I bought this “High Quality Smooth Paper” spiral notebook from Muji years ago, as a less expensive alternative to my favorite spiral notebook, Rollbahn. The body paper in this notebook also looked very similar to the non-spiral, perfectbound “High Quality Smooth Paper” notebook from Muji, which I like very much, so I decided to give it a go.
After using it for the past 4 months, I have to say I don’t think it will replace my spiral Rollbahn notebooks. By all accounts, it’s a great notebook, with very sturdy covers, elastic closure, good body paper, and even a small interior pocket on the front-inside cover. The double-spiral is a perfect size, too, making page-turning smooth and easy, and its minimal design makes it a very versatile tool.
But I can’t shake the feeling that the pages are slightly too narrow. Perhaps I’ve gotten too used to the Rollbahns? The body paper in the Rollbahn (in the “L” size) is indeed slightly wider, by 4mm. Am I sensitive to that small of a difference? Maybe so. But then again, even compared to the perfectbound version with the same width, the body paper in this Muji notebook feels narrower because of the spiral cutting into the usable space.
In terms of paper quality, the body paper looks and feels the same as the one in the perfectbound version. They are both off-white, with 6mm (0.24") ruling in light gray. And it’s smooth enough for most of my pens but not ideal for fountain pens, with some feathering and bleed-through (see pictures below and my previous post on the perfectbound version).
That alone wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me, but if I were to choose between the two versions that have the same body paper, I’d go with the one without the spiral. Plus, the non-spiral version gives me a tiny bit more real estate, at a lower price tag ($3.50 USD vs. $6 for the spiral one).
This is a great notebook well worth its price, with enough attention to details where they count. I really hate to say anything negative about it because it’s probably the best ruled, spiral notebook I’ve come across at this price point, but it’s just not for me at this time. After I finish this one, I think I will go back to either the softbound High Quality Smooth Paper notebook or my dwindling supply of fountain pen-friendly and wider Rollbahn notebooks.
- Sleek, minimal design
- Sturdy double-spiral
- Very thick, rigid covers with subtle linen-like texture
- Durable elastic closure
- Interior pocket on the front-inside cover
- Body paper smooth for most pens
- All four corners are rounded
- Some feathering and bleed-through with fountain pens
- Slightly uneven writing surface due to the metal eyelets for the elastic band
- Label may leave a mark
- Ruled only
Related posts I’ve written
Have you used this Muji notebook before? What are your thoughts on it?