Think “notebook” and you probably think “Moleskine,” and for pretty good reason. But they’re certainly not the only option out there. If you frequently find yourself on a budget, you might find yourself looking for something cheaper, anyway. That’s why we love these classy budget notebooks from Peter Pauper Press.
We first picked up a set of Peter Pauper notebooks a couple years back for about half the price of the identical Moleskine. That price differential didn’t make any difference when it came to quality, however. The Essentials notebook, as they’ve deemed their classic option, is your typical A5 size notebook (that’s 5.5 inches x 8 inches), with 192 pages of grid-lined paper just perfect for jotting down all your most important thoughts, taking notes, or even composing the next Great American Novel.
The paper is acid-free and “archival quality.” Peter Pauper says their paper is 25 percent heavier than your typical Moleskine, and while I cannot measure paper thickness precisely, I’m inclined to agree it is definitely thicker – and much less likely to let heavy ink bleed through. Your typical elastic band keeps the book neatly closed when you’re not taking notes.
Writing in an Essentials notebook is an absolute pleasure with my favorite ballpoint pen. I would say I prefer the feel of the hardcover on the Moleskine notebooks I’ve used before, as it has a matte finish and feels a bit less “plasticy.” That isn’t to say that the Essentials hardcover feels cheap, it just feels less “premium” than the Moleskine.
For anywhere from 1/3rd to ½ the price of the nearest Moleskine, however, we’re not complaining. In fact, we’d make that trade-off pretty much anytime. Grab one – ruled, whether grid-lined, dotted, or even straight-up blank – and make it your EDC kit’s budget notebook.
We think you’ll like it.