Sunday Paper Co, a Manila-based stationery brand, was the first thing I searched for when I stepped into Common Room’s Rockwell branch two years ago. This was the year I started paying more attention to local brands like Sunday Paper that embodied good design and quality in their products.
As a loyal fan of blank notebooks, I noticed and admired the black Simple Notebook right away. In fact, it was one of the very few items I took home with me on that trip.
I use blank notebooks mainly for note-taking and creative writing, so I wanted to see what it felt like to do a good deal of writing on this one.
The plain black card stock cover may seem too simple at first, but one can consider it as freedom to choose what it should be used for or how it could look like. It gives the notebook a more professional look as well, making it an ideal companion for work-related projects.
At the back, you’ll find the Sunday Paper logo embossed in gold. If black’s too serious a cover color for you, they also have it in Kraft.
Slipping the belly band out, you’ll find 80 blank cream-colored pages perfect bound to the cover. As someone with poor eyesight, I particularly like this paper color over white as it doesn’t distract my eyes too much.
Sadly, my camera couldn’t capture the notebook’s actual paper color as there wasn’t enough light in the room. You’ll be able to see it with the notebook up close and in person though.
Using both a Mongol #1 pencil and my Pentel Energel gel pen, writing with both was a breeze since the paper is neither toothy nor fully coated.
There’s a bit of show-through if you use a similar gel pen or a sign pen, but no bleeding whatsoever with both. I currently don’t use a fountain pen since I’m still searching for the right brand to start off with, so this will be updated once I find the right pen to use for my reviews.
One disadvantage with perfect binding notebooks is that it’s not always as secure as other bookbinding methods.
Since the Simple Notebook is bound using glue, the pages may come off, especially when the spine is pressed frequently. This happened when I was testing and writing on the first few pages, so it’s best to handle this notebook with a bit more care.
Another thing to note is that the Simple Notebook doesn’t lie flat. When writing near the center of the notebook, a few of the right pages tend to stick up unless you place your hand over the middle and on top of these pages.
Even with these observations, the Simple Notebook is still a huge step forward from the usual Green Apple and Cattleya notebooks that fill our local bookstores. I find it ideal for sketching, casual note-taking, and bullet journaling thanks to its blank pages.
I’m just as impressed with Sunday Paper as a homegrown brand for the aesthetic and direction they took with their products. The Simple Notebook is something I’d be proud of sharing with anyone around the world, and I look forward to seeing more from them in the near future.