I’m always searching for pocket notebooks with quality paper. So far, I’ve tried Field Notes, Write Notepads, Story Supply Co, Fabriano, even a mini Leuchtturm1917. The stapled Write Notepads are my favorite because they’re slightly bigger, use bright white fountain pen friendly paper, and have beautiful designs. But I use mostly Tomoe River for my story notebooks. So I thought, why not try TR pocket notebooks? There aren’t many options out there, excluding plain inserts. I like my pocket notebooks to use sturdy covers and look pretty! Today, I’ll be reviewing the Elemental Paper Electron Notebook which has 96 pages of white 52gsm Tomoe River paper.
- 3-pack of notebooks for $16
- 52gsm white Tomoe River paper
- blue lines, with spaces in between
- 96 pages
- pocket size, 3.5” x 5.5”
- sturdy leatherette cover
- stitched binding
The Electron notebooks come in packs of three, with a sturdy slipcover to contain them. There’s interesting information about electrons on the back cover. The covers are made of a “leatherette” material, which is soft and supple in my hands. It’s a lovely navy blue cover with E-, the sign for electron, imprinted in the bottom right edge. On the back, is Elemental with a periodic table around the E. I love the design, especially the stitched binding that makes it lay more flat than staples would.
I can bend the entire notebook, which is a good sign if you stuff yours in your backpack. I carried an Unobtanium pocket notebook in my bag for several months and it held up perfectly, except for some gouges on the cover. One issue with leatherette is that it can scratch easily. I don’t really care how dinged up mine get. It adds character and I usually put a big sticker on the front anyways. The cover also sticks up after opening it, but most pocket notebooks don’t.
Inside are matching navy blue endpapers with an electron shell diagram and blank periodic table where you can print your name. I like that the Electron has endpapers because it helps protect the thin Tomoe River inside. There’s 96 pages inside, two times more compared to the Field Notes’ 48.
The white 52gsm Tomoe River paper is a nice change from the usual porous Field Notes I use. The Electron has 6mm blue lines, which aren’t too distracting. There is also a dash subtracted from the line every 6mm, another quirky but visually interesting aspect. I really like how Elemental Paper plays with ruling, like using bright green reticle in the now sold out Uranium and the dashed lines in the Electron. Most notebooks use the same gray lines or dots but I like to see different rulings.
There is plenty of shading and sheen, even in such a tiny space! However, the main issue with using TR paper in a pocket notebook shows up very quickly. I’m left-handed and it’s already a struggle to keep my ink from smearing in an A5 notebook. Here, it’s even worse because the page is so small! The Pilot Precise V5, Pilot Juice, and Papermate Inkjoy smeared under my hand. The Papermate Inkjoy dried quickly but it has a bit of bleed through. I would only use fountain pens in this notebook.
Fountain pens take a long time to dry, from 30 seconds to a minute. This is annoying for a pocket notebook that you will be opening and shutting quickly. However, if you know what you’re getting into, TR is still the most fountain pen friendly paper ever. I’m just not sure if it’s right for me as a leftie. There’s also plenty of showthrough, which can be distracting but is normal for 52gsm TR paper. I still like it better than the paper in the Unobtanium, which sucked up fountain pen ink and feathered everywhere.
Overall, I love the design and paper of the Electron. Despite it being harder to use without smearing, I will enjoy using this more with my fountain pen inks instead of sticking to ball points in Field Notes. There’s still 500+ Electrons left before they sell out at Elemental Paper’s website!
I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review.