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Here at Jetpens, we have a soft spot for the memo pad and its casual, free form. It's there for you to jot down notes, observations, and ideas from those bouts of inspiration that come at any which time. Convenience, accessibility, and portability are what memo pads are all about.
Last year, we did a piece on the whys and wherefores of pocket notebooks and introduced some of our favorite ones. Today we want to follow up with a companion article and some fresh picks!
Extremely versatile in their usage, memo pads come in a wide range tailored to different needs. From the most simple of pocket notebooks to notepads with unique designs, we
chose some of our new favorites and put them to the test. Click on any of the images below for a larger view.
This mini notepad has basic down to a science. If you want a simple, functional, travel-friendly option, the Maruman M.Memo Mini Notepad is the way to go. This fuss-free, no- nonsense notepad is pocket-size and perfect for taking notes on the fly. It has 50 sheets of smooth paper, a uniform 6 mm ruling for you to jot down your thoughts. There is also micro-perforation for easy tear-out, so you can leave notes around for yourself or other people.
Our writing test yielded pretty good results! From the pens, there was faint show-through, especially from the gel ink and fountain pen, but no feathering or bleedthrough. Pencil had no show-through, but we like using a ballpoint pen with this notepad for a higher contrast that’s easier to read.
For those who want just a smidge more organization to their notebooks, we recommend the Midori Diamond Memo Pad. Originally made as an all-purpose memo pad for businessmen, it sets itself apart from other lined notebooks with its print. Sheets are printed on both sides with a pale bluish gray 5 mm grid, and every fifth horizontal line is bold. By having that bold line, you have an extra way to organize your thoughts. You can even make a weekly schedule!
Midori Grain Memo Pad
If you want a touch of luxury to your notepad, the Midori Grain memo pad is the one for you. This beautifully crafted product is a collaboration between Spain and Japan. Recycled leather is sourced from workshops in Spain, and crafted in Japan into rich, durable covers. With rounded corners and a brown elastic that holds the entire memo book together securely, you don’t have to worry about bended pages when you stow away the pad.
We also did a writing test that produced similar results to the Diamond Memo Pad, except that there was no feathering from the fountain pen. The ballpoint pen had the least amount of show-through, but the negligible amount of show-through from the gel ink and fountain pens also makes them acceptable as pairings for this notebook. We particularly love how elegant it looks with a fountain pen!
The Paracuruno was the winner of Japan's Good Design Award in 2005 and for good reason. Its innovative “easy to look-up” pages are designed with a simple slant, making it incredibly easy to flip through the notebook to find what you're looking for. The notebook features a forward and backward slant so you can quickly find your spot whether you're starting from the back of the notebook or the front.
Like the previous writing tests, the ballpoint pen fared best with a minimal amount of show-through, and the gel ink pen follows a close second. The fountain pen produced just a tiny bit of feathering, but we would stick with ballpoint or gel ink pens with this notebook.
Pair with: Pentel Slicci Gel Ink Pen / Zebra Minna Mini Ballpoint Pen With Japanese Design
We didn’t forget about the artists out there, and the Maruman Pocket Croquis Sketchbook is our pick for people who can’t be restricted by lined or graphed pages. Whether you are on the train or in the park, the Croquis will provide a platform for creative brainstorm. Each book features a sturdy dual coil binding and one of three types of high- quality art paper tailored for your needs, whether for sketching, drawing, memo taking, or even water color.
We gave you some ideas in our previous article about what you can fill your notebooks with, but in the spirit of the new year, here are a few more things you might want to jot down.
We hope you found this post helpful and you have fresh ideas about how to use your memo pads and pocket notebooks. My resolution is to remember to take my memo pad with me wherever I go. You never know when ideas may bubble up at the most random of times! I’ll leave you with a page from my own notebook of a quote by T.S. Eliot (one of my favorite poets) from Little Gidding, the fourth and final poem of his Four Quartets.
What are your new year's resolutions?
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