Tag Archives: bullet journal

Review: ScribbleSheets Orange Opal Edge Journal

ScribblSheets popped up in most of my social media feeds and I admit I was quite taken with the pretty edges. I reached out to the company and requested a copy for review, I’m really glad they said yes. Shipping was delayed due to the current state of the USPS, but wasn’t as bad as some of the other things I’ve ordered recently. The journal was packaged in a bubble mailer and within that a crisp cellophane wrapper.

At first glance the ScribblSheets Orange Opal Edge journal looks like a standard moleskine style journal, and in many ways it is. It measures 8.25×5.75 inches or 21x14cm also known as A5. It includes a sturdy elastic and a generously long narrow ribbon. The ribbon arrives heat sealed but I hit mine with a lighter just to get that seal a bit extra.

The covers are black vinyl or what everyone is calling vegan leather these days, and I won’t rant on the disingenuous nature of the idea of vegan leather. It’s plastic, and vinyl at that. It’s a nice vinyl and feels grippy and slightly squishy. On the lower back cover the ScribblSheets logo is debossed. It’s small and tastefully done.

The back cover sports an elastic loop for a pen, it’s large enough to accommodate a fountain pen, mine is currently holding my Wing Sung 3013. But It’ll hold a Preppy snuggly. It will not hold a pencil. I find that it’s a tad narrow and my pen flops around a bit, but in my Lihit Lab Bag in Bag it’s fine.

The inside back cover lacks a pocket, but I added a little slash pocket of my own. Inside there aren’t any markings at all. No logos, no square or lines to write your name or address. I used a ruler and added mine own in pencil then cleaned it up. Easy. There aren’t any page numbers either.

The grid is perfect. It’s the palest grey imaginable, so it completely disappears behind your writing no matter the color. I love it. At 5mm it’s a perfect distance for my writing. Each page has 40×28 dots per page. It’s a good number for a bullet journal- enough spots for a monthly log and more than enough for a day’s task list. My Peter Pauper ruler works perfectly with this grid size.

The paper is amazing with pencil, it’s got just the right amount of tooth for an HB like the Musgrave Harvest Pro or even the firm core of the Blackwing Eras. I also really like it with ballpoint and gel inks.

The paper does okay with finer nibs and well behaved fountain pen inks. You’ll be able to see in the images some long fibery feathering that reminds me of the old moleskine paper. But then it does fine with other inks and nibs. Generally, thus far I’ve been sticking to my Wing Sung 3013 loaded with Shaeffer Skrip Peacock Blue. It has been doing really well with this ink.

Now, let’s talk about the Orange Opal edge on this journal. It’s incredibly pretty. I’m not sure how they get the edge colored, I’m assuming that it is some sort of printing process, what ever it is it’s great. The colors are lovely and soften as the journal is opened. I really love the pattern and how it looks. It’s a nice touch on a nice journal.

Inside there are 160 pages stitched in using the Smythe (the same as the moleskine) style. They lay flat and the pages stay open. I had a few loose stitches in the start of my journal, but it didn’t impact my use. I had absolutely no glue creep between signatures or at the stitches. The block of the journal is affixed to the covers well. Like most journals the spine is stiff at first but then opens flat and is flexible.

Overall I really like the ScribblSheets Orange Opal Edge Journal. With 160 pages I’m not looking at more than 3 or 4 months use before I have to start a new journal, but I like starting a new journal. At $16.99 it’s not cheap but the pretty edge is a nice design element, and while the insides are sturdy and useful, that edge makes this journal stand out. It’s a pretty element that might seem a little frivolous at first, but it’s an understated design element that only the keen observer of your bullet journal will notice, but I notice every time I open up the journal. I like that.

This isn’t going to be your fountain pen journal, but the journal you use on the go with a pencil or gel pen, maybe even a Bic Cristal.

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Review: Staples Quick Dry Gel Pen 0.7

Back-to-School sales are upon us, and this stationery lover is in heaven. A great side of the BTSS is that this is a time when companies like Staples push out their knock-off versions of more expensive well loved stationery items, in this case, I believe these are a challenge to Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel pens.

I’ve mentioned that the Inkjoy looks like an adult “toy” and in comparison the QDGP is Spencer’s gifts version. It reminds me strongly of the Papermate gray FlexGrip pen we used to get in the 90s. With the exception of the incised lines of the FlexGrip, this pen is nearly identical to the 90s version of the capped pen. His school me loved the rubberized barrel and fiddling with the incised lines in the grip.

Adult me took one look at the pen and thought, “Basic.” Then I wondered what the hell the design team was thinking. Shiny silver nose, matte rubberized body, colored translucent clip and knock section, then finish it off with a shiny silver knock. The diameter of the pen is thick and about the same as the Inkjoy. They are incredibly lightweight you can barely feel them in hand. The clip is next to useless. The nock delivers a satisfying click and is nicely springy feeling.

The colors are lovely, saturated and sharp on all the paper used. The color of the ink doesn’t match the body of the pen. Particularly the light blue pen body- the ink is closer to teal. The purple is very dark. The red is dark red and not pink. The orange is the only one that is the right shade. The experience of writing is a little less positive. The tip is a tad scratchy on several of the pens in my package. In particular the bright green and the blue were quite scratchy. The colors are water soluble even after drying for an extended period of time. I doubt that they are lightfast.

Inside the body of the pen are standard gel refills. I noticed that the scratchy pens had air bubbles near the tips and no amount of shaking and flicking of the pen moved that air bubble. We’ll see if use moves it and if the pen gets better after the bubble is moved.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about these pens. I really like the orange and red color, and the light blue pen’s teal color is great, but if 2 out of 5 pens are meh is the package worth the cost at $5? When these pens work these are great basic gel pens that would work well for bullet journaling on a budget. (They are ugly though.) Continue reading

Enter No Brand Notebooks

For those of you who have been here since the start, you own’t be surprised when I tell you that I’m making books again, specifically pocket notebooks. This was, after all, my bread and butter for a good long time. Hell, it’s why I started the blog- to discuss my nerdy interest in all things bookbinding. Well, age and labor caught up with me and I have carpal tunnel as arthritis runs in the family. There are times when I can’t pull a needle though a signature of paper. The act of making stations in my signatures can be excruciating. The last time I made a serious number of books, well my wrist was in pain for days and I realized that I cannot make books in the same manner that I once did, so I put away my awl, sign vinyl, and stopped hoarding reams of paper. 

Anyway. I picked up a long reach stapler off the clearance rack at staples a few years ago. I let it gather dust until recently I wanted dot grid in a notebook and none of my hoarded Field Notes, Word Notebooks, or Story Supply Company had dot grid. I had some 24lb HP laser Jet from my experiment making my own planner books (still do this, still need to write a post about it) so I printed off some dot grid and pulled out that stapler and started making books.

For the most part this is not bothering my wrists. Which makes me so happy.

that said. I’m happy to begin offering my notebooks again. You can find them on etsy here.

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