After seeing these custom journals on a website, I contacted the Bound team and they offered to let me customise my own journal and see what it was all about. To be honest, I think this is an excellent idea.
The basic premise for Bound notebooks is simple, build your own notebook page by page, and they will put it together and ship it to you, exactly as ordered. Now before we go to far, just a warning for Australians, if you include shipping the price can be a little bit excessive. My “Normal” customised book would have been about $60 shipped. That’s a lot for a notebook.
That aside, let’s have a look at the product!
The notebook came in a Bound envelope made of firm cardboard. This kept it safe during the transit. Inside, the notebook itself is wrapped in brown paper with a signature (in pen) of the person who put it together by hand. This is a really nice touch.
The notebook has a hard, coloured cloth cover (I chose blue) with the Bound logo on the front. I really like the minimalist aesthetics of it. They are 4″ x 6″ which makes them a smaller notebook, or a large pocket size. The notepad opens relatively flat, as the covers are scored to bend well.
The major selling point of these notebooks is their customisation. The website offers you a tool for building your notebook, which lets you choose from (literally) hundreds of different page options. There is blank, lined, grid, maps of various cities, logs, calendars in weekly, daily, yearly, contact pages, music, storyboards, wireframes, games, clothing and foods, all customisable. A normal notebook like the one I ordered has 140 pages, and you can set each page individually. It takes a long time, but it allows you to get EXACTLY what you want out of the book.
I customised mine to have a few lined pages in the front (as a kind of index) and then check-lists through the rest of the book. I find I am forever making lists, and this is perfect for me. Of course, this isn’t the only page format available for lists, you could have one or two columns. As for the ruled pages, there is 4 different line widths, of either orientation. That’s 8 different combinations for just ruled pages.
As you can see in the pen tests here, the paper is not very fountain-pen friendly. The ink blobs on the page, and doesn’t sink in. The paper is fine for ballpoints, brush pens, pencils and sharpies however. It also doesn’t seem to bleed, and it doesn’t have much show-through, even with sharpies.
In the back of the book they have a page about the Bound brand, and a little information on the paper and cover.
The Bound custom notebooks are a brilliant idea. While not the most economical choice, you would be very hard-pressed to find a notebook with more options or customisations available.
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