Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: Field Notes Memo Books & Ballpoint Pen Giveaway

Recently, Dawson at Field Notes sent a parcel for us to review! Thanks a bunch Dawson!
Field Notes Parcel
Field Notes 2012 Calendar, Set of three ruled paper memo books, and six Field Notes ballpoint retractable pens.
Field Notes's motto is "I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I'm writing it down to remember it now." I particularly like this. There's just something about writing things down that makes me feel mindful, aware, and in the moment. Now...on to the parcel!
Field Notes & Ballpoint RT Pens
This is a very aesthetically appealing package. It all matches and is very easy on the eyes. 
The calendar is adorable. I have it on my desk for glancing at and it is quite convenient when planning out and scheduling blog posts.
Field Notes Outside
Three pack of memo backs, still bound.
Field Notes Memo Book
An individual memo book.
Field Notes notebooks are manufactured and printed in the USA. As you know, I am a big fan of buying locally (or as local as possible at least) because this reduces shipping costs and resources used, and there are also more often than not better environmental and safety laws in place for manufacturing. The covers are made with durable materials but are very comfortable to the touch. The bindings are saddle-stitched and also have three staples, to make sure your notebook doesn't fall apart! These pocket-sized memo books are perfect for the pocket. They are small and thin enough to literally slip into your pocket with a little bit poking out for easy grabbing. The covers are flexible and as such, the entire notebook is very bendy.
Field Notes vs. Rhodia Webbie A6
Left: Rhodia Webbie A6 compared to Field Notes memo book. Pocketable!
Unfortunately, my pants do not have pockets, so I cannot attest to how durable these little guys will actually be once in their intended home. Given their flexibility and materials, I think they will bend with your pocket, and since there are only 48 pages, you'll fill it up before it begins to get shredded by pocket violence. (You know... like if you have keys in your pocket as well). And the extra saddle stitching will help keep it together. As an alternate test, I put my notebook in my purse for a week. I toss my purse around a lot and it's often quite stuffed so I figured it was a good enough test! I wasn't too surprised when I observed it at the end of the week and found it was just a little bent. No dog eared pages, no tears, nothing. Just a little bent. Not bad, right?
FN After Purse
Just a little mussed up.
Inside Post Purse
Written with Uni-ball Power Tank 0.7 mm in blue
Inside Field Notes
It's very pretty paper. Again, great color scheme. Easy on the eyes.
If you are interested in a fountain pen friendly paper, and you use fine or dry writing fountain pens, you'll be able to use these notebooks. While I love the color of the lines and the adorable size of the paper, my fountain pens bled through - with a wet writer, it bled through to the second page. The wet fountain pens also feathered a little bit, although not enough to deter me. Most of my fountain pen collection is with medium nibs and I definitely prefer wet writers, so please take that into consideration if you are concerned about the fountain pen friendliness!

Ballpoint pens and gel ink pens were just fine on this paper though. I think this is meant to be literally, a pocket notebook, and I suspect most people would be carrying a ballpoint or gel ink pen in their pockets for scribbling notes on the go, not necessarily a fountain pen. Don't be upset with me for saying that, fountain pen users, I know lots of you carry fountain pens in your pockets as your go-to pen. Nothing wrong with that either!

I've read other reviews where the user did not have bleed through with their fountain pens. Again, note the pens that bled through were very wet writers, and/or filled with a lubricated ink!
Field Notes Paper
Note the second page bleed through of the orange ink.
The inside cover is really cute. Things like this amuse me. There's a little check box for you to pick "there is/isn't a handsome reward". To me, this is a personal touch that gives this notebook some character. Check out the back cover, it's even better!!
FN Back Cover
I LOVE the "practical applications". You'll get a kick out of it. And if you're ever looking for journaling topics...well, there ya go! 
The only little problem I found was at the top of two of the three notebooks, there was a notch in the paper where it looks like a paper cutter slipped a little and shaved off a millimeter extra. It's a very minor thing and for a notebook with so much personality (you did see the inside cover right?) it almost suits it. To some, this may be a deterrent because it's not showcase perfect. To me, it makes it feel "professionally homemade", and I like that.
FN Paper Error
Obviously, I love pens. Especially ones with a stationery brand printed on it. Woo! Since I was generously sent six pens, I thought perhaps five of my readers might like a Field Notes pen of their very own! If you would like one of these pens mailed to you by moi, please go to this page and send me an email with your mailing address! There are only five so you better hurry if you want one - first come, first serve! I'll email you back to let you know if you were in the first five!
Field Notes RT Ballpoint Pens
PENZZZZ!!!
If this particular set isn't your thing, Field Notes has a big range of special colors and special notebooks you should investigate! These three packs are also available in: graph, ruled, plain, or mixed rulings.

Feel like more Field Notes?
Amateur Economist
Dave's Mechanical Pencils
Economy Pens
Inkophile
The Pen Addict
Rants of the Archer
Field Notes on Facebook
Field Notes on Twitter
Field Notes on Flickr

Price
Field Notes - $9.95
JetPens - $9.95

Overall
If sign up for the Field Notes email list, they will contact you when they have specials, in which case I think it's a perfect time for any user to try these cute little notebooks out (otherwise, shipping can be pricy). These notebooks are great to slip in your pocket and tote around with you to, yes, write things down to remember NOW, not later! Don't be too put off by the little notch that mine had in the paper - it never bothers me and I only mentioned it to be thorough!

**I was provided one or more of these products for review, but all opinions are my own!

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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