18 Sept 2012

review: Oxford notebooks part II (Office Book and Black 'n' Red diary ranges)

So here is part II of my Oxford notebooks review. If you haven't yet, please have a read of Part I :)

Continuing the reviews...

4) Office Book Range

This range is aimed at the business individual but the bright colours and basic with subtle design quirks (such as the curve at the left hand side, the line in the middle, and the subtle 'office book' text). 

Here are a few notebooks from this range:

From left to right: A Recycled one, a metallic polypropylene covered notebook and a  polypropylene translucent-covered notebook (all A4 in size)

From left to right: a blue A6 pearlescent soft cover notebook, a baby pink A5 pearlescent
soft cover notebook, a purple metallic polypropylene covered notebook (in between the
A5 and A6 size) and a blue pearlescent soft cover reporters notebook.
One thing I really liked about the notebooks were that some of them had bookmarks (this one below is the one in the middle in the first picture). Although the picture on the bookmark doesn't really fit with the design of these notebooks at all (a more simplistic design may be more appropriate?), I like the concept. The pages aren't perforated which makes the bookmark double handy. However, removing the bookmark is easy but putting it back is a bit of a chore (due to the high quantity of rings)!

The picture below is the bookmark in the A5 notebook. Again, my feelings about the bookmark is the same.

And finally, the notebooks stacked up together.

The colours in this range are clearly more muted and with the different materials used for the covers, you can choose one that suits you more. Also, the bookmark is a really good idea, especially if you're planning on using these notebooks for university lectures where going to your next blank page is made easier.

Overall, I like the design (minimalistic!) but I don't really like the bookmarks as much. 

5) Black 'n' Red Diary Range

Last but not least! The Red and Black diary range. 

First, the 'pocket' size. Upon opening the front cover, you're greeted with this fold out year planner:

And here is a look at how the pages look:

I really like all the extra space for notes and also the QuickNotes section at the bottom of the right hand page. 

Onto the larger, and the thickest of the three. This has a day-per-page layout. As you can see in the picture below, there is also a year planner for 2013. There is also one for 2014 at the back too.

Another look:

A section for meetings, to-dos and other work related things:

And another QuickNotes section.

And finally, the thinner diary which has a week on two page spread. Notice how Saturday and Sunday are given considerably less space.

And another QuickNotes section:

And the diaries stacked up on top of each other: 

From top to bottom: pocket sized, day per page and week to view spread.
At the back of the diaries, there are various maps and the like. 

All in all, I like the design and feel of these diaries. They are professional (as they are definitely aimed more at business personnel than your average joe - i.e. me!) and the paper quality is of a high quality too. I like the space they left aside for notes and the like and the amount of space for every day seems reasonable. There are clearly a range of products with at least one fitting your needs (with the different layouts they have) and this is definitely an appealing things about this range. 

Although I do like these diaries, I'm not sure I'll be migrating from my Filofax anytime soon. The day-per-page layout is one that would serve its purpose as a journal if one desired (as it is very heavy!) and the week to view is also good for, say, a student. 

This is a range that is close to my heart because the lab book I used at uni was a Black 'n' Red one!

And finally...

Here is another look at how pens write on the paper!

Notice how there is no feathering, no bleeding and no showthrough!

Thank you, once again, to Oxford notebooks for kindly sending me these samples to review. Which range appeals to you most? The paper quality is excellent across all of the ranges so no need to base your choice on the paper!

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