Extra Staples is a series of posts where I share various links I find interesting. It is not on any regular schedule, and the links can be old or new. For more frequent updates from me, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter, under the same moniker, Threestaples.
Hello! It’s been a while. I’d like to “ease in” with Field Notes related links, since a lot has happened on that front, and I’ll also put in my two cents about Utility now before I forget to do that later. It’s about the quality control issue (torn spines) and the discussion surrounding it in the stationery community. You can scroll past it if you want.
There were several new releases recently: the Carhartt Field Notes, the “Bean Boot” Field Notes (second collaboration with L.L. Bean), and the 2017 Morning News Rooster Field Notes. And then there was Utility, the Spring quarterly edition.
As I mentioned on Instagram, I didn’t have any extraordinary quality issues with my 3-packs of Utility, but I have noticed over the years how the tips of the spines are not so cleanly cut anymore. That is most likely because the books are getting thicker. Some think it’s a really minor detail, some think it’s unacceptable. I’m somewhere in the middle. Because of the way I use my Field Notes, it hasn’t affected my writing experience or the durability of the cover but I do think it detracts from the overall impression Field Notes makes. And if enough customers are complaining about it, it probably shouldn’t be ignored. Only Field Notes knows how much “enough” is, and if they deem it worthwhile to address it and work with their printers, then great, it’d be a welcome improvement.
Frankly though, I’m a bit disheartened that people who talk about such details are dismissed by some as being overly dramatic or looking for perfection in things that are “just notebooks.” That’s the impression I get from various online discussions. And I have to say, I don’t think it's unreasonable to demand better quality from the brands we love.
Anyway, enough about that. (And I'll refrain from discussing the fold-out ruler in Utility, or the direction the Quarterly subscription is going, for now). There will be yet another branded Field Notes coming soon, from Ingersoll Watches. I’ve never heard of this company before, but according their IG, new 3-packs will be up for sale on their website on March 17th. Will you be getting them? Maybe I’m growing out of the “collecting” phase but I skipped the Carhartt and L.L. Bean ones and I'm feeling generally okay about it. We’ll see. For now, on with more FN links!
Field Notes Utility Notebook Review — Lead Fast
An excellent, thorough look at Utility by Mike Hagan, who’s been on fire lately. He hits many of FN topics that have been on my mind lately: subscription, pricing, quality control, etc. I agree with a lot of his points. His macro photos are not to be missed either, and check out his reviews on Carhartt and L.L. Bean “Bean Boot” Field Notes, too.
Episode 69: The Nütbok with Harry C. Marks | The Erasable Podcast
This episode was recorded right before Utility was released but the topic of limited editions and quarterly subscriptions in the stationery market is just as relevant and interesting, if not more, now that Utility is out.
Best Pencils for Field Notes Utility Edition. – Pencil Revolution
The Mohawk Via paper in Utility is toothier than the usual Finch Paper, and Johnny lists pencils that worked for him and pencils that didn’t.
My Favourite Field Notes: Shenandoah | The London Parchment
TeamShenandoah, all the way.
Fun / Interesting