Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Productive Luddite's Freestyle Really Big Notebook

Review Productive Luddite's Freestyle Really Big Notebook (1)
ABOUT

Size: 7.0'' x 10.0'' x 1.8"
Color: Pink & White
Ruling: Blank
Page Count: 800
Price: $24.79
Where to buy: Amazon
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APPEARANCE

This is a crazy notebook. It's like a huge textbook. The covers are a hot pink, hence the name Pink Drink - a shade of pink that may seem familiar if you're a regular reader of this blog! The massive spine has Freestyle Really Big Notebook written on it. The covers are fairly thin, with sharp edges, flush with the pages inside. The spine is visibly glue bound with a yellowish glue. Inside, there is a vital information page, along with several pages for the table of contents - there are two columns on each page. This looks great, and is very organized. The printing quality of the table of contents looks like a bubble jet printer - not crisp and clean. Not a huge deal, but more like a gray scale print.
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The paper is white with a small, gray scale number printed on the bottom corner of each page. I noticed that from page 392 to 393, the numbering jumps to the edge of the page, which makes it look inconsistent. That bugged me because the numbers feel like they're going to fall off the page. Minor detail, but some attention to the detail of the print job would have been appreciated there.
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PERFORMANCE & FEEL

Ok. This is a fascinating notebook. I love how solid it is. It's big and it makes me feel like I can screw up on so many pages, and still have more than enough pages left to fill it with something worthy. I found that with the size and weight of the notebook led to the crumpling of the pointed edges of the covers. This isn't a functional issue but after awhile, the pages inside started to get crumpled in the corners as well.
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The paper feels quite toothy. It felt like copier paper, but thick, and with a fair amount of texture. Since the paper is not very smooth or coated, they do not stick to each other, making it easy to turn the page. I like that.

I really enjoyed using pencils in this notebook. The paper's tooth really picked up the lead and made pencil a great utensil choice. The writing experience was great, tactile, and made me feel like I was (almost) an artist. Erasing was a little more difficult, because the lead seemed to get trapped in the texture and tooth of the paper. For those of you who draw and sketch: this one is for you. Tons of blank pages, and nice paper! (Please be aware I know nothing about drawing and sketching and I say that based on how I felt pretending to draw and sketch in this.)
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Ballpoints, gel pens, and rollerballs all wrote well on the page. I did experience feathering with liquid inks and rollerballs, and found there was high show through and bleed through, as well as printing if I used pressure when I was writing. I liked drawing with ballpoints though because the ink cover varied with pressure so making gradients, for example, was a lot of fun. Again, I cannot draw. I'm just making tragic, very fun attempts. Markers? Lots of show through and bleed through, but no feathering.
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Brush pens worked well in that the drying times were really fast, there was no feathering, show through was low, and there was no bleed through. I found the ink shading was toned down quite a bit though, so although the paper tolerated the brush well, the joy of shading was reduced.
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Fountain pens are pretty much out of the question. Even using extra-fine nibs, there was feathering, show through, and bleed through. All three worsened with the broadness and wetness of the nibs. Shading was severely reduced, and I did not see any sheens, although particles were still visible. Not the best for fountain pens. On the bright side, drying times were really fast.
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PROS & CONS

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OVERALL 

Wow. I have mixed feelings about this notebook. I love how many pages there are because I can scribble and doodle and mess it up to my heart's content. On the other hand, it's really tough to use this paper for any purpose, because it's not fountain pen friendly, and it doesn't tolerate wet writers very well. I think it's best for pencils and ballpoints, which is fine because I have lots of those! I find the notebook difficult to use because of the size, but on the other hand, I love the size because it's fun. For $30 though, it has some pros, some cons, and I can live with it. Plus, it comes in ten fun colors. Also, the table of contents is great and so far, has been ideal for my attempts at a sketch a day project. Attempts.

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. Do a gal a solid and if you fancy any of these and want any item of your own, use my affiliate links :)

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