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paper + pen test #3 : Filofax notebooks

Updated: Jan 7, 2018

hello and welcome back!

Here is my third test about "which pen to use on which paper?"!

My first test was on the paper of Inkwell Press hardcover notebook paper, the second one with the famous Leuchtturm paper. Please click on this hashtag to display the related blogposts: #paper+pentest

Today I would like to show you the paper of the Filofax notebooks.

I guess Filofax is a name most of you recognize. The english company is well known for their ringbound planners, in all sizes, colors and materials.

Their planners are available in so many different variations that I like to leave the link to their webpage so that you can check them out. Beware of their multiple choices, once you are hooked it is hard to leave their page again :-) .

Today I would like to pick out one of their newer products: The Filofax Notebook

They are not, like most of their other products, ringbound planners, these notebooks have a twin-wire binding. As with the ringbound system you can remove the pages and rearrange them within your notebook, very easily with just one upward motion. So no hassle with opening and closing any rings (and maybe squishing your fingers..).

The covers of these notebooks fold back on themselves, therefore you can easily write on the left hand page with a sturdy cover beneath (or on the right side if you are left-handed). When opened up the notebook lies completely flat open.

The notebook covers come in all sorts of colors, sizes (A4, A5, pocket and smart size) and materials (leather-look-alike or other materials). They have rearrangable dividers, a page marker and a small pocket, integrated in one of the dividers. Some have an elastic closure. Filofax even offers a punch so that you can create your own inserts.

The system is similar to a discbound system. Both systems allow you to rearrange your sheets; the discbound system allows you to change out the discs to maybe a bigger size or a different material, with these notebooks you do not have this option. You cannot take apart the wire binding from the cover. The punch holes look similar to the ones of the discbound systems but they are not compatible.

For the normal ringbound planners Filofax offers a wide choice of inserts. Yearly planners, weeklies or dailies as well, lists and paper inserts in white or colored.

The paper for these ringbound planners is very thin, only about 70gsm and I have stopped using it, the paper is not fountain pen friendly at all. There is a lot of really heavy bleeding with ink (a test with this paper will follow later). If you use a ballpoint pen or just a pencil then it is fine to use.

And here comes the difference with these notebooks: Filofax offers 100gsm paper for these notebooks!!

So this is fairly thick paper, a normal copy paper is 80gsm, as a comparison.

They offer three types of paper: squared (6mm squares), ruled (6mm line spacing) and plain blank. Sorry, they do not offer any dot grid paper (update 30Dec17: they now offer dotgrid paper as well!). There are no calender inserts available for these notebooks (update 30Dec17: they now offer a yearly fold-out overview and montly overviews!).

With these paper choices the notebooks are perfect for bullet journaling. I like it very much that you can replace any sheets within your notebook. With the dividers you can create separate sections, for your lists or your future logs. You do not really need a content list page as you can move around your pages, so any numbered pages would be in a mix-up-order. The pages are not numbered. The notebooks already come with 56 sheets, mostly ruled, more sheets are available as refills.

The paper itself is white, not bright white as copy paper, but not as yellowish as Leuchtturm paper. The lines are printed in a light blue. The lines are more prominent than the dots of a Leuchtturm paper.

The paper is fairly smooth, not as smooth as a Leuchtturm or Moleskine paper, it just has a little bit of "tooth", so that you have a very good feedback while writing. I actually like it, my writing looks very good on this paper. Sometimes paper which is too smooth lets my writing look too "hurried", as there is not enough feedback of the paper. This is very hard to explain but I guess you have sometimes discovered yourself that your writing looks very good on a certain paper and on other paper, with the same pen, it looks a little bit "crooked"...this sometimes happens when the paper is too smooth.

Lets take a look at the pictures of the Filofax notebook:

fountain pens, front side:

fountain pens, back side:

other pens, front side:

other pens, back side:

the result:

the good:

to make it short: yes, I like this paper a lot!!

Only very little ghosting, this can totally be ignored and gives you the possibility to use both sides of a sheet without any problems.

With fountain pens there is only very little feathering, it depends very much on the ink and how much ink is transferred onto the paper.

And no bleeding at all! Even with my M-nibs with dark ink there was no bleeding. Could be that if you write over the same spot multiple times that then you would have a little bleeding, but this happens with most papers.

No problem at all with all the other pens on this paper. Even Tombows have only very little ghosting, and no bleeding at all!

the bad:

well, now I really have to search for something :-)

Maybe that they don`t have dotgrid paper and that only about 60 sheets fit into a notebook. But you can always punch your own paper and take out the sheets which you do not need anymore... so no problem anymore...

And that they do not offer any calendar inserts. Would be nice to put a monthly overview into my first section so that i do not have to draw my overviews myself :-)

==> very good notebook, easy to use due to the flip over possibility and the interchangable sheets; and paper which handles fountain pen ink nicely!

Stay tuned for my next tests; Baron Fig, Moleskine Evernote and more are in the queue



Fountain pens, inks and other pens used:

- TWSBI fountain pens with F and M nib

- Rotring Artpens with B nib

- Pelikan Edelstein inks in Topaz, Sapphire, Mandarin and Ruby

- Rohrer and Klingner inks in Königsblau (blue), Magenta and Solferino (violett)

- Levenger ink in grey

- Stabilo pens 68

- Stabilo point pens 88

- Staedtler triplus fineliners

- Staedtler non permanent lumocolor

- Faber Castell Broadpens 1554

- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens B

- Tombows- Frixion Pens and Frixion Colors

- Uniball Pigment Ink Roller Ball- Schneider slider edge ballpoint pen

- Pigma Micron 0.5 fineliner

- Pilot V Sign Pen with liquid ink

- Sharpie pen fine

(All the notebooks, inks and pens are bought on my own expenses, I have absolutely no connections with all of these companies and I`m stating my own opinions, I do not get paid to write about this.)


click on any hashtag to display related blogposts: #paper+pentest #blogpost7

Thanks for reading and (planner) peace to everybody!


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