First I want to give you a small explanation why I ended up doing a paper + pen test on Filofax notebook paper!
Last year in October 2021 I was at a point where I realized that my "dream set up" of "all-in-one" did not work out.
I always wanted to have everything in one planner, like appointments, tasks, lists, notes, journaling and whatever. I did try out a lot of sizes, being this A6, or B6, or B6 wide, or HBxWA5, or A5, rings or discs or bound books ... but at one point I realized that any planner will just be huge and thick and not portable at all!
But I needed something for my bag to take with me and this could not be a huge and thick A5 ringbound cover, that would be way too heavy and large.
Then I started to think what would I need to take with me? Something slim, with an overview of monthly appointments and note pages. The idea of the Muji planner was born, together with a slim Jibun Techo notebook at the back for any notes.
Slim and light weighted to take with me, and it fits well into my bag.
journaling and lists+trackers
This left me with my daily journaling and my lists and trackers.
I thought how I can put all that in one cover, thought about the size and how I can write in small or big sizes.
I thought about archiving or having yearly trackers of the previous years at the back of such a planner.
I thought about bound book, ringbound or discs ... in which size?
I thought about paper and paper layout, dot grid, or grid, or lined?
The first decision was easily made: it cannot be a bound book, it must be either ringbound or discbound as I cannot keep yearly trackers of the previous years together if I use a bound notebook.
The second decision about the size was quickly made after that: best would be in A5.
In this size the yearly trackers will fit easily on one page without being squished together. And it is much more comfortable to write on such a size because your hand will rest on the page and not hang in the air like on A6 sized paper. Especially when any cover will get stuffed and you do not want to take out a sheet everytime you want to write something down.
And I do not need to take such a cover with me, this stays on my desk at home, so it does not need to be a small size like A6 or B6 to be portable.
The third decision did not take long: ringbound or discs? Much more ring covers available in A5! Such nice ones, not only from Filofax but enough on Etsy or lovely leather ones from Gillio or van der Spek.
And, what was always annoying to me with discs, normally you do not have a cover around the discs, the discs are visible. I used the Levenger alu discs because pages can be turned so easily on these discs, not like on plastic discs where the paper gets stuck. Due to the visible discs they will always make a sound when you put them down on your table. Everytime "clack" and move them, another "clack" and put them out of the way, the next "clack".... not for me!
Therefore def all in rings!
and then the fourth decision took me to the point where I thought, do I have to put my journaling and my lists+trackers in one cover? Or can I even separate them as well?
This was the decision about the paper, and the paper layout.
For my daily journaling I need paper which does take fountain pen ink very well because I do all my writing with fountain pens. And not every paper is really doing good with inks. It wouldn`t matter if lined or dot grid or grid.
For my lists+trackers I would need blank paper which I can print on, so must be thick enough for my printer and available in A4 or A5 as blank sheets.
I create my own layouts on a website called PlanifyPro. Easy to create any printable pages in various sizes, with great support!
In a future blogpost I will let you know about the paper which I use for printing and about the layouts which I have created.
and for my journaling?
This brings me finally to the Filofax Notebook paper!
The decision was made that I separate my journaling and my lists+trackers as well.
I can keep previous yearly trackers at the back of any ring cover, I mostly have covers with 25 or 30mm rings which give me room enough to keep an archive of the most important lists and trackers.
And then, what do I use for my journaling?
I shortly thought about a bound book but as with smaller sizes, when you come to the end of a page the hand will always be in the air and writing gets akward. And with my journaling I want to use the whole page, not just three-third of it just because writing gets akward. With rings or discs you can take out the sheet and push it to a place where you can comfortable rest your hand again and resume writing.
And a small trick helps to easily remove pages from any rings: just cut a little slit at each hole and you can remove it just like you would with any disc system. No more opening up the rings, and closing them again, and get your finger stuck... you get the point!
But I thought I already use rings for my lists+trackers why not use discs for my journaling? And I have a very lovely A5 disc cover from William Hannah!
The good thing: this is a leather cover which covers the discs! No more clacking when you use this cover!
The leather of this cover is thick, it is available in beautiful colours and these stainless steel discs are a dream for page turning.
The discs are not too big but I can fit enough sheets in it to last for about 6 to 8 months of journaling (depending on paper thickness). I write as much or as little per day as needed and one day after the other. Normally I use 8 to 10 sheets per month. Per day I use a different ink+pen, good option to use all my pens and be happy about the colours!
And I can archive the sheets with the lovely archive discs of William Hannah 😊
And then came the idea to use different paper each month!
I have so much paper, either loose sheets, or bound books or punched paper ... and I told myself that I have to use them all up, makes no sense to have paper just lying around and not using it.
Most bound books can be taken apart and punched, or repunched like the Filofax notebook paper.
So the first month, well actually, it were three (October to December) I used the paper from the Filofax Notebooks.
I shortly thought about using a cover of these notebooks as well but the covers are a bit flimsy, and I rather wanted to use my nice WH cover.
The notebooks do not have rings but a kind of wire system. They have a twin wire spine where the paper can be relocated just as in any disc system.
But the "mushrooms" of these FF Notebooks are a bit different than you normally have with other disc paper.
I`m using my Arc Staples punch to repunch this paper so that I can use it in my William Hannah cover.
The space difference is nearly the same, and the mushrooms are the other way around.
Once the paper is inserted into the William Hannah cover the slightly misaligned mushrooms holes will not attract any attention.
And this paper is very well suited for any fountain pen inks!
I was really surprised about this paper, I had some of these notebooks for a long time, I used them for work, scribbling down notes with any pen I had, but I never really thought to use them with my fountain pens. But going through my stack of papers, I thought I start with that one and was pleasantly surprised.
- available in A4, A5 and Pocket size
- refills available in dotted, grid, lined and plain
- dotted: 100gsm, not quite sure about the spacing
- grid: 100gsm, 6mm spacing
- lined: 100gsm, 6mm spacing
- plain: 100gsm
- white paper with blue lines
- colored paper available as well (pastel colours)
- the lines of the grid layout might be a bit overwhelming, I found it ok for lined pages
The paper works very well with fountain pen inks!
No bleeding, no feathering, nearly no ghosting!
What more can be said about it?
Here is my pen test
I only have one ink which makes trouble on every kind of paper (well, maybe not Tomoe River paper) but on this as well: Levenger Greystoke.
The third from the top, it feathers a lot and it bleeds a tiny littly bit.
I do not have any sheening or sparkling inks, so cannot tell anything about these.
Shading shows up a bit, depending on the ink.
You can see a bit with Lamy Green ink or with Edelstein Topaz
Here is the back side:
I can only repeat myself:
any ink looks very pretty on this paper, no feathering, no bleeding, nearly no ghosting!
The paper itself is not too smooth, not like Tomoe River Paper or Midori Paper, it has a bit of a feedback, the nib does not slide around but can be controlled very well.
My writing looks good on this paper, and it is a pleasure to write on this paper.
and here are some drying times of inks:
very fast drying time with an F nib, a bit longer with M and B nibs, but still very acceptable.
Overall it can be well recommened for any fountain pen users!
I give it five stars (out of max of five)!
- bleed or no bleed: ✔ no bleeding
- feather or no feather: ✔ no feathering
- ghosting or no ghosting: ✔ nearly no ghosting
- white or cream paper: ✔ white paper
- smooth or feedback: ✔ a bit of feedback, not too smooth
Sorry, I cannot show you any pictures of my journaling, I would need to blurr everything as these are my private thoughts of each day. And when everything is blurred it does not make sense to show it.
And what I like the best about this new setup of three planners:
I have a lot of variety!
When I used just one cover/planner/system/notebook I was kind of stuck with this one system. But then I was always thinking about how would another size work out, or how about a set up in rings, or how about a bound book ... this led me to constant changes of my whole set up.
But now, I have rings, discs and a bound book! I can change out the ring covers, I can change the paper in my disc cover and I just love my deringed Malden cover for my bound Muji Planner.
I can finally use a lot of sizes and covers, and I guess it will not get boring 😉
I`m looking forward to filling up my William Hannah, in January I use Midori Paper, so stay tuned for the second paper+pen test of the year.
Thank you to all, stay healthy and (planner) peace to everyone! 💖
P.S. I have bought all my planners myself, I paid for them, I state my own personal opinions about them. When you click a link which I have added for you to see the original planners I do not get paid for it.
With the exception in this post: the link to PlanifyPro is an affiliate link. When you use this link and create an account I will get a very small percentage of your monthly fee.