Advice Needed from Pen and Paper Aficionados

I plan to experiment with supplementing my paperless workflow with a fountain pen and notebook. I would appreciate recommendations for a notebook that ideally meets the following criteria, in no particular order:

  • Is larger than pocket size but smaller than standard 8.5x11, a legal pad, or the 12.9” iPad. I want to carry the notebook with me but it needs to be large enough to comfortably take notes.
  • The paper is fountain pen friendly
  • Has perforated pages that can be neatly torn out and then scanned
  • A notebook that is refillable with paper matching the above criteria
  • Not spiral bound

Do such notebooks exists? If so, any recommendations?

You’ve changed your mind?


Nothing comes to mind which meets all of your needs listed above. The first two points are easy where I’d recommend a Moleskine 13cm x 21 cm or a Leuchtturm 1917.

Perforated and refillable seem to be counterintuitive to each other.

You’re going to have a hard time finding a notebook with perforated pages that is’nt spiral bound.

If you want a refillable notebook with A5 paper size, which I think the size you’re looking for, you’re going to probably look at something like a Filofax, or Plotter.

If you’re willing to budge on any of your criteria you’ll get a lot more options.

1 Like

No, I just want to experiment because my wife unexpectedly bought me a fountain pen. I owe it to her to at least use it. :smile: After 40 years of marriage, you learn a few things. :grinning:


Not refillable, but feels very good in the hand.

Also consider the Circa system of notebooks and papers from Levengers. It fails the “no spiral bound” requirement, but Circa’s binding system is a lot nicer than any spiral system.



Is this something that would work for you?

I wouldn’t recommend Moleskine notebooks for fountain pens. Leuchtturm notebooks are OK, if you have a fine or a medium nib. However, I wouldn’t recommend them for a broad nib.


I like Archer and Olive journal books. They’ll hold most inks well but you’d have to rip out the pages.’ There are sets of notepaper that are perforated.

Not sure if they’d work fr you. They have all sorts of neat journals. You might want to take a look.

Maruman has a suite of spiral bound notebooks with perforated pages. Very fountain-pen friendly, and clean perforations. They come in a variety of sizes and lineations—plain, dot grid, graph, lined. You probably want something thats A5; bigger than a pocket, not standard US letter/A4.

1 Like

You could take a look at Levenger’s Circa line of products. Their stuff is reasonably fountain pen friendly (and if you end up liking it you can cut paper of your choice to fit). I prefer bound notebooks, but still have some Circa stuff because it’s just a great system.

You didn’t mention how you would carry the notebook so if you are hoping for pocket, it might not be the best. It’s not perforated but you can easily pull the pages out for scanning.

Looking good, and the price is right. Reminds me of the Rhodia notebooks I love so much, but reasonably priced.

Midori Travelers notebook. Easy to carry, many different styles of refill. Fountain pen friendly. I used these when working very comfortably

Opps. He said not spiral bound, but perforated.

Maruman notepads; there are covers that fit them…

1 Like

Like everyone else said, nothing that will meet all your criteria. The most important one, it seems to me, is to get high quality paper for fountain pens. Many notebooks are not so great with fountain pens but fine with rollerballs and more.

I’d go with the Clairefontaine My Essential line. Probably best size for you is A5, but also comes in B5. I don’t know where you live … these are easiest to get in France, then Britain, then U.S. which only has a limited supply. The paper is thick and wonderful. Perfect for fountains. Comes in blank, lined, squared/grid, dots. All versions may not be available where you live.

another option for purchase:

BTW, it’s super simple to digitally scan a Clairefontaine page and then bring that into whatever digital tool you want. I use Scanner Pro, but I’m sure lots of other iPhone apps will do an equally good job. The notebook folds flat very easily so getting a crisp scan is quite easy.


If you have a Muji store nearby, take a look. It has refillable spiral-bound notebooks. They’re pretty impressive – think three-ring-binder, but with many more than three rings and somehow so much easier to get the paper in and out. It’s hard to describe, but it works much better than it sounds.

Leuchtturm makes excellent notebooks of maybe half-size paper (ie, close to 4-1/4 x 5-1/ inches or whatever). Iirc, some have at least a few perforated pages at the back.

Of course, any notebook can be perforated if you have a perforator and a decent straightedge. (Note: Link just for illustration purposes – I can’t vouch for the brand. I got mine for a few bucks at a local art-supply store, which I highly recommend.)

This is a Japanese thang. See also Kokuyo

1 Like

I use and like Rhodia pads. Size A4 when at home and size A5 when away. I didn’t want to use wirebound notebooks initially. After experimenting with different notebooks I came to like wirebound notebooks the best because you can flip the pages over to easily write on both sides while leaving the paper attached to the notebook.

If you want really elegant looking notebooks, then Leuchtturm would be a good choice.

1 Like

I use the regular sized Traveler’s Notebook with different paper inserts. I have the blank paper, grid and sketch. Only the sketch/watercolor insert are the only inserts that I encounter that has perforation. The inserts are half of A4 lengthwise. Most of the paper inserts are fountain pen friendly. I use Lamy and TWSBI fountain pen with my TN. Since its a standard size, you can get inserts from other brands like Muji and Midori.

What I love about the TN are the customization. I can insert different kinds of paper and custom inserts like folders, card holders, pen holder, etc. Love the accessories too.

I tried so many different notebooks like Rhodia, Moleskine, Midori but only TN clicked with me.

TN is big with the scrapbooking/journaling community though but you don’t need to customized your TN. I just used mine for note taking and for listing ideas.

1 Like

I’m interested with what kind of fountain pen she gave you.