In this post I’m going to take a look how various notebooks I have used hold up in use. How does they look when they are new versus after I’m done with them.
I think Field Notes are the gold standard for notebooks that look fantastic both new and even better when they show some wear and tear. While I think their design new look good, they are in no way my favourite.
As said, they look fantastic after being used. The only problem with them is that it isn’t that they don’t hold up that well if you have them in your pack pocket for months, instead of weeks.
Leuchtturm1917 (hardcover, A5)
This notebook looks okay or fine but not fantastic when you start using it. It isn’t ugly or anything, but it is just “utilitarian” and does the job. I don’t think anyone buys a Leuchtturm1917 for its aesthetics, but rather their fantastic paper and features.
The notebook does not look good after a few months of wear and tear, but I have never experienced that any of them are falling apart, even after carrying them in by bag for months.
Nock.co Pocket sized notebook.
This is based on the Blue limited edition one, but I expect it is similar on previous limited editions and their regular black one.
It looks amazing out of the pack. I greatly prefer it to Field Notes. And I think it has a Field Notes thing going for it where it looks cool as the colour are worn off after being in my back pocket for a few weeks.
I’m not 100% sure, but it seems like the material the cover is made of holds up better than Field Notes when it comes down to not falling apart.
Not unlinke the Leuchtturm1917, the orange Rhodia Webnotebook doesn’t look that great after using it for a while. It looks a little bit "dirty" and some posts of ink etc. The black one might not show it as well as the orange one.
If I would pick one of each category, one A5 and one pocket sized notebook based on how they look after being used for a while, I think Field Notes and Leuchtturm1917 is the obvious picks. Field Notes looks the best when they are worn down. And Leuchtturm1917 takes it a little bit better than the Webbie. It doesn’t look good on either; but it is much more visible on the webbie; and neither is made in a way where it looks good.
But this is of course not the way I pick notebooks. My prefence at the moment is Nock.co notebooks for my pocket sized needs, and Leuchtturm1917 for everything else.