I first bought this notebook in 2014. I needed a blank notebook to organize my thoughts for my thesis and I chose this one. I chose correctly. Perhaps I should have tried blank notebooks earlier, but I don’t think that’s what makes this notebook perfect for me. I think there’s just something perfect about how well this notebook matches with my Pilot Rexgrips. I appreciated its utilitarian appeal. There really aren’t any major design elements. This is an A5-sized, spiral-bound, 100-sheet notebook. There are thick cardboards(?) for the front and back covers. Blank off white pages on the inside. Simple and clean. No branding. Perfect.
Is this paper of high quality? No, its decent at best. If you use anything other than ball points, most likely you’d get significant showthrough mixed with bleedthrough. Feathering can be an issue but not that bad of one. I used fountain pens for the first 34 sheets before I gave in and used a gel pen (the last post). I’m giving in because I’d rather not waste more pages. Fountain pens rendered the backside unusable and this paper isn’t the best texture for fountain pens. I only continued out of pure will. Really, I prefer using my fine ball points and gel pens better.
Is this notebook durable? Yes. To an extent. The cover is quite thick and has survived being tossed around in my backpack, which is quite a feat.
Is this notebook functional? YES! This is a great notebook for notes, drafts, and doodling. It is a notebook to be filled with transient ideas, big or small. No need to feel bad about messing up or scratching things out because it only costs $1.50.
For a $1.50 notebook, this Daiso A5 really isn’t that bad. I personally love it because few notebooks compell me to write quite like this one does. No, the paper quality is nothing to write home about, but it doesn’t matter to me. I love that it’s cheap, it’s plain, it has a ton of pages (200!), and it is nice to write on. Even though the pages are thin and don’t perform extremely well, it feels nice to write on. That is, it doesn’t feel like it is poor quality.
Unfortunately, this notebook is part of Daiso’s seasonal rotation, so it isn’t readily available. However, if you happen to be at a Daiso, buy one. As soon as I saw it again, I bought 5. Because this is my favorite notebook for brainstorming and first drafts. Because I’m obsessed with this minimalistic, cheap, and functional notebook.
P.S. I will probably stick with ball points for my blog post drafts. Notice how I actually showed the backside of the page for once?