Cambridge (Mead) Wirebound Planning Pad

This seems to be product 06194. I can’t find it on their web site, though I find related products with nearby numbers; I suspect it’s been discontinued.

This is an oversize side-bound spiral notebook. The pages are micro-perforated but not three-hole punched. The paper is “ivory”, and called “heavyweight”; it might be 20 pound, certainly no heavier. It also has two “pocket” pages.

The backing board of this notebook is much thicker, and much stiffer, than any of the others had. It’s very nice to use. This is the best of the notebooks I’ve found, though as I recall it was rather expensive (though not at the level of the $30 to $150 lab notebooks).

Mead Quadrille Composition Book

I don’t think they make anything like this one any more, either. Its product id seems to be B-101.

This is the usual composition book, sewn binding taped over the back, smaller than letter size. But it has graph-paper pages instead of lined. That’s nice. The big thing wrong with it is that the cover and back (same piece of board, wrapped around) are too flimsy for it to be useful in the situations when you need a notebook. It’d work fine writing on a desk.

This paper feels smoother and nicer than the paper in the cheap spiral-bound notebook, but it’s still too thin to use both sides with roller pens or fountain pens.  But then I never use both sides in a composition book anyway, and rarely in a spiral bound even though they open flat.

Mead 100 Sheet Quad Notebook

The product number it gives on the cover is 05674. This one is quite old, and I can’t find that item number, or anything that looks a lot like this notebook, on their web site.

This is a completely ordinary spiral-bound graph-paper notebook. It’s three-hole punched, the pages are not oversize or perforated. The paper is light, not as heavy as 20 pound. The 4-to-the-inch squares are in gray again; maybe this is e Mead thing?

The thing wrong with this is that the back board, while it looks like cardboard,  is hardly any stiffer than the paper. This makes it not very useful for most of the situations where one wants to use a notebook.

It was, however, very cheap.

Graph Pads

This time, the Mead Five-Star Spiral Quadrille Pad, product number 06187. Checking the Mead site today I don’t find this product, but it’s still listed on Office Depot.

It’s 100 pages of 20 pound paper.  That’s better paper than in most such products.  The front cover is plastic, which gets ratty much more slowly and has few drawbacks (it’s harder to write on; I mostly don’t want to write on it). The paper feels less smooth than most, perhaps a bit rough. It might work very well with pencil, as well as pens.

The heavy paper, though, isn’t heavy enough to use both sides of. My broad gel pens show throw quite clearly, especially the black, but even the red does.

Also, the backing cardboard isn’t stiff enough.  It’s not so floppy it seems to have no board at all, the way some of the cheap ones I still have at home are, but it’s definitely sub-optimal, and not nearly as nice as the Cambridge planning pad ones that emphasize their stiff backing.

The ruling is in light gray.  I prefer blue, but that’s probably mostly for traditional reasons. One side is 4 to the inch, one 5. I only use the front side anyway, and don’t really care much about size (I think I prefer 4 slightly, but I don’t think I’ve ever had 5).

I don’t like lined pads.  I never really have. And blank pads (which I haven’t used, and probably wouldn’t like that much) and graph pads are hard to come by and expensive. I got spoiled by the real lab notebooks in the supply cabinet at Network Systems.

The notebook is oversize, and the pages are micro-perforated. The part that comes out is letter size, and is three-hole punched. For my main use for such notebooks I don’t need either.

Much of the part of life that isn’t the search for the right luggage is the search for the right notebook.