The Best-Designed Notebook I’ve Ever Used

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The spiral binding lets it hold pens and lie perfectly flat.

If you are a writer, or just a human being who finds the iPhone Notes app particularly uninspired, a good notebook is key. I fall into the former category by trade, which also means I’ve been gifted a lot of notebooks in my day. (What better gift for a writer?) At present, I have a library of Moleskines, a calf-leather Smythson engraved with my initials (corporate gift), and a journal gold-calligraphed with Write (a present from my niece). They’re all completely blank.

This spring, a friend turned me on to bullet journaling — and Delfonics Rollbahn notebooks. I’m not diligent enough for bulleting, but the notebook was a revelation. Rollbahns come in four sizes (I like the large’s 5.8- by 7.2-inch dimensions because they’re small enough for a purse, but big enough to write in without getting crampy hands), and in more than a dozen colors, but the basics are remarkably consistent. All Rollbahns are spiral-bound, so they lie completely flat. Muji makes a great spiral-bound notebook, too, but the binding coil is too tiny to slide in even the slimmest pen. The Rollbahn’s spiral, on the other hand, is wide enough for even my Sharpie Extra Fine Point Permanent Markers and Marvy Uchida Le Pens.

The thing’s durable, too. Its strong coated-cardboard front won’t crease or crinkle. It can even be sponge-cleaned if, strictly hypothetically, a smoothie bowl were to leak in your bag. (A tight elastic band also ensures the pages remain sealed and protected.) The paper stock is thick enough that felt-tip pens don’t bleed through, but not so luxe to feel precious, like you’re jotting your Time Warner account number onto the Magna Carta. Every Rollbahn notebook also has five full-page plastic pockets in the back — one of those features you don’t know you need until you have it. I fill mine with everything from stamps to dry cleaning receipts to weird business cards from Uber drivers. 

Note: Our favorite colors include pink, green, silver and orange.

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The Best-Designed Notebook I’ve Ever Used