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paper + pen test 02/22 - Midori MD notebook A5

blogpost cover 05/22 stickersswissmade

in my blogpost 03/2022 of 08Jan22 I was making a paper+pen test with the paper of the Filofax notebooks.

I have used the Filofax notebook paper in the months of Oct to Dec21.

As I have so much paper at home, either loose sheets or bound books I had decided to use a different paper each month for my journaling in my William Hannah discbound cover.

January: Midori MD Notebook paper

and here we are with my January test of the Midori MD Notebook paper.

You might be wondering why you can already read about this test when January is not over yet, well, one reason: I have stopped using this paper after just one sheet.

Why? Read on 😊

First of all a short description of this notebook:

Midori is a japanese stationery brand which started with the production of stationery and envelopes in 1950.

For me japanese stationery and paper is on of the best in the world. I guess you have already heard of the famous Tomoe River Paper, which is well loved by fountain pen enthusiasts around the world.

Japanese stationery can sometimes be really colorful, have you ever seen a japanese website? Colorful, busy, I always call them "loud" as so much is blinking and showing up.

But with these notebooks of the MD Paper line Midori created a really lovely minimalistic style, beautifully crafted notebooks, with a thin cardboard cover, no frills at all, just plain paper.

These notebooks are available in A5, A5, B6 slim and A6.

The cover does not overhang the paper, like a Leuchtturm cover for example, but the edges are flush with each other.

They are available with grid, lines or blank layout.

For my daily journaling I have used the following notebook:

MD Paper Notebook A5, grid layout

MD Paper notebook in A5

There is nothing really to show of this notebook, just pure minimalism!

- 176 pages

- 5mm grid

- 1 page finder

- yellow paper with a green-grey print

- totally lies flat ("flatability 100%")

- 70 gsm paper

The grid of these MD Notebooks is a bit special as the boxes are not totally closed, they are kind of "open" at the top:

MD notebook 5mm grid

I kind of like this grid, makes the notebooks even more special.

The paper itself is smooth, it is coated, inks take a bit longer to dry

===>> but this paper is soooo fountain pen friendly!!

- no feathering

- no bleeding

- lines stay crisp

- a bit of ghosting

pen test on Midori MD Paper

pen test close up of Midori MD Paper

pen test - backside of paper

As you can see in this last picture, the only ink which "makes troubles", is again the Levenger Greystoke ink (third from the top). This ink bleeds through everything, even through this MD paper.

But for all other inks: perfect, no feathering, no bleeding, a bit of ghosting, but totally acceptable.

The surface of this paper is hard to describe: it is smooth, but not as smooth as Clairefontaine paper for example, it has a tiny bit of feedback, but not as much as the Filofax Notebook paper for example.

It is coated, inks take a longer time to dry though:

drying times of inks

On Filofax Notebook paper the inks were mostly dry after 10sec, but on this paper it took up to 15sec, and even then it could still smear where ink pooled a bit, for example the 15sec test with the J Herbin Rouge Opera ink. And this surprisingly with an F nib!

Here is the final test with this paper: J Herbin Rose Cyclamen ink with a B nib:

ghosting of J Herbin Rose Cyclamen ink
a bit of ghosting - but no bleeding at all!

Yes, you have ghosting as this paper is not the thickest, it is just 70gsm, but there is no bleeding at all!

It is very easy to take this notebook apart. I know, some people now might ask, why do you take such a lovely notebook apart?

I like to change out paper, I do not want to commit myself to a whole notebook for several months. I therefore really like discbound or ring bound covers, where I can add the paper that I like and which I can switch out from one sheet to the next.

So, yes, I have taken this notebook apart as well, I have removed a few sheets, this is very easy as these are thread bound (just like any Hobonichi planner). I have punched the sheets and used them in my William Hannah cover.

Why did I not continue to use it?

When you now read about the goodies of this paper, you might ask yourself "why did she not continue to use it"?

Well, valid questions, coming down to three points:

the paper is yellow!

- this paper is very yellow, not just cream, but yellow. This is way too yellow for me, I like off-white paper, but not yellow

the paper is coated!

- with some coated paper my pens+inks behave weirdly

- some inks skip on this paper, I would need to write real slow and not in my usual writing style

- some pen+ink combination look weird as well, my one TWSBI Eco with Edelstein Mandarin ink with an M nib looks like an F nib, but not always. I have the feeling that the paper absorbs the oil of the hands, and at these patches the ink skips

the paper is hard!

well, this is hard to explain: for me this paper is too hard, it is not a soft paper like Tomoe River Paper 52gsm or the New Jibun Techo paper. These two are soft, it is a pleasure to write on them, the lines of a nib correspond to the thickness, a M nib line looks like a M nib line should, not like a F nib line.

While writing your nib kind of "sinks" into the paper, just a tiny bit, but enough to give the feeling of softness.

I would therefore never use a writing board with Tomoe River Paper, the paper would lose it softness.

Not this MD Paper, this is more on the hard side, no softness for me.

I give it three stars (out of max of six)!

- bleed or no bleed: ✔ no bleeding

- feather or no feather: no feathering

- ghosting or no ghosting: ✔ a bit of ghosting

- white or cream paper: 💥 cream paper

- smooth or feedback: 💥 more on the smooth glossy side, coated paper

- hard or soft paper: 💥 more on the hard side

So I just needed one sheet, front and back side, to find this all out and decided to change the paper to: William Hannah 115 gsm paper!

But, this paper + pen test is for the future, I guess, in the beginning of February (because I`m still using it, surprise, surprise 😉 )

Thank you to all, stay healthy and (planner) peace to everyone! 💖

Andrea ✒

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.

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