I’ve never been much of a pocket notebook guy. If I’m going out and about and want to bring a pen and notebook, I’ll typically have a bag with me, in which case I’ll just bring a regular-sized notebook. Recently though, I’ve started to appreciate smaller notebooks and have been using them as dedicated sources to write about individual topics. When Adam from North of Rosemont contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to review their notebooks, I said yes since I actually had some recent experience using pocket notebooks. With that being said, these notebooks were provided to me for free, but the opinions are all my own.
The notebooks arrived in their retail packaging, which is quite good. I should mention that North of Rosemont is based in Canada, so they did have to travel a little farther than normal to get to me, yet they still arrived unharmed and quickly. Upon opening the package, I not only found the two notebooks, but also a few pencils, buttons and some collateral that talks about the notebooks and the company story.
The notebooks themselves are a very nice size and are noticeably bigger than most pocket notebooks. The cover material feels very sturdy and I’m thinking it will hold up very well to daily use. The colors and overall design are reserved but very attractive. The paper is nice and heavy and feels very smooth. I’m excited to see how it handles fountain pens!
Let’s take a closer look at the North of Rosemont notebooks
- Pages: 48 (24 sheets)
- Paper Weight: 104gsm
- Binding: Staple
- Page Style: Dot (cross-style) – 5mm spacing
- Size: 4″x5.75″ (approximately A6)
Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)
- Sheen: Very Low
- Shading: Low
- Bleeding: Medium
- Ghosting: Low
- Feathering: Low
- Dry Time: Low
- Responsibly sourced paper
- End sheets
- Thick, sturdy cover material
Let’s start off with the looks and design of the notebooks. I really like the way these look. The colors are subtle yet classy. On the website there are some limited edition colors in addition to the regular colors, but all are generally taken from the same color palette. If bright colors or graphics are your thing, you’ll either have to add them yourself or look elsewhere. Each notebook has branding debossed onto the front and back in white lettering.
The staple binding seems to be quite sturdy. As with pretty much any pocket notebook, it is made up of one big signature, which means you’ll have to bend it a bit to get it to open and lay flat. One thing that sets these notebooks apart from many others is that they have end sheets. These can really help to protect your front and back pages and also serve as a great place for personal information or even stickers!
Moving inside to the paper, you’ll notice that they have a dot-grid pattern. If you look closely, they’re actually crosses! I really like this pattern, as most cross-grids are much larger and can be a little distracting if you’re not used to them. They are also very light and I found them easy to ignore if I wanted to. The paper not only feels smooth to the touch, but also to write on. In fact, I was very surprised at how nice it feels to write on. All of the different pens I used glided across the paper and writing was a pleasure.
The paper performed pretty well in my tests, but it’s not the best option to show off your inks. There was no visible sheen and shading was minimal. There was some bleed-through with very wet nibs and saturated inks, but other nibs and inks did fine. In fact, there is very little ghosting and I couldn’t even see some of my writing on the other side, which makes these perfect for anyone who wants to use both sides of a sheet. I also saw very little feathering. Dry times are fast, which also is a very good thing for a pocket notebook.
One thing that is mentioned in a few different places on the North of Rosemont site is the size of their notebooks. They are larger than most pocket notebooks, but not so big that they’re no longer pocket-sized. I found that I really like their size and it’s noticeable how much more info can fit onto one of these pages compared to smaller notebooks. The paper is also significantly better than most of the pocket-sized notebooks on the market today, but it comes at a price. They cost about the same in USD as a 3-pack of Field Notes, but you only get two notebooks. To me, they’re definitely worth it, as the paper in Field Notes is nowhere near as good as in a North of Rosemont notebook and the size of a NoRo notebook is better for almost everything. While the paper may not show off your ink like bigger notebooks do, that’s not why you buy a pocket notebook. Pocket notebooks are made to be always handy and used frequently, which these North of Rosemont notebooks definitely are.
If you’re interested in trying them out for yourself, North of Rosemont has graciously created a discount for readers of this blog! Just enter code: FountainPenLove and get 10% off of your entire order!
If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.
Disclaimer: These notebooks were provided to me for free for the purposes of this review. All opinions in this review are my own and were not influenced by the generosity of North of Rosemont.
North of Rosemont Pocket Notebook
Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating
Pros: Sturdy, sustainable and attractive notebooks
Cons: The paper doesn’t really show off inks, some bleeding
Value Rating: 2.71 Stars, Cost per sheet: $0.31
Who this notebook is for: People who want a sturdy pocket-sized notebook with smooth paper
Upgrade to this notebook from: A Field Notes notebook
Upgrade from this notebook to: A Life Pistachio notebook