If I had to stock up on one of the options which would I chose? It’s a tough question. We’ve got Walmart, Target, and Staples as places to shop. We’ve got plastic covered and card covered. Then we’ve got made all over the world or made in the USA. Then we’ve got books that are great with pencil and terrible with fountain pen, and great with fountain pen but too slick for pencil. The choice is ultimately made by what each person is going to use. Frankly, what I use changes from year to year and sometimes changes on a whim. Lately, I’m using more pencil than fountain pen, and more gel ink than fountain pen. Mostly because I’m attempting to use up some of my tools rather than letting them dry up in a cup. That said I might pick up a fountain pen on occasion. So I’m going to suggest a few all around notebooks that work well for all of the above.
Let’s start with my top choice from Staples. Here I’m going to pick the TruRed card covered book. It works well with all my tools, but isn’t the best with any one in particular. Despite the mess of how it looks, it’s better than the atrocity of the regular staples cover.
Next up in Target. I’m still team Unison. The paper is the best around for a 50 cent notebook, and despite the mere 80 sheets, it works so well with so many tools makes it a winner for me.
Lastly, Walmart. This is the first time I’m going with a poly covered notebook. I hate the plastic covers but here the interior is what matters. The paper is great. The covers are printed with fun things.
If I were only going to use pencil or ballpoint? For the best covers it’s Yoobi every time. Sure it’s a bit more money, but those covers are so fun. For the best monetary value? Pen+Gear card covered made in the USA. At 50 cents for 100 pages it offers the best pencil and ballpoint paper.
If I were to switch over to using only liquid ink in a rollerball or fountain pen all the time? My budget choice is going to be the Unison. For 50 cents and 80 pages it worked the best over all for fountain pens and other liquid inks. My less budget choice would be the $2.50 standard non-fashion poly covered Mead Five Star. The paper is pretty good, with minimal bleed with wet pens, and the poly cover isn’t awful.
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