The Profolio Oasis notebook is a unique notebook that finds itself right in the middle of many popular notebooks with a similar amount of pages, size and price. Similar notebooks include the Midori MD, Apica Premium C.D. and Mnemosyne 183. Does the Profolio Oasis have what it takes to stand out in this crowd?
When I first picked up the Oasis, I noticed the design, material and texture of the cover. The design is minimal, but still quite nice. The silver accents really look good on all of the different color options and the black cover option comes with black print, giving it a neat blacked out look. The cover material has a pebbled texture that both looks and feels great.
One interesting thing about the Oasis notebook is the unique “line” pattern that each page has. Instead of having the option of lined or grid, the Oasis combines them. It doesn’t look too busy at first glance, but I’ll wait until I write on it for a while to see how it works.
Let’s see what the Profolio Oasis has going for it.
- Pages: 160 (80 sheets)
- Paper Weight: 75 gsm
- Binding: Stitch
- Page Style: Custom Pattern
- Size: A5, A6, B5
Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)
- Sheen: Very Low
- Shading: Medium
- Bleeding: Medium
- Ghosting: Low
- Feathering: Low
- Dry Time: Low
- Three available colors
- Custom page pattern combines dots, lines and grid
- Each page has a header and footer space
- Stitch binding opens flat
The Oasis is a nice notebook. It’s not a premium or luxury notebook, but it’s no slouch either. It has a very soft feel to it. The cover material is a bit thinner than what is found on many other notebooks and the paper is just a bit thinner as well, so it feels a little less thick and solid. I personally really like the way it feels when I hold it. Opening it is also a “soft” experience. Thanks to the many small signatures and stitch binding, it opens easily and lays completely flat, no matter where you are in the notebook.
Writing on the paper continues with the soft feeling. Although Profolio is an Itoya brand, this isn’t super-smooth like most Japanese papers. It does offer just a bit of feedback, but I would say that it is less than Midori MD. Still, if you don’t like extremely smooth papers this might work great for you. For some reason writing on it feels “soft” for me.
This paper performance is somewhat of a mixed bag. On the plus side, it has great dry times, decent shading, low ghosting and low feathering (although I did experience minor feathering from time to time). Unfortunately, I did experience a bit of bleeding with very wet pens or inks. It also shows very little sheen, even with inks that typically show a high amount of sheen. That’s the tradeoff you have to make for the fast dry times.The notebook itself doesn’t have any extras like pockets, elastic closure straps or page markers. It also doesn’t have any sort of index or flyleaf, so you see the first page of the notebook as soon as you open the cover. The pages do have a header and footer area. The header has a space for the date as well as some text at the top. There are also small marks at the top and bottom of each page that can be used to quickly and easily divide each page into equal-sized sections.
I mentioned above that the Oasis has a unique “line” pattern on each page. It actually combines lines, grid and dot-grid patterns. Each line is divided horizontally into three equal sections by lighter dotted lines. While it sounds like this might be really distracting, it’s actually not. I found the lines very easy to ignore while I was writing, but they were helpful if I wanted to use them. If this is your one sticking point about these notebooks, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
I feel like the Profolio Oasis is caught in a very tough spot in the world of notebooks. It has a lot of direct competition from notebooks that are similarly sized and priced. Unfortunately for the Oasis, many of these notebooks are just better notebooks. If it had more pages or was less expensive, it would be a much more compelling choice. As it is, though, there are just other notebooks I’d rather use instead of this one. That’s not to say it’s a bad notebook. Many people, specifically those who want fast dry times and don’t care about sheen, will probably love this notebook. I’m just not one of those people.
If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.
Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating
Pros: Lays completely flat, fast dry times
Cons: Very low sheen, some bleeding and feathering
Value Rating: 3.00 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.15
Who this notebook is for: Anyone who wants paper that isn’t extra-smooth and has fast dry times
Upgrade to this notebook from: Apica Premium C.D.
Upgrade from this notebook to: Midori MD