Day 1: The maruman Mnemosyne A5 Grid Paper Notebook

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***I was neither endorsed nor sponsored by this brand to make this review. I purchased the item with my own money and am reviewing it of my own volition.***

Two years ago, I began my presence on social media. I had it in my head that I could become part of the writer-sphere and share experiences and progress with others. Because I fail at being regular with posting, that never really became a reality, but in my online travels, I found an account on Instagram, that upon going back to find has either been closed or changed its name/purpose, that reviewed various writing tools. From notebooks to writing utensils, it gave a lot of interesting and cool suggestions. One of which, I actually obtained out of sheer interest.

The maruman(sic) Mnemosyne Notebook.

This model is currently listed at $10.35 on Amazon.

I love this notebook for so many reasons. For starters, the reason I got it at all was, well, aesthetic. I’d be lying if I said the look and feel of this journal wasn’t a driving factor in checking it out.

The cover is a solid, matte black plastic that is firm yet has a bit of give to it. The gold debossed lettering brought me back to the days of my grandfather’s plotting notebooks. I know this isn’t exactly uncommon in modern journals, but something about the minimalistic gold on a sea of black has a very specific feel to it.

When you open the cover up, you are greeted with this vibrant yellow page.

I don’t know what it is about this particular color but I find it to be very pleasant and incredibly welcoming. As silly as it sounds, it’s a joy to open this notebook up.

As you can see, the paper is grid rather than lined. I personally prefer this. I find myself able to do more free-thinking plotting across these pages than a standard lined notebook. Granted, I also love how all my notes end up looking across the pages.

I primarily use this notebook to write out my thoughts and ask myself questions. Basically, it’s become my sounding board of ideas and I don’t know what I’d do without it. I call it my “Brain”.

Ah yes, the pages are perforated. However! It isn’t such a weak perforation that the slightest tug will tear a page free. Oh no. You have to intend to tear a page out to get them free of the notebook. And, as someone who regularly ruins perforated pages, they come out very clean.

The same can be said for the pages in general. Though their wire mounted rather than traditionally bound, they don’t come out easily. You have to want to tear a page out. No amount of writing or shoving it in your travel bag will change that.

Which brings me to my next point. The wire is VERY robust. I bought my first one two years ago and the wire is still in great shape. It’s never warped or discolored and I’ve put it through hell. I’ve shoved this thing in backpacks, crushed it between other books, stepped on it… And its always kept its shape.

Also worth mentioning is the landscape orientation. I personally LOVE this. I don’t know if I can go back to regular notebooks after this. It’s suitable for any hand orientation and, as someone who tends to write hard and grind their hands into the pages, I can write right up to the edge without worrying about going into the binding. It’s just so free and open and I really love that feeling.

On to the paper itself. What can I say besides I love it? The paper is robust. It’s thick and can tolerate being written on both sides with a gel pen without bleeding. Only one side has the grid on it though. When you turn it over, the page is entirely blank. The paper is smooth, like, incredibly smooth. As I said before, I drag my hand across pages when I write. As dumb as that sounds, I’ve actually messed my hand up rubbing it into traditional paper. Never once have I had a problem like that with these pages. They also suck up ink really well. As you can see in my picture above, I use fine tip Sharpie pens to write. I have never ONCE smudged anything on any of these pages. I chalk that up to both the quality of the Sharpie ink and the paper itself.

I also love its size. I have this strange obsession with smaller novelty things. This notebook is smaller than average coming in at 5.83″ x 8.27″, but it fits in practically anything.

I mentioned having owned two of these. Well, the first one was the first notebook I’ve completely filled.

I’m not sure how clear it is, but this thing is LOADED. Every page is full of notes and I’ve even taped some extra pages into it. I have NO trouble scribbling over every sheet. That “first-page anxiety” was completely missing when I first cracked this bad boy open. I set to work immediately without agonizing over what I’d do with the first page. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I open a brand new notebook, I often find myself agonizing over what exactly I’ll do with that first, virgin page. With this notebook? Pft. Get right down to work and fill those lines. Love it.

I picked up my second one back in January of this year (2020) and it’s about halfway full. I’m putting it to greater use now that I’m editing my novel. I’m using it to jot down key plot points I either forget or keep messing up. It’s a lifesaver. There is no way I could keep all that in my brain and the ease of writing it down rather than typing it up just makes it so easy to get an idea out of my head.

For just over $10, I feel like the price can’t be beat for the quality. This notebook has made a HUGE difference in the way I track my notes. I highly recommend checking it out if landscaped grid paper isn’t a huge turnoff for you!

Top is my old notebook, bottom is the new one!

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