you. They can be set at a few different heights to accommodate for whatever type bag you want to keep them in, or if you have specific shelf or drawer that they need to fit into.
The Marbig 5 subject A4 notebook has a similar sturdy cover, but in addition to the cut out for your name or date, or maybe semester, there are 5 cut outs for you to be able to write in the different subjects for easy identification. Another cool feature on this notebook, and a few of the other Marbig notebooks is that they have a pen holder cut into the cover. I tried a few different pens in the pen loop there on the cover, and they all seemed to fit quite well, I left my Pelikan M215 in there so you could see that even a larger pen can fit in there quite nicely.
A nice touch with the Marbig A4 notebook is how the 4 cardboard folders/section dividers stick out just a bit from the edges of the pages. This makes it much easier to find your subject by eyeballing the right color and flipping right to it. this feature is also nice because it helps to protect the edges of the sheets of paper from getting banged up or frayed.
Inside all of the Marbig A5 notebooks you will find a helpful calendar and contact page in the front, along with a few sheets of blank paper in the back and some blank sheets with perforations to tear into 8 small sheets for scrap or flash cards, or any other purpose you might have in mind. I like the option of having that blank paper and the small perforated sheets in the back because I know I’ve often found myself looking for a little scrap of paper for something, or just wanted a place to doodle.
One other version of the Marbig A4 notebook comes with sheet protectors in the front section. This is a great feature for everything from a class syllabus, schedules, meeting agendas, or printed reference sheets among many other options.
Besides the A4 notebooks, Marbig also offers some smaller notebooks as pictured above. In the forefront you can see the pocket style flip notebooks that contain 96 pages, and behind those you can see the chunkier notebooks that contain 400 140 x 110mm pages. Each of these two styles also have the small cut out window in the plastic cover to help label your notebook. None of the smaller versions however have any of the extras such as the bookmarks, blank sheets, or calendars.
Last but not least is the writing sample on the paper found within all of the Marbig notebooks. The above scan came from the 5 subject A4 notebook, which I forgot to mention also has perforated pages, a perforated right top corner, and a date field in the top right corner as well. Speaking of the perforations, one thing that always bugs me is when page perforations don’t rip well, but the Marbig perforations rip out very smoothly and cleanly.
I tried a few different types of pens on this paper, and I was pleasantly surprised with how all of them handled. The samples you see above were done with ballpoints, gel inks, fountain pens, and rollerballs, and none of them had any issues when it came to smudging, bleeding, feathering, or showing through. Now I am sure that there are some overly inky pens that might cause problems on this paper, but none of what I tested showed any issues. For a point of reference, all of the pens I used were finer points, therefore one would expect that they would put less ink down on the paper, so if you are using 1mm or bold points, you could get different results.
Overall I would say that these notebooks with their extensive features and options, and bright color range make for some fun office supplies to have around, while also serving some critical and unique purposes. Thanks again to the friendly folks over at Marbig for sending these samples over to review, and I hope everyone has a safe, happy, and healthy Australia Day!