Kyokuto Expedient Notebook with Parker Vacumatic fountain pen

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook Review

John BosleyReviews Leave a Comment

Once again, I have found a new brand of notebook that I haven’t tried before. This is always something that excites me. I know most of the brands that are on the market and know which ones I like (and which ones I don’t), so finding something new is always a welcome surprise. I picked up a Kyokuto Expedient notebook to see what surprises it had in store for me. Let’s see if it was a good discovery.

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook cover

Here is what the front cover looks like.

First Impressions

I like the overall design of this notebook. Having a plastic cover not only adds a bit of durability, but it also keeps the white inner cover from getting dirty. I also like the minimalist design of the logo. The paper feels nice and will hopefully perform like other Japanese papers and be fountain pen friendly.

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook logo

Even though I don’t know what it means, I like this logo.

One thing to note is that this notebook is made by Kyokuto, not to be confused with Kokuyo (maker of the fantastic line of Campus notebooks and even more amazing Century Edition notebooks).

The Details

Let’s take a closer look at the Kyokuto Expedient notebook:

  • Pages: 160, 80 sheets
  • Paper Weight: 81.4gsm
  • Binding: Spiral
  • Page Style: Lined, Dot, Blank
  • Size: A5, B5

Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)

  • Sheen: Very Low
  • Shading: Very Low
  • Bleeding: High
  • Ghosting: Average
  • Feathering: Very High
  • Dry Time: Very Low

Other features

  • Frosted plastic cover
  • Spiral binding
  • Hard back

Actual Use

As I mentioned, the overall design of this notebook is quite nice, especially if you prefer a minimalist look. The plastic cover is sturdy and offers a bit of protection. The hard back cardboard cover is also fairly sturdy. The double-spiral binding helps the notebook open smoothly and easily lay flat.

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook spiral binding

The spiral binding allows this notebook to lay completely flat.

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook spiral bound

Here’s a good look at the binding.

The paper is a disappointment. There are times when it’s love at first write, but this was not one of those times. From the moment I put a fountain pen to this paper, I knew it was just not going to work out. Almost every pen I used feathered and bled, inks looked flat and boring and the overall writing experience was blah. The one positive is very fast dry times. As you can see in the images below, this paper is not good for using with fountain pens:

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook paper feathering

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook test: Front

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook bleeding

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook test: back


Sometimes it’s good to try out something new. You never know what you’ll discover. Unfortunately, there are times when you find something that would have been better off undiscovered. That’s how I feel about the Expedient notebook from Kyokuto. It just isn’t suitable for use with fountain pens. If it were significantly less expensive, it might be worth considering for some quick notes, but when you can purchase a superior notebook for the same amount (or less), there is no reason to purchase one of these.

If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.

Kyokuto Expedient Notebook
  • Sheen (higher is better)
  • Shading (higher is better)
  • Bleeding (higher is better)
  • Ghosting (higher is better)
  • Feathering (higher is better)
  • Dry Time (higher is better)

Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating

Pros: Well made, nice design
Cons: Paper not suitable for use with fountain pens
Value Rating: 2.14 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.11
Who this notebook is for: Anyone looking for a nice spiral-bound notebook who doesn’t use fountain pens
Upgrade to this notebook from: A generic spiral-bound notebook
Upgrade from this notebook to: A Figurare notebook

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