I am working through a series of reviews about A5 dot grid or graph notebooks. My goal is to upgrade my personal setup, which includes 2 A5 notebooks in a single binder (one for my personal journal and one for day to day meeting notes). Current, I use a paid of 1/2 year Stalogy notebooks, which I like and have a nice look and feel. But I think I can do better.
Last week I reviewed the Pebble Notebook Company A5. Today, I review the Midori HD A5 Journal Notebook with a dot grid. Most people know Midori for their very popular Traveler Notebook series. I personally am not a major fan of the Traveler due to the sizes of the two options. I prefer a larger format and, frankly, the insert notebooks are pretty basic, stapled and not very stylish. I also am not going to juggle 4, 5, 6 slim notebooks. And I also think you pay a lot of money for a piece of cowhide and a rubber band. There, I said it. However, Midori makes a wide range of high quality products, including accessories for the Traveler’s that I continue to enjoy and make good use of.
The Midori Notebook, however, is not just a stepped up Traveler insert. It is a major step up and very well made. It comes with a heavy cardstock cover with a nice MD imprint. It is a glued and stitched binding that will stand up well to daily use, which is why there seems to be growing interest in Midori daily planners as well.
The paper for Midori is where things start to get interesting, in a good way. This is not standard paper and has a nice slightly textured feel. I was worried at first, because as a heavy fountain pen user texture can lead to problems. Not the case here, however. The paper flows very nicely with even a fine point pen, and there is feathering or catching at all. And the paper soaks up ink very well without any noticeable spread. The drying time is better than Tomoe River paper, which is my preferred paper/notebook but there is still a long wait as you can see above. Fountain pens are a labor of love, but a blotter sheet takes care of a lot of issues.
There is quite a bit of shadow on the backside and the Sharpie, as always, bleeds. In this case, however, it actually transferred onto the second page. This is likely due to the high absorption rate of the paper. It holds shape well, but is a bit of a sponge and can blot thorugh. This may be an issue for anyone who uses wet inks, fountain pens or heavy markers. I don’t, so not a major show stopper for me, and frankly the absorption rate of the paper makes for a nice writing experience and is a plus for me.
The notebook has a few knocks on it. The main one may be because the paper is thicker, so it is a heavier notebook, and a bigger notebook. The comparison below between 192 Stalogy pages and 192 Midori makes the case pretty starkly. It is about a 50% increase in thickness. These days I am not carrying much except between my basement and kitchen, but when tings get more mobile, the weight may start to be a concern. It will depend on overall performance, however, over time.
So, overall I would say I am a fan, and especially after having a bit of bias against because of the the Traveler issues I have adopted the Midori for my daily notes recorder and will work with it for a few months. I am interested how it will handle multiple pens but the feel and performance right off is a nice surprise. I paid $16 for the notebook, which runs a few dollars less than the Stalogy for a similar number of pages.
I purchased this notebook with my own funds and was not given anythng of value to provide a review.