Anupam Eko A5 notebook review

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Hey guys, how are you? I have finally settled in a routine for now at my place!

So a couple of weeks ago, I went to do some stationery shopping for my journaling and doodling activities at Venus Stationery Stores and Crossword store in Pune. I grabbed a few notebooks and writing supplies from these places and one of the item that I found to be interesting was this range of A5 notebooks from Anupam Stationery. Anupam is a well known stationery brand in India, so when you see an Anupam product you know you can trust it.

Now, let us take a look at all the aspects of the book individually:

Name:

Eko Notebook

Company:

Anupam Stationery Ltd.

Price:

₹ 160.00 for one notebook.

Availability:

These notebooks are available are all major offline stationery stores across India. I purchased mine from Venus stationery store on FC road on Pune. However I haven’t come across this notebook on any major online retail site.

Packaging:

As you can see it comes in a plastic sealed bag of the same size which is good since it keeps the notebook protected from mishandling and dust as they are kept on display in stores like Venus or Crossword. And yes, the pen is not included in the notebook 😉

Number of pages:

140 (70 back to back)

Product:

This notebook kinda reminds me of a MUJI notebook. It has a soft cover made of thick and environment friendly (as claimed by the company) kraft paper. As far as I know kraft paper is always brown in colour. The cover is blank from front and black. I like it since it allows me to decorate it as per my taste or leave it blank for a minimal look if I wish to!

The elastic band for closure is available in many colours like blue, hot pink, yellow, orange, lime green, red and black. However I could not find red and hot pink bands for the blank notebook. They were only available for the ruled pages one at Venus. I picked up the one with yellow band as you can see from the pic below.

It has a stitched binding which seems durable to me as of now. The color of the binding is the same as the color of the elastic band which is nice as it adds a little character to your notebook. I liked their binding, particularly that matching color of the thread!

The inside pages are off-white in colour. They are not white. However the colour feels good and kinda goes well with the brown cover! There are 2 layouts available for these notebooks viz. blank and ruled. I chose the blank one since I wanted a notebook for doodling. However I wish that these notebooks become available in dot grid and graph layouts since those are the ones commonly used for journaling and doodling as well.

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Now comes the most important aspect of any book. How does it fare in writing test? Don’t worry I have got you covered 😉

In the below pic you can see the writing tests carried out using 8 pens (7 pens and 1 marker). As you can see, since the paper is of average thickness (seems ~70gsm, not mentioned in the packaging), most of the pens bleed and ghost on this paper. Zoom in on the image for details.

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In the image below I have placed the pens in the order mentioned from left to right corresponding to the test from top to bottom.

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What is this bleeding?

Bleeding is nothing but spreading of your ink from the content to the nearby area on the medium. Since paper is fibrous, some bleeding is bound to occur especially while using a gel or ink pen. However it can be taken care by manufacturers and is therefore less bleeding a mark of good paper. Good paper means more processed paper. Check the images above for the last pen test. It was done using a permanent marker and you can clearly see the ink spreading to the nearby fibers.

Then what is ghosting?

When your writing on one side of the paper is visible on its reverse side, it is called ghosting of ink. It can also occur while printing or for that matter any medium which involves ink! Don’t we all hate when ghosting occurs?

Check out how much each pen ghosts in the image below. As a general rule, ball pens do not ghost. Good gel pens ghost less, but that is the characteristic of the pen and not the book itself. All gel pens below ₹20 ghost on this paper 😦

Again you can see that the permanent marker has ghosted the most, which can be expected.

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Sadly this notebook is not averse to either. As a doodler or journaler this is something that turned me off for this notebook. Although when I felt the paper while buying the book, I kinda of expected this to happen, but that is no excuse, right? As a matter of fact, those simple school notebooks ghost less than this! In my opinion, notebooks in this price range should not carry a paper that is less than 100gsm.

I am satisfied with the number of pages provided though. It is a perfect balance between keeping the notebook light and still having sufficient pages to write. I wouldn’t mind a further loss of a few pages if they upgrade their paper!

Also, the size A5 is perfect to write as well as carry around. Since I wanted this book for doodling, I needed sufficient space to practice my doodle for a day. So this works well for me. In fact, A5 is the standard size for journals across countries, so no issues there!

This notebook is actually comparable to Letternote Kraft notebooks and Crossword notebooks (called Yello.. I think?). However they fare better in terms of price and overall look and feel. The only aspect that I cannot comment right now is the paper. Will check and update for it.

I don’t know how long the elastic band will last. However I am enjoying it as of right now!

Final thoughts:

This notebook is good for casual purposes like note taking and simple doodling. However, it isn’t the best option when it comes to journaling or long term projects. Also, as of right now, I think this is the best option in this category of notebooks as compared to other brands especially when it comes to price! The overall looks and finish are as good as any other high end brands. You can always trust Anupam for the quality and value for money. I would like this notebook to have thicker paper and be available in dot grid or graph layouts. That will open the notebook to a wider array of activities for paper lovers like us!

Planner addict’s rating:

3.5/5

So have you tried any other notebooks? Do you have any more questions regarding this notebook? Do let me know in the comments 🙂

Cheers!

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Anupam Eko A5 notebook review