Review: Field Notes Byline

Field Notes is a popular notebook brand favoured by many in the fountain pen community. Every quarter, they release a set of limited edition notebooks to their subscribers. The latest one is an interesting tall reporter style spiral note book. It’s also appropriately named Byline. The Field Notes Byline is created in collaboration John Dickerson) of Face the Nation on CBS. Field Notes also creates wonderful videos to go along with their quarterly releases. Check out the Byline video here.

Personally I am not a regular user of Field Notes notebooks. I do not enjoy the paper that comes in their regular kraft cover notebooks. However, I was especially intrigued when I saw a friend posted on the Midori Traveler’s Notebook Resources Facebook group combining the Traveler’s Notebook with the Field Notes Byline. What sealed the deal was Brad’s mini review of the Byline on the Pen Addict podcast and they mentioned the paper is good for fountain pens. Without a moment’s delay, I placed on order with Blank and Write for a set.

The Field Notes Byline is long and skinny making it prefect for the Traveler’s Notebook. Normally I am not a fan of spiral bound notebooks but the Byline was bound on the top that makes life easier for a lefty. The grey stock cover feels nice. When closed the cover encloses the spiral wiring underneath the cover. However, when you flip over you will find the cover protrudes from the bottom by slightly less than 3cm. It’s not really a problem but it is slightly inelegant. On the back of the notebook, you can find a pocket and inside is a mock 1803 news paper in miniature form.

The Field Notes Byline has 70 pages of slightly cream colour paper. The paper works reasonably well with all my fountain pens. The ink do feather but only on my wetter nibs. The feathering isn’t very bad so I am not bothered by it. On the back of the page, you can see some ghosting and borderline bleed through. Similarly, those also only affect the wetter nibs. I don’t intend to hang onto the notebook once it is done so I am not fussy about the paper quality too much. However I must say it is performing much better than the standard kraft notebooks.

Now, fitting the Byline into the Traveler’s Notebook isn’t hard especially if you use the kraft folder. Simply slip the back of the notebook into the kraft folder pocket. Remove the entire notebook if you want to use it, or just leave it where it is to use. Personally I prefer to remove it from the Traveler’s Notebook to use it as a break away notebook. On the whole I enjoy this form factor a whole lot but I don’t think Field Note would be inclined to make this a regular edition so get yours while they are available.

Posted on July 26, 2016 and filed under paper, review.