Everyone needs a great notebook, but in many cases concessions are made on paper quality, usability, or durability. I have spent year after year consistently disappointed in the offerings found at big box stationary stores and normally make due with pocket notebooks that once filled have served their purpose and then I must buy another. I would prefer a notebook that is reusable, refillable, and can last for more than a few months. Recently Frank from Federalist Pens and Paper, sent me a Filofax Classic Executive Notebook in black to review and I think I have found my new favorite. I thought that Filofax was a relatively new company and I was surprised to learn that Filofax was founded in England in 1921! Their original business plan was to market personal organizers by mail order and the name Filofax was created based off the description of their organizers as a “File of facts.”
Design: The A5 size (8 1/4 in by 5 13/16 in) faux leather is spiral bound and lays flat, or it can fold back on itself which makes it easier to write in. There is an elastic band molded into the back cover which keeps the notebook tightly closed and the cover has small grooves on the ends, which allow the band to lay flat so it doesn’t slip off. One of the best parts of this notebook is the design of the pages. The pages are perforated so they can be removed and moved around in the notebook easily. This allows you to customize the notebook layout how you like it and you can remove the used pages and refill the notebook instead of throwing it out.
Pages/Inserts: The paper is a light ivory color and smooth. The notebook comes with 56 lined pages, 4 grid pages and 5 blank pages as well. In addition, the notebook comes with a pull out 8-inch ruler and 4 colored dividers (blue, red, yellow, and purple). The blue divider also has a pocket on one side which I think is handy. I used Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine ink as well as Pilot Blue/Black ink to test out the paper. There was a small amount of ghosting and bleed through where the ink was laid down heavier.
Value: The notebook retails for $22.95 USD. This is a bit more expensive than your run of the mill dollar store brand or big box store notebooks. I think the portability, reusability, and quality make this a great value.
Overall: I think that this is a wonderfully thought out notebook system. The lay flat design makes writing easy since you don’t have to fight to keep the cover out of your way. It is just the right size to toss it into a backpack or messenger bag for everyday use. Being able to refill the notebook ($4.99 for 32 pages) as needed, with different types of paper to customize it to your preferences makes this a great choice for a “green” everyday notebook. Pick one up for only $15 at http://www.federalistpensonline.com.