Kaweco Zequenz A6 Notebook Review

I have a lot of pocket notebooks. I have reviewed many of them here and for the most part they have similar formats, a front and back cover, around 3” x 5” and about 20 sheets of paper. What I received the other day still probably qualifies as a pocket notebook but it is totally unique. I present to you my experience with the Kaweco Zequenz.

Front Wrapped

  • 80 Sheets of lined paper
  • 80 Sheets of blank paper (Yes 160 sheets total!)
  • White Paper
  • Grey printed ruling
  • 7.5 mm line spacing
  • 4 ¼” x 5 ¾” overall (A6)
  • 4” x 5 ½” sheet size
  • 7/8” thick

thickness  When picking a notebook many users engage in the debate, on which is best, lined or blank paper? I’m sure Dot Grid falls in there as well. Some notebooks have addressed the taste of both by throwing in a few blank pages in the back of a lined notebook. Now Kaweco comes along and takes it to the next level with the Zequenz. Even the name is great marketing with the Z’s reflecting the design of the covers as they work together.

The covers are a rich leather like feel with a slight pebble grain texture and contrasting stitching. The Kaweco logo and the Zequenz branding is tastefully implemented at the bottom of each cover. Ruled paper fans are greeted with a nice light brown cover that protects 80 pages of lined paper and if you don’t need the structure of lines just flip the notebook over to greet a darker chocolate brown cover and you have 80 blank pages.

opener

opener backlogoThe Z is reflected in the ingenious way Kaweco has joined the back covers of what conventionally would be two notebooks. When I first took the Zequenz out of the packaging it was really a HOW DID THEY DO THAT ? moment. Brilliant.

Z LookSizePAPER

Grading of a notebook is, and should be, heavily weighted to the quality of the paper. A great design with lousy paper is bad. On the other hand many can overlook a few design quirks in exchange for great paper.

The paper in the Zequenz is wonderful. Kaweco, as a pen company, knows good paper and they have executed it flawlessly. The ruling is a comfortable 7.5mm, the grey rule lines are helpful without getting in the way and the paper is smooth and accepted my wet broad nib Bexley with no feathering or bleed through. Ghosting was minimal and not distracting at all for two sided use. Drying time was seconds which pleasantly surprised me with how smooth the paper felt under nib.

lined paper blank paperWriting SampleCONCLUSION

Kaweco has a great niche product. I’m not totally sure what I will fill it up with but for those that enjoy blank pages and lined paper you can’t go wrong with the quality of the paper and construction of this unique entry to a crowded market.

A 160 sheet notebook is a bit thicker than your normal Fields Notes so pants pocket carry could be strained. I’m a big guy and relaxed fit jeans kind of person so the Zequenz fits fine. Cargo pants are equally good holders. After a couple of weeks with the notebook my preferred carry has become in my hand with my cell phone under the included elastic band. Speaking of which the tasteful elastic band comes with a nice pen loop to keep your writing stick close at hand.

pen holder

I love the concept as a quick note taker rather than a long journaler but at 160 pages you will be glad the covers are thick and durable. This friend will be with you awhile.

Thanks Kaweco!

Remember: Write something nice……

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Baron Fig Apprentice Pocket Notebook Review

I collect a lot of things. I have not converted any rooms in my house to a collection as most of my collections are things I can, and do, use. I lot of the usual suspects that many would call boring. Pocket Knives, flashlights, pens, spinning tops, etc. Pocket notebooks is not one of those. Now I can certainly understand how the variety and usefulness of pocket notebooks could consume one into collecting but I can’t seem to wrap my head around collecting something that is consumable and is designed to be used up. Admittedly my search for the perfect pocket notebook has yielded enough accumulation and variety to qualify as a collection.

Seven VarietiesMy latest entry is from the fine people at Baron Fig. On a follow up of their successful and classy Confidant Journal they bring us their version of the pocket notebook, the Apprentice. I offer you my review.

  • 48 Pages
  • 6 Perforated pages
  • Gray cover
  • Yellow stitched binding
  • Blank Ruled or Dot Grid
  • Light gray line ruling spaced 9/32” apart
  • $9.00 for a 3 Pack

OVERALL DESIGN

Baron Fig once again took the minimalist approach with their design. With only two small lines of branding on the bottom of the inside back cover the clean unadorned look is set off nicely with the gray tone cover and yellow stitching. The yellow is quickly becoming a common brand hue shared with the Confidant’s page marker ribbon.

The cover is a gray leather look pebble grain that is thin, attractive and sturdy even with some intentional abuse from my fingernail on the corners I found it well put together.

SpineSIZE

I was taken aback by the smaller size and wondered why. After some thought I admitted I’m overly conformist and supportive of standards just for the sake of conformity and sameness, even when there is no real value in such consistency. I openly acknowledge that is a short sighted approach on my part. The Apprentice is slightly smaller than the traditional 3.5” x 5.5” notebook in this genre. Not by much coming in at 3 3/8” x 4 15/16” close enough to be called 3.5 x 5”. You really don’t lose a lot of writing space and most uses for these type notebooks are lists, scribbles and drawings so I don’t think the size would ever make one stop and take notice that they are burning through more with that ½” less in height. I did find the slightly shorter stance makes it more comfortable for front pocket use storage as well.

Overall SizePAPER

The most important part to me of any notebook is the paper quality. Apprentice does not disappoint. Not the best fountain pen paper I have ever tried but very well behaved until you get to really fat lines that deposit lots of ink and then you do get some feathering. The positive tradeoff is better fountain pen paper tends to get really thick or require a coating. Baron Fig has found a nice balance that acts well with fine to medium nib fountain pens, rollerballs, ballpoint and pencils. Thicker paper typically yields fewer pages that end up costing you more and the coated paper delays drying time which can be a smeared mess when you’re jotting down a quick note on the run.

Ruling is a nice shade of gray with consistent printing edge to edge front and back with no margins on the top and bottom. Good design to use the whole page. Spacing comes in at 9/32”.

Ink Test2rulingLAY FLAT

There is not a lot of weight or paper in pocket notebooks so lying flat is typically not a strong point or a requirement for me. The stitched binding allows me to reverse fold from anywhere in the notebook and it stays open well enough for a few sentences of writing which is usually the longest I pen in this style notebook. The Apprentice bends right back into it original folds and behaves nicely in doing so.

Inside Full PageCONCLUSION

I really like the minimalist design of the Apprentice. Baron Fig has a great company culture and they have built a fine pocket notebook. It holds up well, is priced right and many will find the smaller size a distinct advantage. Thanks Baron Fig! Well done.

Back Pakaged

Have you been stricken with the dizzying array of pocket notebooks?

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Ink Testing Pens – What do you use?

My acquisition of ink has hit over drive lately and I’m not sure why. This has put me way behind on ink cataloging that I really like to keep current so I don’t sample or buy the same thing again. Not saying that has EVER happened of course but just in case. I like my ink catalog system of index cards and big ink splotches.

Ink_SamplerWhere I struggle and why I usually end up staring at a new bottle of ink or several sample vials is how to most efficiently test them in a pen I like to write with. I have tried a dip pen but it just doesn’t hold enough ink to get a true picture of the ink. I’m a disciplined pen cleaner and probably could be found guilty of some OCD when it comes to flushing and cleaning my pens. So I end up procrastinating on new inks when I dread the cleaning afterwards, especially if I don’t like the color. I still use the Q-Tip swabbing to create the big ink blotch but it’s a bit hard to write with on a 3×5 index card .

My perfect ink testing pen would have the following attributes:

  • A converter that turns easy, or a push pull, to make cleaning easier
  • With a twist converter I want the least number of twists to move the plunger
  • A Smooth Nib to enjoy the testing
  • A broad nib that lays down a lot of ink to reveal any shading and the true color.

My current favorite tester is a Faber-Castell Ambition Broad nib that I received in trade from a fellow blogger. It hits all the right notes as a tester for me. An easy converter, a broad smooth nib and lately it’s been getting quite the work out.

What do you use for testing? Any attributes I’m missing?

Remember: Write something nice……

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