Paper Notebook Recommendations?

I think it’s worth checking Archer & Olive notebooks. I haven’t yet checked those, only read the review some weeks ago, but definitely planning to check (but perhaps the ones with 192 pages).
Rhodia are very-very good, currently using their dot pads, but mostly for quick notes or meeting plans. Moleskine… perhaps I’ve expected more from those (maybe I’ve expected Leuchtturm? haven’t yet checked those), used it for daily diary/plans, now looking for something else.

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I looked at those too but they all seem to be 8.5 x 5.5 inches or so. That is a larger size than works for my needs.

I liked Moleskin for a long time an am really looking forward to trying the Leuchtturm ones since they seem to be so similar.

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Leuchtturm Is excellent


Very disappointed by Moleskein and the service I got from them. I used Moleskein in Europe and here for two decades. They tended to split at the spine and the paper got thinner and thinner. I used them hard. The last one I got split nearly straight away. I complained said I didn’t want a replacement but would accept another thing they had. What a song and dance they gave me. Eventually saying they would give me some sticker things. Nothing showed up. My wife used their planners, same points, too thin paper. I won’t use them any more and am aggrieved.

It is harder to source Rhodia and others from where I am. I might decide on Field Notes. I had a couple from MIssissippi I found there in a store. I might continue to use them even though they have less pages.

Field Notes are hit or miss. I had some good ones and some worse ones (all the same type).

To possibly save you the trouble, you probably wouldn’t like Tomoe River. At 52gsm it’s like tissue paper.

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Also, Moleskine paper has a terrible reputation for working with fountain pens/inks (which the OP wants to use) - tons of bleeding and feathering. The local fp group I belong to (yes, it’s pretty nerdy) eschews Moleskine completely.


I will too from now on. They changed over the years by the way, I used them twenty years ago in Europe

What would you suggest? I used Clariefontaine when I was in London, I find them harder to source here in Philadelphia. I also like the grids or dots now. I haven’t tried seriously to source Clariefontaine I admit. However what do you recommend? I have a few lab books I could still use if I needed too for some things…

Check out Rhodia. They come top-stable, side-staple, spiral meeting book, webnotebook, and they come blank, graph, dot-gridded or lined, in a ton of sizes. I tend to use the Rhodia Ice line, which features muted silver-grey grid or lines instead of the darker lines/dots in the regular pads.

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Update: the Leuchttrum notebooks I ordered arrived today. Slightly larger than the Moleskin but workable. I don’t yet have a need to start one but I’m itching to find a use for them. Initial thoughts are that I love the content index pages and I also love the fact the pages are numbered. I’m almost done with my book reference notebook where I write down all the books I read, dates and what I thought of them. They are hard to search now. I can see me switching to the Leuchttrum ones and writing the titles and authors in the content pages making them much more useful. At my current rate I’ll probably need a new one before year end. I also unfortunately just started a new journal book so I’ve got some time but I like these as a good replacement for Moleskin.


Will they fit, literally if I might say, in a pocket? That was what I used to do. I don’t roam about like I used to but it fits still with my habits. I want to get away from being on screen all the time actually.

Amazon sells them.
If you don’t like Amazon, JetPens has them (love JetPens).
Here’s another.


Thanks JetPens looks good and I will take your recommendation. That is the problem and this has been really useful to me. It is really helpful to have recommendations. Everything good in my life more or less came to me via recommendation, including Apple really.

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What kind of pocket - shirt? Pants? Jacket? Gotta’ be more specific.

Smallest fountain pen friendly notebook I’ve used is the A7-ish sized (3" x 4.8") Rhodia Pocket Size notebook (under $3) with 24 sheets of 80g graph paper. But ultimately it was too small and I realized I didn’t need to have a notebook in a pocket.

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that size would be fine. I take your point too :smiley: pockets come in different sizes, mine are mostly big and roomy and I have many many pockets. Thanks though that really answered the question thanks for your trouble

The Leuchtturm do not fit in the front pocket of my pants. Women’s clothing rarely has pockets that work for much of anything. They do fit just fine in a back pocket and in the cargo pockets of Duluth women’s work pants. They might fit in the front pocket of my Carharrt Pants but I have my keys there.

I made my own wallet that holds a 3x5 spiral bound notebook I use for quick capture of ideas, junk paper not what I use journal books for, and the Leuchtturm are slightly larger but will fit. That I carry in a belt pouch I made along with my phone.

Here’s pix of my wallet. I’ll try to remember to get pix of the notebook in it tomorrow.

NoteTaker wallet

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In answer to the question about what pocket is the notebook supposed to fit, “Pocket” notebook size is a standard which is 3.5" x 5.5".
A passport is international B7 which is 88mm × 125mm or 3.46" × 4.92". Midori also make notebooks in this size; interesting as it would fit in whatever case or holder you might use for a pocket notebook.
A6 paper size is a little bigger at 105mm × 148mm or 4.13" × 5.83"

I would recommend everyone who is interested in fountain pens to try out Tomoe River paper, and a great way to do so is to get one each of pocket size 52gsm and 68gsm notebooks from Goulet Pens:[brand][0]=Goulet&filters[custom_fields.overall_size][0]=Pocket - if you find you like it then there are now several options for Tomoe River notebooks from different companies.

Rhodia is also highly recommended - I had a top spiral bound A6 for daily notes, which was pure white paper. Rhodia “web notebook” is popular but only has cream paper, which some dislike because it affects ink colors.

Lamy just came out with their own notebook range which includes A5 and A6 in hard cover, soft cover and booklet - I have not tried these but reviews say it’s similar to Leuchturm - here’s the link:

Inky fingers wheatstraw paper notebooks were designed by a fountain pen blogger, The Pen Habit, and are available in pocket size: or

Franklin Christoph also sells sugar cane paper notebooks which are fountain pen friendly and have pocket size options:

Field notes I find good enough for fountain pens. Moleskine, unfortunately are not. I have a hardback B5 squared notebook which is a great size and paper type for work but most of my fountain pens bleed through the paper which is really frustrating.

“A” paper sizes are odd numbers in both metric and inches because of their 1: square root of 2 format which allows each larger size to be double the area of the smaller size while preserving aspect ratio - is extremely useful when making booklets. US letter doesn’t have this property, so if you fold US letter in half, the aspect ratio becomes taller and narrower, and whatever design you did for a larger size will no longer work.


I knew there was some principle here but I had either forgotten or never knew what it was. I found the European system more friendly than the letter one here in America and I still like European sized notebooks. I use letter size here for nearly everything I do. I might keep with Field Notes then if I ever get a fountain pen. Thanks for the long explanation.


Clairefontaine is the parent company of Rhodia. I’d suggest mail ordering from a store, for example Goulet Pens, Jetpens, Pen Chalet, Vanness, Bertram’s Inkwell, Dromgoole’s etc.
Also the Philadelphia Pen Show is happening in January: