Field Notes: Shelterwood

Field Notes Shelterwood

The newest edition of the Field Notes color series is called Shelterwood and its awesome feature is the REAL WOOD covers. Slivers of wood are bonded to kraft paper covers to create unique, beautiful wood veneer-covered Field Notes. Inside the books are the same 70 lb Finch Soft White paper that was in the America The Beautiful editions with green lines. This special edition is going to sell out fast so you better order yours today. $9.95 for  a 3-pack, or better yet, subscribe for a year and be guaranteed to get the next edition as soon as its available.

I’ll give you more details when my set arrives but, by then, it might be too late. Take a chance on these and order quickly!

Field Notes for Memory Keeping

Memory keeping with Field Notes

While traveling, I used a Field Notes to keep my thoughts, names of places, restaurants and people, as well as pasting in receipts, business cards and various paper ephemera. I stamped the date and the name of the event on the front of the the Field Notes before I left.

I added the squashed penny with gel Super Glue when I returned. Squashed pennies are great inexpensive keepsakes for a trip. I got this one at the Musee Méchanique at Fisherman’s Wharf, a mechanical toy and game museum where you can play every game! Some took nickels and dimes but most took quarters and ranged from dancing puppets, vintage “peep shows,” pinball machines and classic 80s arcade games. Most American museums or large tourist attractions have a squashed penny machine. You insert 50¢ and one penny (I like to use a shiny penny but anyone will work). Then turn the crank and out pops your penny embossed with a design.

I was surprised how easily my paper scarps fit into the Fields Notes with little more than a fold. I used glue stick and washi tape to attach items and a 4-day trip filled almost a whole book. I used a paper clip to hold the transit cards just in case I needed to use them again. I’m not a scrapbooker but this is the perfect amount of memory keeping. I could complete it while traveling and on the airplane so, once I was home, it was done and all the bits I’d collected were contained.

Memorykeeping with Field Notes

Review: Zenok Leatherworks Field Notes Cover

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

My darling husband has been known, on occasion, to read The Well-Appointed Desk as a make-shift wish list for me. This often works out in my favor at the holidays. For Christmas this year, he bought me a Zenok Leatherworks Field Notes Cover ($39) in natural beige.

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover Comparison

I thought I’d give is a quick comparison to my Pelle Journal on the left and my Midori Traveler Passport-sized Star Edition on the right.

The most notable detail of the Zenok cover is the leather tab that covers the elastic at the open edge of the cover. There are notches in the leather cover for the elastics which is also unique to the Zenok. An extra elastic was included with the package though I think I might visit a local fabric store and acquire a contrasting elastic to customize my cover.

The Zenok Leatherworks Cover for Field Notes is just a bit taller than the passport-sized Traveler and the leather is a lighter color. I like the warmer color of the Traveler cover and a bit softer. The Zenok cover feels like untreated leather so I wonder if I treat it with saddle soap or mink oil might soften it and deepen the color.

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

Inside, the cover includes four elastics that can be used to hold notebooks or other item inside the cover.

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

The cover comfortably holds three notebooks. Four Field Notes will fit but that’s a lot of notebooks for me. I think I’ll normally carry two: one for work and one for personal notes. I’d add a third only if I was getting to end of one book and wanted to have a back-up. I’ll use the additional elastics for a folder for loose papers. I also found that a small Bar-4 envelope (10 for $3) can be used to store receipts and business cards if I tuck the envelope tongue under the elastic.

When the cover arrived and I tucked a Field Notes into it, my husband got a little envious so I think we’ll be ordering another one soon. Very soon.

Review: Field Notes Cold Horizon

Cold Horizon Covers

Its the latest Field Notes edition, Cold Horizon and everyone in the stationery-o-verse is talking about it. How do you feel about the shiny covers? Too shiny? Gritty? How do you like the gradient effect? Love it? Hate it? What about the graph paper in tints of wintery whites_ light grey, light green and light blue?

Cold Horizon Color Array

My husband, the printer, insisted on lining the books up to show where each gradient intersected with each other. The spine of one book aligns its gradient to the front cover and back cover of the other two books.

The shine of the covers is quite reminiscent of wet ice along with the crystal blue colors of the covers — the theme is beautifully harmonized in the final product. The covers are a little pebbly from the gloss aqueous coating. Overall, the books show lots of fingerprints and smudges just like a stainless steel refrigerator — for better or worse.

Cold Horizon paper colors

Its hard to get a good photograph of the slight color shift between the books. The paper is lightly tinted in a pale blue, green and grey. The grid marks are the same color grey on all three versions. The minor color shift is pleasant but not dramatic enough to have warranted the trouble and expense to do them each differently.

Field Notes Cold Horizon

I did my pen test in the light grey paper book. As others have noted, I suspect that tinting the paper made it a little less receptive to fountain pen inks. Field Notes really are best paired with a non-fountain pen pen. I got good results with all the other tools I used but I did get a bit of line railroading (when the edges of the strokes are visible but the ink sort of drops out in the middle like a miniature railroad track) with the Pilot Juice and the Pentel Hybrid Technica pens, both of which are hybrid ballpoint/gel inks. Pilot Hi-Tec Cs and UniBall Signo RTs performed the cleanest with no show through on the reverse of the page. I used all cool blues, black, blue-blacks and graphite as it seemed like a good chance to pair my tool color to the notebooks.

Cold Horizon Writing Sample

I wanted to provide a close-up to show the feathering with the two fountain pens I tried. It didn’t seem worth the trouble to try even wider nibs or a Sharpie marker. I know they are going to bleed or bead up a little.  There’s a reason why we collect so many tools — so we can pair just the write pens with just the right papers for the optimal writing experience.

I will enjoy using these notebooks. They are completely functional and will certainly brighten up the dreary winter days ahead but these are not books I’ll necessarily covet like I do the Traveling Salesman which is my FAVORITE to date. (I wish I had purchased an extra set of those!)

The Field Notes Cold Horizon Color Edition is available in limited supply. A three-pack of the variegated cover and mixed tint paper are available for $9.99.

Field Notes: Colors Edition Winter Cold Horizon


In case you missed the news last week, Field Notes announced the Winter Edition of the Colors Series called Cold Horizon. It is a another departure from the traditional Kraft cover version. This time the covers are a gradient blue and each of the three books are a slightly different gradient but they can be lined up to transition in color from one book to the next. The covers are a glossy coated stock this time to enhance the icy cold look. Inside is the standard Finch paper stock printed with grid marks and tinted in light blue, light green and cool gray — each book a different colored stock inside.

I think this edition is distinctively different from previous incarnations. I’ll be curious how people react to the new Field Notes Cold Horizon once they have it in hand. I need to renew my subscription ASAP to make sure I get at least one set to review and compare.

A set of three Cold Horizon Field Notes sell for $9.95. A year’s subscription is $97 and includes four quarterly editions, starting with the Cold Horizon, and a bonus 3-pack of Kraft mixed and a 3-pack of Kraft Grid.


Leather Cover for Field Notes

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 7.10.37 AM

Greg Stevens has created a lovely leather cover for Field Notes (and other similarly-sized pocket notebooks) that includes a pen quiver on the cover and an elastic band to keep it closed. He’s added a pocket inside the front cover for even more functionality. The case looks like it will age beautifully though the elastic might get stretched out. Prices start at $100 and include a 3-pack of Kraft Field Notes.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 7.32.32 AM

Don’t forget that Field Notes offers their own EDC brown leather memo book cover and Pony Express leather pouch in their shop ($85.95 each). Gourmet Pens did a write up on the Davis Leatherworks notebook cover which is distinctly Midori-like. I did a search on Etsy and there are dozens of other options available for notebook covers as well. My favorite from Etsy is the Zenok Leather from Canada. Zenok’s Midori-style covers hold three notebooks and sell for $39 each.

More leather cover options can be seen on The New Artemis as well.

(via Greg Stevens, tip o’ the hat to reader Cheyenne)

Pitch Black is the new black


Field Notes heard us. They announced last week that they are now offering an open-stock (non-limited) black edition of their classic Field Notes pocket notebook. Its called Pitch Black and features French Paper Company 100lb “Blacktop” covers with grey text on the cover. On the inside is the same white 50lb Finch Opaque paper but with a light-grey dot grid. They added a little zing with black staples. A 3-pack is the same price as the Kraft and Red-Blooded editions, $9.95.

I’m pretty sure this was made-to-order for Brad over at Pen Addict. Wouldn’t you agree?


Hot News:

Nock Co. Reviews and Previews:

Postal Enthusiasm:




Paper and Notebooks:

Field Notes Drink Local Edition Sneak Peek

And its here! The new Field Notes Drink Local edition arrived in my mailbox last night. The packaging with the subscriptions making the 6-pack of beer-inspired notebooks look like an actual 6-pack is absolutely stunning though I recommend assembling the carton BEFORE imbibing as it does require a little thought. LOVE!

I wanted to get it captured before disassembling the shrink wrap and effecting its MIB appearance so I have not  had a chance to pet the “soft-touch” covers or closely admire the letterpress coaster which is inside the shrink wrap. This is just some visual stimulus to join the subscription service today and get your 6-pack before they sell out. They’ve gone fast in the past but I think these are going to set a new record.

I’ll do a more in-depth look later but I wanted to share some sneak peeks now while there are still sets and subscriptions available.

Subscriptions are $97 for one-year. Individual 3-packs are available in “Ales” or “Lagers” for $9.95 per set but they will not ship with the limited 6-pack packaging. Extra sets of beer coasters can be ordered as well: set of 4 for $3.95.