Months ago now, I was contacted by a company called Monologue, who are launching a new range of notebooks. They asked me if I’d like to review some of their products, and they looked great so I said yes! (As a little insight into the world of a blogger, I often turn down product reviews, either because they’re not in keeping with my blog or my lifestyle, or because the product doesn’t look good!)
Monologue make their notebooks with acid-free paper, and in appearance the notebooks are similar to the other brands out there: Rhodia, Leuchtturm, TeNeus, Daycraft, etc. The notebooks have an elasticated closure, a ribbon, a back cover envelope and a sturdy fake leather cover. They’re different from these brands though because they include an elastic pen loop in the design of the notebook. It’s fixed to the back cover of the notebook, underneath the envelope.
The loop is tight, which is good as it means it fits an assortment of pen widths. However, it does mean with a Lamy, as photographed here, it’s very tight and difficult to use. I assume though it will loosen a little with time.
The elastic closure on the notebook is tight too – tight enough to leave a mark on the soft cover. However, I again assume this will loosen with time.
The paper in the notebooks is cream, and 80gsm. The pages are ruled with a narrow rule, and they don’t run to the edge of the page. I’ve said this before, but I much prefer lines that stop before the edge of the page. It looks much neater, and as such I’m a fan of these lined notebooks.
What we all care about really though is the ink test, am I right?! To be honest, I didn’t expect much for 80gsm, as in my experience you need 90gsm plus in order to use a wet fountain pen happily with no bleeding. The ink test below shows that my assumptions are largely right. I only had two fountain pens to hand when I did this test, and both were small nibs. The first is a fine nib, but you can see it still has some bleeding on the page. A medium nib is likely to be even more pronounced. My Sailor extra fine nib (bottom) had no bleeding though, so if you’re a fan of small Japanese nibs this paper won’t bother you. The PITT pens didn’t bleed at all, but given their cost and intended market (artists), I’m not surprised at this.
This purple notebook is an A6 notebook, but Monologue also sent me a mini version to review. Is it not the cutest notebook ever?! I’ve put it next to my iPhone for scale, and you can see it’s truly tiny!
They also did a brilliant re-design of the elastic closure. If you look at the photos, you’ll see that the elastic closure is horizontal and starts in the middle of the cover. It works perfectly, and even when open it lies flat against the cover. They should find a way to use this closure design for all their sizes.
The notebook, although tiny, is still fully functional as a notebook, and is lined inside just like its larger sibling.
This miniature notebook is great for keeping in your bag/pocket to jot things down on the fly. I’ve been keeping shopping lists and things to remember in it. Its size makes it brilliantly portable, which is the problem with most to-do lists!
Monologue are a new company and aren’t trading in the UK yet, but if you come across their notebooks I recommend picking up one of the miniature notebooks for your pocket. They’re great! The A6 notebook is similar to others on the market, but the addition of a pen loop makes it a good choice for notebooks you keep with you all day. For stuff you leave in a drawer at home, I think Rhodia is better (nicer paper), but you don’t get a pen loop with their notebooks.
I will be doing a giveaway of some Monologue products in the near future, so keep an eye out!