Now, most of you should know this by now - I'm a sucker for fashion but I'm also a sucker for beautiful, high quality notebooks and stationery. So, when the lovely Rebecca brought Arwey to my attention, I was instantly drawn into the notebooks in fashionable colours and their simple design. I'm not sure how many of you have heard of Arwey but they are a notebook brand that has 'a range which blends function with style' and have 'notebooks [that] are designed to be practical and useful as well as good looking'. And boy, I was not disappointed with this description when the notebooks arrived.
Rebecca kindly sent me two notebooks from their range - Reich in blue and Flavin in green.
But before I launch into the review of the first notebook (I'll start with Flavin), I just want to say something about the service. The notebooks were despatched yesterday (from Istanbul in Turkey) and they arrived this morning! Very, very, impressive as I had expected a few days at the very least.
Anyway, onto the Flavin in green. I took the pictures on my windowsill to try and capture the real colour of the notebook and I brightened the pictures up a bit on Photoshop. The picture below is as accurate a representation I can get of the notebook's real colour - it isn't a horrid bright green, nor is it a dull one - it's a fashionable green, even if I do say so myself!
The Flavin is 168mm in height, 125mm in width and 19mm thick at it's widest part (due to its enclosure). It has a pen loop and the pen comes with the notebook.There is also a page marker in the form of a ribbon which is kind of similar to the one found in Moleskines.
In the photo below, you'll see that the pen loop and pen acts as the opening and closure of the book.
Upon opening the notebook, you'll see a few lines where you can write whatever you like - a quote that is motivational every day of the year or write your name and address/contact number if you're worried that you'll lose it.
The Flavin model is ruled and this is how it looks:
More about the paper later on in this post.
Anyway, towards the back, there are a few leaves where the edges are perforated. I tried to take a picture of this but it was hard to take one where the perforations were visible so you'll just have to take my word for it! I remember that about a year ago, people were saying that they wished that Filofax paper was tearable, for example, for giving someone your email address.
Well, in Arwey notebooks, this is a reality! There are 8 sheets which equates to 16 removable bits of paper (two on each sheet). Also at the back, there are pages where you can write down friends' and family members' birthdays, a yearly planner where each month has a space you can write things down on, a telephone numbers and email contacts page, a 'links' page where you can jot down the URLs of your favourite websites, a wish list page (where you can write down places you want to go to, foods to try, books to read, movies to watch, albums to listen and skills to learn), a page which displays world times, quite a few information pages and finally a page for travel planning with columns for the destination/itinery, date and notes plus a foldable world map which is integrated into the notebook.
Finally, at the back of the notebook is a pocket where you could store receipts or other relevant documents you may want to keep on you.
So far, this notebook sounds near enough identical to the Moleskine notebooks. But the price difference is small. On Amazon.co.uk, a Moleskine notebook is £8.29 but the Flavin is $19.00 (which approximately equates to £11.68. One may opt for a Moleskine due to the price difference but let's look at the quality of the paper and notebooks first. Flavin has a cover which keeps the pages at the edges intact whereas the Moleskine only has a bit of elastic. If you are, like me, one who just throws things into their bag on a random basis, then with a Moleskine, the edges of the pages can get damaged easily! However, with the Flavin, the extra bit of cover keeps these edges looking as if the notebook was still new.
Now, onto the paper quality. In the next picture, I wrote on a page of the Arwey 70GSM paper using different pen types.
As you can see, there is no bleeding with any of the ink types except from the fountain pen which is the standard Parker ink. And this is how it looks on the other side:
As you can see, the outline of the writing is visible but not so visible that it will disrupt anything you write on that page (apart from the Parker fountain ink which also had problems with the bleeding as said before).
I just want to compare the paper with my Moleskine diary paper. In the picture below, look carefully at the writing in pink. It is written with a Uniball eye pen.
And this is how it looked on the other side on the Moleskine paper.
Comparing this with the Arwey paper:
Looking at the two, we can see a visible difference. On the Moleskine paper, the pink ink clearly bled and showed through very clearly on the other side to a significant degree.
However, on the Arwey paper, there was no bleed whatsoever; in fact, it actually looked very smooth. On the other side of the paper, as before, it is visible but not to the extent that you can read exactly what it said - unless you studied it for a long period and carefully too.
If you'd like to see more of the Flavin in action, click here for a product video from Arwey.
Also, if you'd like to place an order with Arwey, I have an exclusive deal for you all - but it is for this weekend only! 15% off with no minimum spend. Just enter PAPERLOVESTORY at the checkout. The code expires on Monday the 29th of August so get in there quick!
Stay tuned for part II! Thus far, I'm very impressed with the Flavin notebook but you'll have to check back in a few days to see if the Reich notebook impresses me as much!