At the recent Long Island Pen Show I picked up some Field Notes Steno Books. Slightly bigger than a regular stenography notebook at 6" x 9", Field Notes has really given this classic notepad a stylish upgrade. The rounded edges mimic the traditional pocket-sized Field Notes notebooks, while the cover is a very sturdy chipboard in a deeper brown. The ink is Dictation Smudge, if anyone is interested.
Inside, the paper is ruled in the traditional steno notebook manner, with one horizontal line in the middle. I like that the color of the lines is the same as in the Field Notes notebooks: soy-based Double Knee Duck Canvas light brown ink.
As I understand it, the Gregg system of stenography, which became the standard taught in almost all US public schools by the early 1900s, had a line in the middle because when taking dictation it was easier to lift your pencil from the middle of the line than from the end. So shorthand used two columns, rather than the entire page.
As always, Field Notes provides a back cover dedicated to the relevant minutiae: A Brief History of Stenography, Steno Book specs, and an Abbreviations Guide that is illuminating (MBCC: Migratory Bird Conservation commission; SWLC: Salt Water Leak Check; DLP: Dairy, Livestock and Poultry Division).
The paper is Finch Paper Opaque Smooth 70# "Bright White" which really doesn't seem that bright. It's great for gel ink and oil based ink, not so good with fountain pens (a touch of bleedthrough), and obviously works well with a pencil. I like the old-fashionedness of this notepad and the quality of the design. Definitely consider adding one of these in your next order.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Besides pencils, Field Notes Brand also carries a black Bic Clic pen that's retro and reliable. No smearing or blobs when you write, just nice smooth ink flow. Very sturdy construction and a thick clip that won't break or bend, the plunger is tight gives a very satisfying "click" when pushed. The pens are nicely priced, definitely something to add to your cart next time you're shopping.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I've ordered several times from Field Notes and received some of their pencils and pens along with my memo books. The recent present also included a pencil, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to actually use it and post a comment. The above isn't the best picture of pencil and scribbles, but it will have to do.
First, I love this color scheme. Cedar, black, silver, and mint green are a very pretty combination and so I'd keep these pencils around just to look at them. The cedar wood actually gives off a faint smell when sharpened, making me think of early American one-room school houses and general stores--places more likely to use pencils than fountain pens to write out homework and orders.
The Field Notes pencil is a standard #2, a wonderful soft graphite and clay mix set in a round (not hexagonal) casing. On one side is the Field Notes logo in black ink (dachshund's nose, I think). The other side has a great "About This Pencil" note: Lacquer-free Renewable Cal-Cedar Wood Casing, Recyclable Aluminum Ferrule, Enviro-Green Degradable Eraser and Certified Non-Toxic Imprint Inks.
It also writes, quite well in fact. A keeper, on my desk, for quick notes.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Just received a wonderful present from Field Notes Brand for responding first to a recent Twitter post regarding a photo notebooks belonging to John Hughes in the current Vanity Fair.
They sent a ton of good stuff! Two packs of Field Notes memo books, an 18 month calendar, a 2010 calendar, a 1-inch pin, a great rubber bank, and a pen and pencil. Interestingly, the two packs of memo books are slightly different in color and size (which can only be seen with nosethisclose to the packs to tell).
Several friends will be receiving some great memo books in the next few days, courtesy of Field Notes and the Pocket Blonde Rapid Response Team!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
There are any number of reviews of Field Notes memo books so I wanted to focus on something slightly different. When I saw the Mackinaw Autumn collection I wondered how much the brown and orange were differed from the Standard Brown Memo book and the special color edition Butcher Orange book. And so here is the side-by-side comparison.
On the bottom left to right: the Mackinaw Autumn collection in Running-Board Brown, Harvest Moon Orange, and Burnt Red. On the top, left to right: Standard and Butcher Orange. There is a huge difference between the Running-Board Brown and Standard Brown, the former is a deeper, warmer brown that I have to admit I like much more than the Standard Brown color. The Harvest Moon Orange is slightly more yellow than Butcher Orange, which I think is a truer orange. I do like the Harvest Moon just a bit more than Butcher Orange, but both are strong colors. Finally there is the Burnt Red, a very pretty red that does look like the color of turned leaves and apples.