Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: @LIFEStationery Pistachio A5 Notebook @AndersonPens

I tried this LIFE Stationery Pistachio notebook quite awhile ago and the review has been sitting in my queue, but I thought it would be wise to get it up here because my notebook is long filled and I NEED ANOTHER ONE.


Size: A5 / 5.8" x 8.3 "
Color: Cream
Ruling: Grid 5 mm
Page Count: 32
Paper Weight: 85 gsm
Price: $ 6.00 USD
Where to buy: Anderson Pens
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The Life Pistachio notebook has thick paper covers in a soft grey-blue color and sharp corners. The front cover has a brown frame with the Life logo, Pistachio, and notebook details printed on it in green ink. There is also space for you to write your name (or butcher it, if you're me).

The cream paper inside is covered end to end with probably the most delectable pistachio green graph ruling ever. It looks great, it's easy to look at, and I want all grids to be like this. The binding is stitch bound with white thread.
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A simple, slim notebook that instantly attracted me and has kept my interest ever since.


Did I mention I love this notebook? A5 is my preferred size of paper/notebooks, so it's off to a good start. The notebook has a slim profile, which works well for portability. The paper cover is thick enough to give the notebook a little structure and firmness, but it doesn't feel bulky. The stitched binding keeps the notebook slim as well. It can open completely and lie flat, making it easy to write on both sides of the page, end to end. I really like the design because it's not fancy, and it's very practical.

The paper is smooth to the touch. Pencils are not much fun to use because the lead sort of slips around on the smooth paper. Pencil markings erase well as a result, so that's a plus. Gel highlighters do not smudge much, and felt highlighters don't feather. Wetter ones can bleed, but overall, not a bad notebook for school use/note taking.
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Gel pens, rollerballs, marker pens, and brush pens are all well tolerated - no feathering, medium show through from dark, wet writers, and bleed through only from markers. Marker pens, ballpoints, and brush pens are the most pleasant to use, in my experience.
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Fountain pen friendly? Yeppers. I experienced a little bit of feathering here and there where I had smeared finger oils on the page (gross, sorry). Show through is minimal for regular use, and low enough that I can easily use the other side of the page. Bleed through is minimal - there is almost none with regular use. Aside from that, inks look great on the paper - particles and sheen glows! Inks shade sharply and it looks really good if you want paper that will bring out the colors of the ink. Brush pens with fountain pen ink works well as drying times are fast, and there is superb shading and no bleed through there either. I am a big fan of this paper! It does not crinkle or warp with fountain pen ink (unless, I suppose, you color the entire page with a brush).
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My favorite is flex pens with the paper - it's smooth enough, dries within a reasonable time frame, doesn't require a blotting sheet (though you could use one anyway), and the paper behaves well with wet ink applications.
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Delicious. I also love the green grid. It's so easy on the eyes and is just different enough from the regular ol' grey grids.
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  • Slim, sturdy, convenient, portable.
  • Solid stitched binding - easy to open, lie flat, and write in. 
  • Very attractive green graph ruling - it's easy to look at and is not obstructive.
  • Available in a few different sizes/colors/rulings
  • Fountain pen friendly paper
    • drying times are not too long
    • great shading, sheen, and particle popping!
    • no bleed through, low show through, minimal feathering (occurs where the page picked up oil)
  • Affordable.


  • A plain design - not right if you are looking for a fancy, ornate notebook! (Like PaperBlanks)
  • Cannot label the spine for organizing and archiving.
  • Some inks still feather a little because it seems the notebook picks up oils quite easily, which can affect how ink interacts with the paper.


Two happy thumbs up! I love this notebook and it definitely ranks up there as one of my favorites. I love the size, the portability, the simple, convenient binding, and the delicious pistachio scheme. Perfect. Fountain pen friendly, easy to write on and use both sides of the page from end to end, top to bottom, and it's cute. And only $6.

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! 


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