Well, my latest notebook is one of the slim styles from UK-based Say Nice Things. TL;DR? I’m enjoying it.
Unlike the Baron Fig, it’s got an elastic closure, although in return you lose the bookmark. My ideal work notebook would have both (and plenty more besides), but it’s a small irritation.
The slimmer 128-page size is easy to slip into a bag or tote around to meetings. I’m not wowed by the pink-pastel “Crystal” colour scheme — I’m more of a solid colour kinda guy myself — but the soft-touch coated card cover is wearing well, and even though it’s a soft cover, it overhangs the pages a lot so they get plenty of protection.
What I really wanted to talk about was the paper. It’s 90gsm, very white. Throughout most of the book it’s printed with fairly narrow lines, with shorter sections of plain and crosshaired pages at the back — useful if you’re disciplined enough to turn to them for sketching or diagrams, but it would be even more useful with page numbers to cross-reference…
Anyway, the paper has a lovely texture. It’s quite toothy, more like Leuchtturm than Rhodia, which helps with pen control in my experience.
What’s impressive is how quickly ink dries. Here’s a comparison vs Tomoe River.
That smudge test was with a wet pen and a pretty aggressive smear (how aggressive is YOUR smear, dear reader?!). By 5 seconds only the “double-coverage” lines of the Ls and the filled in O were still wet on the SNT paper. On Tomoe the same sample remained wet past 15 seconds.
Paper generally dries quickest when it’s really absorbent. Ink soaks deep into the paper rather than evaporating on the surface, which means you get bleedthrough. But on the SNT paper only my sharp FA nib with ludicrously wet Ink of Witch actually bled, and there was no other showthrough.
For comparison, here’s the reverse side of a page from a Whitelines pocket notebook written with the same nib and ink (not even flexed). Much, much more bleeding. (I’d recommend sticking to “safer” pen/inks on these Whitelines books — take a look at my review for some samples of what works.)
The other disadvantage of absorbent paper is that it robs ink of attractive properties like sheen and shading. True enough, even sheen monsters like Barrier Reef Blue seem flat, and heavy shaders like KWZ El Dorado are a bit plain.
What all this means is that this is not a notebook for when you’re in love with how your words look on the page. You won’t see much sheen or shading, and if you go overboard with wet inks and gushing nibs you might get a bit of bleeding. Instead, with the crisp toothy paper and quick dry times, the SNT notebooks are great for covering page after page of meeting notes quickly.
At £8 for 128 pages the SNT notebook is good value and performs really well. And, of course, it’s UK-made. Definitely worth trying out.
Note that I received this notebook for free for review purposes. See my ethics page if you’re wondering how that affects my writing.