Beautiful, quality paper bound to a simple yet elegant book cover where every purchase plants a tree—it’s a combination that left me longing to hold my own Baron Fig Confidant notebook for years.
At that time, shipping to the Philippines wasn’t available and I didn’t have a USA shipping subscription. Persistent, I kept returning to the website checking to see if that limitation had finally lifted so I could buy a Confidant of my own.
I’m happy to say that wish finally came true when I received my Kickstarter backer rewards for supporting Baron Fig’s Kickstarter for their new bag line (review coming soon!). The bag came with a set of Vanguard notebooks and my first Confidant notebook, the latter I couldn’t stop caressing and ogling at. 😍
After using Moleskine for years, I felt it was time to see what the Baron Fig Confidant could do as a strong and reliable tool for ideas, thoughts, and possibilities.
Tools for thinkers
The Confidant notebook’s origin story has its roots on Kickstarter as well. The project was a huge success ($168,289 raised for a $15,000 goal), which signaled the need for better quality products for creatives and thinkers.
The New-York based studio set out to create tools that empower artists, writers, digital creators and many more to bring their ideas to life. Each product was born with a noteworthy name.
- Softcover notebooks (Vanguard)
- Pencils (Archer)
- Pens (Squire)
- Bags (a backpack, messenger, and a tote)
- Notepads (Mastermind and Nomad)
One thing to note is that every Baron Fig product is made with the community in mind, and this can be attributed to their beginnings at Kickstarter.
Each product goes through a thorough feedback cycle before its release, and is always open to improvement based on the customer’s needs.
The entire system works because a wide range of original and limited edition notebooks, notepads, pencils, and pens have seen the light of day. If you can’t decide which notebook to buy, I suggest beginning the journey to creative success with Baron Fig’s flagship product—the Confidant notebook.
Cover and packaging
The Confidant is sealed and shipped in a sturdy gray box with the product specs printed at the back.
You’ll also find a flyer introducing you to the Confidant and the many things that make it such a great notebook to use for your work: quality lasting paper, smart dimensions, different paper types, and a clothbound cover that lies flat when opened.
For my Confidant, I chose a charcoal Flagship sized notebook with blank pages.
You can actually choose from a wide range of colors (it was a recent update to the product), but my Kickstarter rewards limited me to either the Charcoal or the Light Gray. You’ll be mine soon, yellow Confidant. Just you wait!
The 5.4″ x 7.7″ Flagship size is just one of three options to choose from, Plus and Pocket being the other two. I always prefer the A5 or B5 size for notebooks because it’s easy for me to bring around but big enough to flesh out ideas and notes.
Finally, the notebook lies flat when opened and pressed, allowing you to use all of the pages while doing away with any obstructions while you’re working. 👍
192 pages put to the test
The Confidant is designed to give thinkers lots of work room to expand on their ideas. It therefore should be easy and lightweight to use and carry around.
For this reason, the notebook contains 192 65# off-white pages with round corners, 12 of which are perforated and placed at the back of the book. You’ll also find a yellow ribbon bookmark and solid light gray end papers with space to write down details about the notebook—your name, the project’s name, etc.
Dry mediums work fantastic, pens are great too, fountain pens may show through. If we used thick paper then we’d only come out around 120 page for the book—that’s 72 less than we have now! We decided to put more pages in the books and, for those that use very wet mediums, just skip a page if the need arises.
— from the Confidant Kickstarter FAQs
This bit of detail clarifies one important characteristic of the Confidant: it’s not meant to be “a book of finished artwork.”
It’s meant for messy ideas, fresh thoughts, and notes that tie everything together. It’s designed for thinkers using all sorts of writing instruments to bring their ideas out of their heads and into paper.
In that sense, this notebook couldn’t be any more fitting for someone like me who doesn’t work with heavier mediums like paint or fountain pen ink.
For this test, I used a pencil, my daughter’s Faber-Castell ballpoint pen, the Squire, and a Pentel Energel pen.
What I didn’t expect was for the ink to smudge when my wrist slightly touched the page just after writing a few lines. Looking at the page closely, the ink of the Energel actually feathered a teeny bit after writing.
My guess is it’s either due to the paper used or the ink’s quality, considering that two of the pens used are on the cheaper side. In any case, the smudging would be the main issue for me here.
Buy a Confidant, plant a tree 🌲
I’m a huge supporter of brands that give back, which is why I was so excited when I could add a Confidant notebook to my Kickstarter pledge two years ago.
With the help of their partners, Baron Fig pledges to plant a tree with every Confidant notebook purchase. These trees are planted in 30+ countries and are rising in numbers thanks to the notebook’s popularity.
As someone who owes her ideas to paper notebooks, it’s a worthy cause I’m more than happy to support.
Is the Confidant notebook for you?
If you’re constantly asking questions, exploring possibilities, and in need of a good notebook to store all that information securely, I highly recommend the Confidant as your lifelong partner in your creative journey. It’s lightweight and flexible in paper and size.
However, you’ll need to be selective with your writing instruments when using the Confidant. Gel ink pens like the Pentel Energel can create a mess when you’re head down and deep into your work.
Finally, the Confidant costs $18 or ~₱950 excluding shipping to the Philippines. Some may consider it a bit pricey, but consider it a good thing as it demands serious commitment to your calling and your work.