I don’t love Field Notes

There, that subject line is stationery community click bait if ever I’ve written it.

There has been so much written about Field Notes. They have a vocal, voracious fandom who lap up all their quarterly special editions and are willing to pay huge sums for long out of print editions for their collections.

I bought a 3 pack of the standard craft edition (the basic model always available) a few years ago. The one I’ve been carrying in my Nock Co Hightower case was first written in during August 2014 and after 3 years of carry in my weekend bag is almost full.

Writing in my local park earlier this year, with Pilot G-Tec C4

Field Notes ‘Craft Edition’ are pocket size notebooks (140mm x 90mm) bound in card covers. They have detailed specifications in the back cover and in case of doubt they tell you on the front cover, back cover and inside back cover that they are made in the U.S.A.

They are famously based on promotional notebooks handed out to farmers in the last century. Inside the front cover there are useful fields to add your name, contact details, and indexing information such as start/end dates and location.

FYI I deliberately cut the bottom off to hide my phone number! Notes on the right are my volunteer times at Worldcon in London, 2014.

In the back cover is an ‘amusing’ list of suggested uses plus the detailed specification. What is a good idea is the ruler down one edge, which would be useful when out and about. If it weren’t in inches which is pointless outside of America!

Inches! We stopped using those here in the UK before I was born, and I’m 44 years old!

The paper is nice but isn’t great with water based inks. I was using a pen with a fine Bock nib a few weeks back and there were spots where the Diamine Saddle Brown ink leaked through. But gels and ballpoints are great, which are what usually live for extended periods in my weekend bag, and great with pencils. The paper has a large top margin for titles and small 6mm lines which are great for fine gel tips I favour. The lining is a light brown colour which doesn’t get in the way if you want to doodle or sketch.

Cult Pens sells them for £8.99 for a three pack. £3 a book isn’t too bad a price, although the brandless competition is a lot cheaper and plainer.

So I don’t love Field Notes, but I don’t hate them either. Like most pen nerds I have more notebooks than I’ll ever need so I don’t see myself buying more when my  other two are used.


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